We are happy and honored to have a chance to speak with a woman who won Silhouette category once again! She has got 1st , 2nd and 3rd places in the previous years of B&W Child Photo Competition, as well as many Honorable Mentions! But most important she has splendid eye for child photography! She is Karen Osdieck – Winner in The Silhouette Category In The First Half of B&W Child Photo Competition 2016 !
Q: Hey Karen! We are enormously happy to have you here! You won before and you did it again! How does it feel like? ☺
A: One word… Unreal! I am so honored to be featured in this competition along with talents from all over the world. Thank you so much for hosting this.
Q: Introduce yourself with 5 words.
A: Passionate, nostalgic, authentic, loyal and stubborn.
Q: What is your life story? Where are you born and raised? Why photography?
A: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. I have always loved taking photos and I had a Polaroid, a film camera and then a point-and-shoot while growing up. The passion for capturing moments was always there but once I had my first son I was on a mission to learn as much as I could to take beautiful photos.
Q: Are you related to the subjects you photograph? How does that influence your photographs?
A: I am mainly a hobbyist and shoot my own family. My passion is capturing my everyday with my boys and husband. I would say that does influence my photography because I shoot them in a documentary style with no pressure! I do also have a passion for teaching and I teach an advanced 4 week shooting course called Capturing Imagery With Purpose.
Q: Do you photograph every day?
A: Almost everyday but it is refreshing to take breaks (for me and my subjects). I do work full time in the finance field so sometimes picking up my big camera everyday just isn’t possible. But I shoot with my iPhone just as much.
Q: What is a secret of succeeding in capturing such an intimate moments?
A: My secret to succeeding is letting my subjects lead the shots! I do make suggestions to them but I let them do what is natural to them which translates to more authentic moments on camera.
Q: We notice a lot of “negative space” in your work. We can freely say it’s your trade mark. How did you discover your style?
A: I struggled to find my style early on and shooting with a 35mm and then a 24mm changed my photography! I then started shooting at a wide angle to include more of the scene and including the negative space became a love of mine!
Q: Do you have any personal favorites from the First Half of B&W CHILD 2016? If you hadn’t won silhouette category who would have won?
A: “Night Swimming” by Jennifer Kapala, Canada is my favorite from the silhouette category. The light is so gorgeous with the rays streaming through the water and I’ve just started to shoot underwater photography myself!
Q: Since you teach photography, what is the thing you always say to your young students?
A: I provide course materials that include images as examples that I have shot over a year or two and after failing many times while practicing. Many say right after being introduced to a concept that they are struggling so I tell everyone “It is difficult but do not get frustrated, it takes time and you will get it”. No one is going to take perfect shots right away. Once you take the pressure off it will click!
Q: How do you balance between doing photography as a business and as a hobby?
A: I am running my workshop three times a year and those 4 weeks are intense. I shoot but do not have that much time to edit until those four weeks are over.
Q: How do you know that you took the perfect shot. Is that the inner feeling or something else?
A: That is exactly it… It is an inner feeling to know when you have the “perfect” shot. I put the word perfect in quotes because everyone’s definition of perfect is different. With shooting two young boys my final shots are rarely what I envisioned when grabbing my camera! Photography has taught me to be patient, to see the beauty in everything and to be flexible. I am definitely more open minded and relaxed.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I find inspiration from light! And from the quite moments that are so often overlooked. I am naturally a nostalgic person so I am inspired to capture what is going on in our lives in unique ways. I can tell already that I have passed the love of photography to my boys.
Q: Do you have any quote that leads you through life?
A: This too shall pass.
Q: How do you feel about post production, since it is spoken a lot whether photographers should edit photographs or not.
A: I do not spend much time editing my images I probably could shoot in JPEG and be happy but for my images I do like the film look. I am careful to get exposure and white balance correct in camera (which is also part of the workshop). I do like a purposeful crop though!
Q: What equipment do you use?
A: I shoot with a Nikon d750 and mainly the 24-70mm 2.8. I also use a Fujifilm for my underwater images.
Q: Older, wiser, more experienced and definitely multiple times awarded-photographer. What would be your message to other photographers?
A: I would say to never get frustrated and give up!