An Interview with Photographer Kirstin Prentice
Kirstin Prentice – Inspired by Love and Light
Kirstin Prentice is a talented mother of two living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her photographs beautifully capture the endless joys of children and the beauty that their presence creates. This interview revolves around the inspiration of children, the importance of persistence, and the beauty of black & white photography. Please enjoy Kirstin’s inspiring stories.
What inspired you to start photography?
While I have always been interested in photography, my passion and desire to learn the craft began properly after my first child was born. As soon as my children came along, I haven’t been able to put my camera down and it’s been them that have really inspired me to start my journey into photography.
What is the most valuable creative lesson your children have taught you?
One thing that amazes me about my own children and all children is that they find joy in the simplest of things, are always willing to try new things and rarely give up. For me, I have tried to take this determination and apply it to my own work. I always strive to see the beauty in the everyday events and details of my life.
What do you find most challenging when it comes to taking photos of children?
I always shoot in manual and this can prove to be more challenging when taking photos of children because they are so fast, dynamic and spontaneous. You have a small window of time to capture the special moment, and have many things to consider such as composition and your camera settings. It really tests your technical skills and your ability to move and think fast on your feet.
If you could go back and meet your younger self and give her one piece of creative advice, what would that be?
Do not compare yourself to others. Compare yourself only to your previous work. Don’t worry about what other artists are doing, be who you are and have your own style. Be confident in your art, trust your own creativity, and always be honest with yourself.
Your images are beautifully spontaneous. How do you manage to capture the joys of childhood so gracefully?
Thank you so much for your kind words! My children love the outdoors and I have learned to never leave the house without my camera. So many opportunities arise unexpectedly and I am not prepared to miss those precious, unplanned moments. When I can, I like to stand back and just observe my children interact with the world around them and this normally leads me to the real moments I want capture.
Your Instagram is filled with an abundance of monochrome images. What aspect of black and white photography appeals to you the most?
Oh, that’s a hard one! There are so many reasons why I love black and white photography! One aspect of black and white photography that really appeals to me is that it can add drama to an image that seemed to be lacking when viewed in color. I often find that when color is removed, it becomes more about shadow and the contrast between the light and dark. It forces the viewer to examine the image and details more closely. I think black and white images as well can sometimes be more interesting to the eye because it’s not the way we normally see the world. It’s automatically different and when you play to the strengths of the medium, it’s truly a powerful way to present your vision.
How has living in a sunny country like Malaysia inspired you?
I feel very lucky to have lived in Malaysia for the past two years. I get to enjoy the beautiful tropical rainforest climate all year. During this period I have gained a much better understanding of how natural light works. I’ve learned to adapt to different lighting conditions and I have been inspired to always search for captivating light.
Your relationship with light is incredible. What lighting-related tip would you give to an aspiring photographer?
Thank you. I love searching and playing with natural light in my photography work and would recommend aspiring photographers to do the same. Observe and experiment by taking lots of photos in different light conditions. Ultimately, this will help you gain a better understanding of how light works. I once read a quote by George Eastman that I feel sums up light and the relationship the photographer has with it, perfectly. He said, “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”
What has been your greatest creative achievement so far, and what did you learn from it?
Well to be honest, I feel like I’m only really just getting started. But, so far, I completed my first 365 project last year, which was a really good challenge and has been a great practical way for me to improve my photography skills. It required commitment and dedication and pushed me out of my comfort zone. I found this project to be rewarding and naturally taught me more about light, my own personal style, the type of photographs I like to take and why I love photography.
And finally, what is your next photography related goal?
Keep learning, develop my craft and build on my portfolio. I would like to learn more on the technique of freelensing and perhaps explore a family photography business. Last year, I had the honor of being asked to do some bump and newborn shoots for friends, which I absolutely loved and would like to do more of these in the future.
You can find more of Kirstin’s work on her Instagram: @mamas.moments
Interviewed by Taya Iv
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