For a photographer to not merely see an image as something captured in a camera lens, but as a reflection of one’s vivid imagination truly is a work of art. To craft what you see in your mind’s eye and make it truly magical, meaningful, empowering. Kristen Rice weaves magical and whimsical imagery through her creative point of view and I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing her.
I am absolutely enamored by your images Kristen! How and when did you develop your love for photography?
When I was young I always had my nose in a book. I was the girl who came home from school and laid back on my bed to read through an entire book in one sitting. I loved letting my imagination race into another world. For me, looking at photos was the same way. I can look at a photo and think of an entire back story to it, or simply remember a moment in time if it was an image that I was present for. My parents gave me a camera when I was a young teenager and I was absolutely hooked. I took it everywhere.
What was your first camera? What camera do you use now?
My very first camera was a Kodak Ektralite 10. Just a little point and shoot but it went everywhere with me. ( http://filmphotographyproject.com/store/kodak-vintage-ektralite-10-wflash-110-camera if you're curious ) I use a Canon 5D Mark iii now. I do miss the surprise of film though. It's a whole different game when you can instantly see what you just captured.
Tell us how you embarked upon creating Kristen Rice Photography.
I never really considered taking on photography as a career. It was always more like a private joy of mine. Taking new images of friends and family and looking back at albums and albums full of images that documented my childhood, my interests, everything I wanted to remember or found beautiful. My daughter Ruby was a micro preemie born at just 1 lb 8 oz at 24 weeks. She needed full time care for a long time. When she was a baby, day care just was not an option as she had chronic lung disease from her early birth. I had the wonderful privilege of being a full time stay at home Mommy. When my husband decided to go back to school full time we really needed to find a way to supplement our income. Photography was one way I could go into business for myself but I was really hesitant. If I was going to start charging for images, would it change my love for taking photos? Would I tire of it? Could I handle the marketing and financial end of it to make it all legitimate? It was a huge step but I dove in and studied and practiced every spare minute to make it happen.
Do you have photographers or artists that inspire you?
There are so many artists I am inspired by. Kirsty Mitchell blows my mind. She did a series of images to deal with the grief of losing her mother called Wonderland. They are absolutely captivating and moving. Her immense attention to detail and use of color is really inspiring. Amanda Diaz is another whose images are just so striking and beautiful. Elizaveta Porodina Photography. Her dark portrait work tells stories with rich, interesting characters. Bill Gekas is a self-taught photographer who photographs his daughter in storytelling scenes that look like they are paintings from another time and place. Magda Wasiczek creates floral and garden images that are incredibly original. I have so many more!
Is there is a philosophy or point of view you live by that influences your body of work?
I believe that every person contains a spark of something unique and original. There is something beautiful and storytelling about any individual if you can draw it out of them or take the time to find it. Children are so candid and free, as we grow older we tend to shell up and hide some of the fun characteristics that make us unique. I think the challenge of finding what sparks a person or really makes a portrait truly represent them drives me.
Your creative photographs are so inspiring! Do you have a creative process when working through a project or does it come organically? Tell us a little about it.
Thank you. I'm not sure I've ever really considered my process. Many of my creative photos are with my daughter Ruby. We began doing creative portraits during the winter months when she would need to be kept isolated for her lung issues. We would play our own version of 'dress up' creating a character for her and taking some portraits. She loved it as much as I did because she would often get to wear make up (chap stick) or glitter. As it has progressed I will often just find a prop or a piece of vintage clothing or accessory and create a scene around that piece. Ruby is seven now and thankfully very healthy so during the winter months I often have to find playmates elsewhere.
Kristen works out of Buffalo, NY and her website can be found here.
AARTI is a South Asian plus size blogger and body positive advocate. She identifies as a feminist, activist, and writer. Aarti is a psychotherapist by profession with a focus on contemplative psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. She unwinds with old jazz, her three dogs two cats and funny cat videos.