Iconic Photo: A Not So Obvious Story

This image is special to me, because it shows a side of my daughter that isn’t often seen. We’d spent the day celebrating her birthday with some of her friends, when we ended up at the Australian Centre of Moving Images.

We wandered into a stop motion exhibition, where it was dark, apart from a strobe light on the spinning exhibition. As everyone stood around the glass case & watched, I caught my daughter with her cheek pressed up against the glass, catching a few moments of rest when she thought no one was watching.

When people see this photo, they comment that they’re not immediately sure what’s going on around the frame & that they’d like to see what the other kids were doing.

For me, this photo isn’t about any of that.

It’s about that quiet moment of my daughter captured in that small pocket of light.

I also like the mystery of it

It’s not immediately obvious what the photo is about.

I’m always watching for a moment that captures someone being uniquely them.

I’m looking for that ‘thing‘ they do when they’re tired or completely relaxed & show only that side of themselves to their family. I’m always just watching & asking questions, getting to know the client & their family as much as I can in the time I have with them.

I’m stubborn! Haha! I know what I want to photograph & I stick to that. I photograph clients the way I photograph my family. I’m very strict on myself in that I want to shoot purely documentary in style – I don’t want to move things or set scenario’s up, I just want to watch what’s happening before me & work with that.

If I need some inspiration or I’m feeling a little flat in my work, I avoid looking at the work of my contemporaries & focus on the masters, that always seems to pull me back. I think the thing that allows me to photograph freely is to just take photos!

I try not to think too much about the ins & outs. I try not to think about ‘rules’ & things like that.

I try to keep it all intuitive, trust my gut, and my eye.

Iconic Photo series

Writing and photographs contributed by Natasha Kelly.

About Natasha Kelly: Natasha is an International Documentary Photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in photographing families in their homes & follows the philosophy that reality is enough.

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Author: Dreama Spence

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