Natarsha March won 2nd Place, in the Family Category of the 2018 RISE International Photography Awards with her incredible cross-stitch family. Natarsha loves a good story – read on to find out how she turns those stories into art and how failure has been her biggest lesson. Thank you so much for sharing Natarsha.
Who or What Inspires you?
I find most of my inspiration in talking to the people around me. Everyone has a story and I love finding ways to use imagery to tell that story without words. It makes for such meaningful and powerful artwork. I love nature and wildlife and find myself using the natural environment on our property to create unique concepts. I will see leaves that look like pregnant women or angel wings and I start to play around with ideas in my studio and photoshop to create something fun or conceptual. I find music plays a part in my creative journey as well, I feel an emotion in a song and my mind starts to think how to tell that emotion in photos.
What is your “Why” for entering awards.
I have never grown so much as a photographer as I have since entering awards. The award process makes you really focus hard on details and technical perfection in a way that client work never will. I find my daily client work needs to be consistent and commissionable because clients want what you are selling so you need to be able to create the same thing over and over. My award work really stretches my creativity and technical skill to its limits and in doing so has sparked a fresh new love with photography that feeds my soul. It is a hobby within a job.
Share with us your Favourite Award Image
Let us know why its your favourite and what it is that makes you want to create images like this.
This is my favourite image because I resonate with the sentiment of the Mum. Also it won my first ever APPA gold award and came second place in RISE 2018 Family category. But it’s the sentiment I promise. This image came about when the mum (Sally) mentioned how proud she was to have finished her first cross-stitch since having kids, she wanted to hang it on the wall. Her husband was like “Nope. Not going on the wall.” and this concept came into my head. I know that phase of being so busy with young kids that you don’t have time for yourself anymore, and the freedom that comes again as they grow that little bit older. I also think its a really fun family portrait for their home, and creating it was as mindful for me as though I was making a cross stitch myself.
What is the biggest lesson you have had from entering awards?
Failure. I have had many failures in my short awards experience. I have had an image win gold in one competition and be ripped to shreds with super low scores in the next – 63 being my lowest single judge score for a previously gold awarded image. Actually that has happened twice! It really demonstrates how subjective our artwork is, how one set of eyes at 10 in the morning will see something different to another persons eyes at 4 in the afternoon and how a judges personal experience will either resonate with your image or not. I enjoy the fact that my work often splits a panel (where half are high scoring and half are low scoring) because I love hearing the conversation – that is what helps me grow the most. It might sting to get a low score or a comment you disagree with but you take it and grow and raise your bar for next year.