Welcome Michelle Ardle, to the RISE International Photography Awards Blog. Michelle is the 2018 RISE Newborn Photographer of the Year. I simply got lost in her words about her inspiration and her lessons in regards to entering awards; I hope you do too.

Q&A with TalkingPoint Photography

Who or What Inspires you?

I’m inspired by my clients stories. I always try to establish connections with my clients early in the booking process and while I’m gathering information to help design their session, I often hear about their stories, customs, quirks and interests, challenges and celebrations. These snippets into their lives often inspire me to tell their stories through my work. Im also very inspired by art and storytelling and as a previous painter I love to incorporate that into my work.

What is your “Why” for entering awards.

As a full time photographer I’m busy shooting for my clients and that means I don’t always get to shoot for myself or fulfil my vision for a piece the way I want to. By entering awards it pushes me to break boundaries, and think more creatively, solve problems and be self indulgent in creating for myself with no limits on having to stick to a client brief of being limited by other peoples expectations. It also forces me to give myself the time to create and not allow everyday work to become the only creative outlet for myself, which helps to keep motivated and not lose the love of the craft in what can become a chore if you let it. I need to create for me every now and then and a personal project for awards is the perfect way to be accountable and finish something with a purpose. I also thrive on the critiques of the judges to use as professional development and a learning experience for growth and room for improvement and reflection, particularly in my weaker areas like printing, where I value any helpful information I can get to use in the future.

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.

Michelle Ardle of Talking Point Photography, RISE International Photography Awards
© Michelle Ardle

This is my favourite piece because it really is everyones story. I create lots of personal work that not everyone can relate to, however I feel with a piece like this it really speaks to all of the families that come through my studio. No matter what their situation is, they all have a team and a village around them, some have a big support network, some just a partner, but the round the clock contribution of our circle around us is something we can all relate to in life.

What is the biggest lesson you have had from entering awards?

There is no point in trying to create for other people or for judges. The best work always comes from within and when you stop trying to put something out that you think judges want to see, and start creating for you, and shooting to fulfil your own vision, the work suddenly becomes far more meaningful and successful because you haven’t allowed yourself to over think and over complicate the process. Sometimes you just need to make art that makes you happy even if everyone around you can’t see it, someone will connect with it and you can never predict who it will resonate with. You just have to trust your instinct and back yourself.

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