30 April 2007

on the spot • no. 01

m. writes about carey + bluebird photography
i met carey through the mellow + yellow swap. she was my partner and while attempting to give her something she might like, i browsed her blog and flickr account and fell for her style of photography and her genuine persona. she allowed me to delve a bit deeper. i've discovered an old soul with quite a knack for making the most of a picture. the interview goes as follows:

What age were you when you got your first camera?

I don't remember my age exactly. My grandparents gave me one of those plastic red and black cameras made especially for children called the "Bialosky Cub Photographer". I still have my twin sister's (it has her initial painted in pink nail polish on the bottom), but it uses some special film format that I don't think they make anymore. My dad gave me his 35mm Canon AE1 when I went to high school.

What inspired you to be a professional photographer?
I don't know that I was inspired to be a "professional" photographer. I don't even know if I would call myself that now. I shoot weddings, and I love doing it, but it's not how I primarily define myself as a photographer.. My shooting style lends itself easily to weddings and as a photographer everyone you know asks you if you shoot weddings, or if you would be interested, and I just started saying yes (after convincing Alissa that she absolutely needed to do it with me). I would love nothing more than to work for myself full time and have more time to devote to my personal photography, and weddings are a possible avenue for that.

As for wanting to be a photographer, my dad was teaching my sister how to use his camera, and I asked him to show me too, and I just sort of never looked back. I went to a catholic grade school, I chose to go to public high school because they had a darkroom and offered photo classes... I took summer and weekend classes in Philadelphia too. I don't think I had any idea of what being a photographer really meant; I just wanted to do it.

What is the meaning behind bluebird photography?
We started out calling ourselves mhphotography...something about it never felt right, and somehow I suggested blackbird photography but our friend Mark said it reminded him of the Beatles song, and so we discussed either yellow bird or bluebird, and bluebird won.. Since then it has seemed to take on a life of its own. I should mention that we both have bird tattoos. Alissa's is a blue swallow, mine is solid black. We got them before we named the company.

Best part about shooting weddings?
Being treated in many ways as part of the family. As the photographer you spend the entire day at the side of the couple so you get to witness the privileged moments usually reserved for the bride and groom's closest friends. It makes me feel so special. We also function as sort of on-hand experts who can open champagne bottles and fasten necklaces in a pinch.

Your favorite thing to snapshot?
Snapshot? I would have to say that I recoil from the idea of taking "snapshots." In fact, I take terrible snapshots. I compose them so poorly. I almost never carry a camera around with me. I heard Sally Mann describe the difference between taking snapshots of her kids and taking the fine images as "putting on her photographer eyes" and I think that kind of captures the compartmentalizing that photographers are capable of. Photographing can be hard work in a way. Or maybe more accurately: I have to think sort of intensely when I'm making pictures, so I usually shoot in spurts of one or two hours, sometimes a few times a week, sometimes once every few months. I primarily photograph my older sister, who functions as a sort of generic representative of all of the women in my family.

What makes an interesting photograph?
Oh man. I think I could talk for hours and still not answer that adequately. I like pictures that tell a story without giving away all the answers.

Your childhood dream?
I always wanted to be an adult. I'm much better at it then I ever was at being a child. Odd but true. My mom always called me an old soul.

Favorite book?
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What is a must in your handbag?
Stamps. And a check book. For unexpected parking tickets.

Where do you look for inspiration?
My family, my bizarrely unreal childhood, the memoirs of other people's bizarrely unreal childhoods.

Favorite activity on a lazy afternoon?
Brunch. Preferably with good coffee.

What can you always count on?
My sisters to fight with my mom over nonsense while i work to restore the fragile cease fire; my grandmother to make bitter comments under her breath; that I'll be hungry every 3 hours regardless of the size of the meal I consumed previously.

What keeps you going?
I worry. Actively.

What has changed you for the better?
My sisters, my photography education at Drexel, and the group of friends I made in school.

the photos featured here were taken by the photographer herself, see additional shots via flickr. thank you, carey for welcoming the chance to be on the spot. for more about bluebird photography, view her stunning wedding portfolio & photography blog.


love.boxes said...

Fun post! Loved learning those things about you and love the name!

Anonymous said...

what a great feature marta :)
I really enjoyed reading about carey + her work. Thanks!

Lacey Jane said...

Loved this! Her photos are beautiful... fun to hear where some of the inspiration comes from.

Anonymous said...

Great feature, and love the "On the Spot" moniker... great interview too, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love the interview. Great questions and interesting answers. And the photos! Just wow.

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