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Interview with Karen Osdieck – Winner in The Silhouette Category

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She is the mother of 2, a wife, finance guru and incredible talent for photography! Meet the woman who won 1st and 2nd Place in The Silhouette Category In The First Half of B&W Child Photo Competition 2015 – Artist in rising: Karen Osdieck!

Q: First of all, congratulations dear Karen! How did you feel when you found out you took 1st and 2nd place in the Silhouette Category?

A:  I can not thank you enough for this amazing opportunity!  I was overwhelmed with tears and absolute disbelief!  I almost fell down the stairs while running to tell my husband (and at that time I only saw one of my winning images)!

Q: What do you think of images submitted to the B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION this year?

A:  I think the images submitted were absolutely stunning and emotive.  To be included amongst so many incredibly talented artists from all over the world is mind blowing to me!

"Joey kitchen blinds" by Karen Osdieck, USA

“Joey kitchen blinds” by Karen Osdieck, USA

Q: You entered several images to our contest. Many of them were well noticed by our Judging Panel.  How does it feel knowing your work stands out in photography quite populated market?

A:  It feels completely unreal!  I remember the day I entered my images in the CPC contest and the thoughts that went through my head.  I thought “I am a hobbiest who takes pictures of my boy’s daily lives in my house, how can my pictures measure up to all this amazing talent from around the world but if I never try then I will never know!”  So I gave it a shot, picked my favorites and submitted them!  I feel incredibly happy and honored to have been recognized!

"Breakfast" by KAren Osdieck

“Breakfast” by KAren Osdieck, USA

Q:  We are so happy to have you here and find out more about you and your work. Can you tell us more about you? Who is Karen? How old are you? Where you were born and raised?

A:  I am 33 and have been born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago.  I have been married to my college sweetheart for 8 years and we have two sweet little boys who are 14 months apart and a tiny yorkie maltese mix named Khloe!  I have never considered myself to be artsy until I fell in love with photography.

"Jax couch trunks" by Karen Osdieck

“Jax couch trunks” by Karen Osdieck, USA

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph “The breakfast club”? Who is the boy on the photograph? What’s the story behind this photograph? Where this photograph was taken?

A:  This was in the first set of images I took in our new house.  Ever since I saw that kitchen window I was dying to shoot something in that spot.  The boy is my youngest son who was 2 at the time and the dog is a yorkie maltese mix who weights only around 6 pounds.  The dog is so small she tends to think she is allowed to jump up on the furniture and frequently does.  My son really loves the dog and she loves him the most when he is eating any sort of food!  I wanted to capture their special bond that they have when food is around!  I felt like a silhouette is exactly what I needed to further strengthen my story.

1ST PLACE-1920-The-Breakfast-Club_Karen_Osdieck-USA

“The Breakfast Club” by Karen Odsieck, USA | SILHOUETTE CATEGORY – 1st Place

Q: “Rim light”?

A:  This image was the first I took in a set of images of my youngest son standing in that spot.  I noticed the light coming in from the window and illuminating the railing of the stairs.  I immediately knew I need to capture a silhouette in that light!  The light was so dynamic that in order to preserve the highlights that outlined his body I metered for them which left the rest of the image in deep shadow creating the silhouette!  I decided to leave the negative space in the image to frame him in the darkness.

"Rim Light" by Karen Odsieck, USA | SILHOUETTE CATEGORY - 1st Place

“Rim Light” by Karen Odsieck, USA | SILHOUETTE CATEGORY – 2nd Place

Q: Your style is very recognizable. Playing with negative space and shadows is not something many photographers do. How it became your passion?

A: I love dramatic light and using the light and negative space to lead the viewer’s focus to my subject.  When I first started learning how to shoot in different kinds of light every time I would see hard light I would practice shooting in it and challenge myself to create an image that would work in that type of light.  That was a challenge that paid off for me in finding my style!  Telling a story about my subject but using other elements in the frame like negative space and shadows to strengthen that story has become a passion of mine!

