Image Copyright Christine Pobke
I am most excited to feature award-winning lifestyle, wedding and portrait photographer Christine Pobke. Christine’s masterful use of light, teamed with a most genuine spirit, attention to detail and unique way of capturing the true beauty of every moment, whether she’s shooting a wedding or traveling to far away lands, always and constantly inspire me.
Christine kindly accepted to answer our Six Questions interview (actually, she answered all 8 questions!), and I couldn’t be happier to share her answers with you today.
1. What’s the story behind this photo?
This image is from morgan and Katie’s beautiful hunter valley wedding last year. We had pulled over to so many “fields” along the road, only to discover (in the heat!) that many of the paddocks were fenced off or private. My usual philosophy when shooting in a new place is to “ask forgiveness, not permission,” so we had full intentions of jumping fences to get that shot. However, this particular field had big flat out signs to “stay out” so we thought it’d be best to drive on and keep looking! Katie was in amazing spirits that day (obviously) but in spite of all the difficulties, she kept a positive attitude and beautiful smile on her face all day. This was photographed as she saw the “stay out” sign, and was walking towards me to tell me the outcome. With a big big smile.
2. What was it that lit your photography spark? Do you remember a particular camera, course, person, roll of film?
The great ocean road in Victoria… My husband and I did a long road trip driving along the victorian coast and its beauty was astounding. To prepare for this “wonder of the world” I purchased a canon 450d in January 2009 and fell in love after hearing the first shutter click. It was love and obsessiveness and passion from that point on.
3. What’s your photo philosophy? Does it reflect your life philosophy?
My photo philosophy is to capture as much of yourself and your connection to that subject in that image. It’s kind of derived from the famous Ansel Adams quote, where he said: “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” As much as my images are of people and their happy days and beautiful families, it’s also about making sure that your happiness and joy and thrill emanate in your images (or at least that’s what I aim for anyway!).
4. Where do you look for inspiration?
Books, magazines, art galleries, korean movies, philanthropic organisations and movements.
5. What would you say is one of your ‘signature’ editing tricks, themes or style? What do you think makes an image recognizable and uniquely yours?
Backlit bright sunshine, and portraits of couples, families and children laughing at my silly and often ridiculous jokes. (or at me perhaps?)
6. What aspect of your photography are you constantly working on, trying to improve?
Pushing myself and my boundaries of whatever self-constructed “norms” I’ve imposed on what I think photography is. I’m constantly working on educating myself through books and other courses (I’ve recently completed a book-making course on how to create and bind your own books!) so that above all, I am growing as an artist (not simply as a photographer). I am a firm believer in knowing that when creativity is practiced + cultivated, and my growth as an artist expands, it will somehow translate into my photography.
7. If you could go anywhere in the world for an epic, weeklong photo excursion all by your luxuriously unhurried self – regardless of money, time or childcare issues – where would you go and why?
Nepal. Nepal is one of those places that I’ve always been drawn to… Maybe in a former life I was a nepalese trecker? 🙂 it’s a place that i know i would feel “at home” in, and I’m so very fascinated by its people, its history and its landscape. and because I’m such a people-dependent person (you’ll never really catch me on my own – I get very needy!), it’s strange that i can actually see myself on an excursion by myself in nepal. So it must be a sign! 🙂
8. Are there women out there that you consider your shutter sisters? Who, and why?
Lee Grant is a korean-australian photographer who I fortuitously met here in canberra recently. She’s a photographer who truly does “think outside the box” and it’s so inspiring to see someone doing something so well, driven purely by their passion to create art (you should see her last exhibit, “belco pride,” currently on display at the Australian Centre for for Photography in Sydney. Lee is currently doing a beautiful photographic project examining how Korean migrants establish a sense of “belonging” in a foreign country (read more about her project here. While obviously not on the same artistic plane as Lee, I do consider her a source of inspiration, and therefore, a shutter sister!
Thank you so much Christine! You can see more of Christine’s work and learn about her workshop on her blog and website. Christine is also offering a two-hour mentoring session to benefit the Epic Thanks 2011 campaign.