Meredith Winn: Shutter Sister, Freelance Photographer, and Writer (Winner of the Best of Winter 2012 Contest)
Recently We Are Juxt teamed up withPostalPix for the Best of Winter Contest. Meredith Winn submitted a beautiful image, one that garnished the community’s approval for the win. We Are Juxt and PostalPix presents to you, Meredith Winn.
BP: BP =) MW: Meredith Winn
BP: Please tell us about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do? Describe to us who the person behind the images is.
MW: Hi, I’m Meredith Winn. I’m a freelance photographer and writer. I am a Shutter Sister, a contributing photography to Getty Images, a contributor to Taproot Magazine, and co-founder of Now You Workshops. I weave stories from truth and optical illusions from images. I’m from anywhere on any given day. I grew up on the East coast with salt water in my veins but most of my adult life was spent out West. I relocated to New England last year. My words and images are the result of a life that dances between childhood and motherhood, always on the cusp of transition. I’m drawn to the story of an image and how something so personal can, at the same time, feel so universally human.
I live here now, after years of pining, after years of knowing that my world was larger than what Austin, Texas could provide. After years of working towards a goal a career a passion, after years of watching relationships grow and bloom behind art and photography… after knowing my place, the place that called to me from a deep sleep. I live here now and I doubt it will ever cease to blow my mind. This was taken in the early evening with a wicked good sky full of moody pre-sunset clouds. Because of the low tide, I was able to walk out and shoot this pier straight on, really embracing that negative space. I feel that gathering up sky into frame really helps tell the story of the image. I boosted the color a bit in camera+ to really let the buildings pop and then added some tilt shift to soften out the clouds.
BP: Please describe to us more in detail about where you live. What is the culture? What are the demographics? What are the geographics?
MW: After living in Austin, Texas for nearly a decade, I followed my heart back to my family’s roots. I call the western Maine foothills home, where I live off-grid in a yurt with my sweetheart and a trio of boys. The earth is moist and soft here, it’s alive with love and family and laughter and barefoot children (treeforts, fairyland… sunny days, dewy mornings… big red barns and the happy souls that live in them.)
This is home to me. Rural country roads tucked into the woods at the edge of snowy mountains. Far enough for peace and solitude to invoke creativity, yet still close enough to smell the salt air of Maine’s rocky coastline.
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird and when we find someone who’s weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
Life intersects and intertwines, and with it family’s grow. People’s presence gains importance until you look around one day and wonder if there was ever a time when you did not wake to see their face each morning. I love headcovers for the way they can make a normal situation feel surreal and strangely out of place. This is my sweetheart’s (sketched) self portrait used as a headcover. I asked him to jump up on that chair to get closer to the windows, the light in his studio required minimal processing to help set the mood of this shot. It was processed through Instagram’s filters.
BP: Tell us more about your mobile photography and mobile artistry. How did you get started in the world of mobile photography? What are the main subjects of your work? What catches your eye?
MW: I’m fairly new to mobile photography. Although I cheered from the sidelines as I watched my peers pioneer the industry (Stephanie Roberts, a fellow Shutter Sister, wrote The Art of iPhoneography) I was a late bloomer. I didn’t get my first iphone until March 2011. I was drawn to the simplicity of it all: the convenience and humble attributes that come from creating art with a phone in a non-intrusive way. In my freelance work, I am drawn to nature and portraits. I find images more interesting if there are people to aid in the storytelling. Everyday moments are what I seek with my iphone: the walk to the bus stop, the body language of children, the reflections in puddles, the texture that comes from our environment.
BP: What apps do you use and why?
MW: Well, I started out with an iphone 3G and mainly used camera+ as my go-to processing app. Since upgrading to an iphone 4, I shoot in my native camera and send most everything to camera+ before anything else (old habits die hard!) I also use Iris Photo Suite, tilt shift generator, and cross process. I’ve recently begun dabbling with Snapseed and I really like what I see with that app.
I’m not always certain what I’m seeking, sometimes I just go looking for something to help me feel connected. A visual image that helps me tie these threads of past and present and future. It makes me giddy to be at the sea, especially the empty coast of winter in Maine. The novelty of snow on sand conjures up good memories from childhood and good dreams of the future I see before us. It didn’t take much to process this naturally monochromatic image. I tweaked the exposure a bit by using the “night” filter in camera+ then running it through a hint of cross processing to bring out the contrast of beachcombers. A bit of tilt shift softened out the edges where sand and sky and snow and sea all blur into one.