"Sadness" by Karen Osdieck, USA

“Sadness” by Karen Osdieck, USA

Q:  When did you start doing photography?

A: I started getting serious about photography and furthering my knowledge 2 years ago.

"Jax dishes" by Karen Osdieck, USA

“Jax dishes” by Karen Osdieck, USA

Q: Do you have experience with shooting on film?

A:  Yes I do actually but I have not shot film in about 10 years. I took a black and white film photography class in college and learned how to develop and print images in a dark room.  That was an amazing experience!

"Cape shirt" by Karen Osdieck, USA

“Cape shirt” by Karen Osdieck, USA

Q: Are you a full time photographer?

A: No

Q: What was your job and education before you started doing photography?

A: I still work full time in the finance field.

Q: Did you have any formal education in photography?

A: I took a film photography class in college and I have taken online classes and workshops through a couple of photography forums.

"Shell" by Karen Osdieck

“Shell” by Karen Osdieck

Q:Who are some photographers that you admire?

A:  I admire so many artists but if I had to only name three… Kapuschinsky, Ginger Unzueta Photography and Jennifer Nobriga Photography.

Q: What inspires you?

A:My main inspiration comes from my boys.  I am inspired by real emotions and connections, by dramatic and interesting light and by creating images that make my viewer feel something.  Once I learned how to see light it opened endless possibilities for my images.  One of my goals is to find beauty in my everyday!

"Pond sunset reflection" by Karen Osdieck, USA

“Pond sunset reflection” by Karen Osdieck, USA

Q: Many photographers started doing child photography when they got kids. Was this your case too?

A:I have had a love for documenting life for as long as I can remember which I owe all to my dad.  My dad was always taking pictures of my brother and I during our childhood.  I don’t remember a time where I did not own a camera even as a child I had everything from a polaroid camera, a disposable camera and a little kodak film point and shoot.

I had experience shooting in manual and knew the exposure triangle from shooting with a film camera so I purchased my first dslr (a Nikon d3100) in 2011 before my first son was born.  After that I was on a mission to learn everything I needed to know to create images that matched my vision!  My passion was enhanced after I had children and that is really when my photography had taken off!

"In the shadows" by KAren Osdieck, USA - Nominee | B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015

“In the shadows” by Karen Osdieck, USA – Nominee | B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015

Q: What’s in your camera bag?

A:I have a Nikon d610, 35mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, and my newest addition the 24-70mm 2.8!

Q: Photoshop or Lightroom?

A: Both!  I have only recently starting using Lightroom and I really like it.

Q: Tell us more about lighting you use?

A: I tend to look for dramatic light or I will manipulate the available light!  I love shooting back lit images and shooting into the sun.  Also I prefer directional light that gives my subject dimension.  Even in a portrait I will position my boys where the light is coming from the side to give their face dimension.

"Kitchen shadow" by Karen Osdieck, USA | Honorable Mention | B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015

“Kitchen shadow” by Karen Osdieck, USA | Honorable Mention | B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015

Q: What’s the magic ingredient in your post processing?

A:  I make sure there is enough contrast and dimension when editing an image!  I like using the contrast and the shadows for this.

Q: How much time do you spend in post processing for each image?

A:  Not much time!  I used to agonize over my edits but I realized that a shot is “made” in camera and editing is secondary.

Q: Why is important for photographers to participate in high quality photography contests?

A: This was the first photography competition I ever entered!  It could be incredibly intimidating and unnerving to put your art out there to be judged but I think entering high quality photography contests has many benefits!  It will give you exposure in the photography industry and it could push you to look within to find what inspires you and what you love to shoot!

"Magic Light" by Karen Osdieck, USA | Honorable Mention | B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015

“Magic Light” by Karen Osdieck, USA | Honorable Mention | B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A:  Find what inspires you, create from your heart and do what you love!

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