BP: Have you printed out your work? Were you happy with the outcome?
MW: I am a big fan of printed images. As a child, heaven for me was digging through the photograph drawer in my mother’s office. I want to leave these treasures for my family as well, so I’ve always found it important to print photographs. With digital photography, one has to be more mindful of follow through and actually printing images so they don’t get lost forever on hard drives. When I began collecting iphone images, Postal Pix was a fairly new company and I was thrilled at their accessibility. I’ve been with them ever since! I love their work and their customer service is fantastic. It’s been fun to watch them grow and bloom as a company.
BP: Who are your influences in your work and who are your favorite mobile photographers/ artists and why?
MW: My photographic influences are many: Harry Callahan is a major inspiration for his minimalist portraits and landscapes. I have an appreciation and a desire for Lothar Wolleh’s symmetry in composition. His power is in placement (self and environment) and his resulting portraits truly reveal a person’s inner essence. I am always on the search for new artists as well. I am intrigued by Julie Blackmon and her depiction of struggle for self in a child-centered society. This is perhaps why I have a large collection self-portraits in my portfolio of motherhood. My list of favorite mobile photographers is always growing: I find joy in the simplicity and creativity of Paul Octavious (@pauloctavious) His ingenuity of new projects is compelling. Stephanie Roberts (@littlepurplecow) has a way with documenting real life that really draws me into the scene and keeps me there. Stephen Pullan (@artfarmer) is brilliant in his composition and how he creates abstract art from his every day environment. Erica Bartel (@ericabartel) is pure magic with light and dreaminess. Andrea Corrona Jenkins (@hulaseventy) makes my heart flutter with all things vintage and color.
This was my first adult winter in New England. I found myself approaching it with a giddiness and certain childlike innocence that bordered on naive. What I had forgotten from the winters of my youth was how the winter world is able to create a sense of freedom from all that vast whiteness. I love nothing more than to feel humbled my nature, to put people into scenes to help set perspective. This shot is the epitome of what I crave from nature. This was just a simple moment on a sledding hill. But for me, the moment became something more than just an aesthetically pleasing composition, it became the storyline for their adventure: these boys, this life, this great big beautiful (sometimes scary) world. Processed in camera+ with a hint of HDR to bring out the clarity of the clouds then run through Instagram’s filters for cool blues.
BP: Describe for us your experiences thus far in the world of mobile photography. How long have you been on IG? What have you learned and what would you like to pass down to new folks just joining in?
MW: After getting my iphone in March 2011, the first app I got was Instagram. It felt like such a small community to me (a welcome change to the online existence I have elsewhere for my work.) I kept my circles very small at first, wanting to use IG as a cozy friendly place for conversation and shared images with friends. I’m never about numbers, and I’m not searching for comments or followers or tips on how to make it to the popular page. I mostly just do my own thing and share my art with friends, so I’m not sure I have much advice for new folks just joining in. I know that if you want to broaden your circle, hashtags is the way to do it. See who inspires your favorite photographers. Following people who inspire you is the best tip I could give. There’s nothing more satisfying than a full feed of photographic inspiration to get your creative juices flowing!
BP: What is your favorite quote and how does it sum you up as a person/artist in a nutshell?
MW: “Almost every new technology is an amplification of our body, Computers, the internet, social networks expand everything. The most important thing they expand is our imaginations and our brains.” Will Wright (creator of the Sims)
“To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there are no guarantees that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters.” – Harry Callahan
I learn by doing. Photography itself is the life project. It catches the space between.
(silhouettes) Home is a place we leave and come back to again and again. Home is a place of creation; where we come to be ourselves, where we come to find ourselves. Home is home no matter where you live. This photo embraces togetherness as we see it happen in a simple afternoon walk. As they approached this rock wall, I got down on the grass to shoot up at them and create this moment in silhouette. I shot it in camera+ which gave me maximum control over exposure. A hint of cross process gave the sky that rich turquoise that I crave in my everyday reality.
BP: Any last thoughts you would like to share?
MW: Shoot something new everyday. Thanks for the interview!
Juxt thanks you for your art and your work!
Website and Blog: www.meredithwinn.wordpress.com
Instagram and Twitter: @camerashymomma