I started sharing her photography with you almost a year ago. However, I have never told you much about her. Art is so much stronger when you know the journey taken by its creator. I think that might be why artist become so much more admired when they have passed. Their work is a reflection of the life that once wondered this earth. I think we don’t always pay much attention to the life behind someone’s life work until their life’s work comes to an end and we are left with no options other than to reach backwards in time to retrieve some small piece of the energy they once contributed to our lives! Fortunately the light Heather’s artistic contributions bring to our lives is alive and well but it should never be taken for granted! I asked Heather a few questions that always come to my mind when I enjoy any artist’s work. I am pleased to share her candid responses with you. I hope you enjoy reading about her experience and inspiration as much as I did!
Inside The Artist’s Studio – Heather DelPalacio
When did you first discover your love for photography and why did you start or rather what has been a seminal experience for you?
Heather: It’s hard to pinpoint one moment. I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by photos. I used to love rummaging through the boxes of old family photos we kept in the attic. Seeing my grandparents when they were young, my older siblings when they were babies, and my parents when they were kids – these moments in time came to life through photographs. I kind of fell in love with the way a photo can transport you to another place and time. When I got my first camera (a Kodak 110 film camera) I was around 9-10 years old, and I used to take photos of everything. Then I got my first 35mm camera as a young teen and I started playing around with composition more. When I met my husband in college, he gave me a SLR and helped me learn more about the technical side of photography (lighting, etc.). So really, it has been kind of a life-long journey. And I’m still learning…so the journey continues.
What is your method? How do you pick your subject matter?
Heather: Honestly, I’m not sure I even have a method! All I know is that when something speaks to me – makes me think, inspires some emotion in me – I want to photograph it in a way that sort of conveys a glimpse of those thoughts and emotions to the viewer of the photograph.
Field in Winter and Field in Summer – the field next to our house on Hwy 421 in Bristol, TN. I think I photographed this field at every season over the years. It was great subject matter for practice as the colors and textures changed with the seasons.
Who are your favorite artist, art work, and/or photographer? Who would you like to be compared to?
Heather: It’s hard to pick a favorite when there are so many talented artists in this world. I guess two of my all-time favorites would be Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams. While they had very different styles and methods, both were pioneers in photography. They took breathtaking photographs that captured the majesty of nature and the complexity of human emotion – all before the advent of digital cameras and expensive editing software. The depth found in their work is certainly something to aspire to.
What role does photography play in your life?
Heather: Photography for me is a way of expressing how I see the world. I have absolutely no ability when it comes to drawing or painting. So there is something magical about looking through a lens and being able to capture a little bit of the world as I see it.
I took all of the photos in this email in Charleston when I was 16 or 17 maybe? All taken on my first 35mm point and shoot camera.
Finally, if you could give any advise to aspiring photographers what words of wisdom would you offer?
Heather: I think the best piece of advice I could offer is practice. Read as many books and articles as you can. If possible, find someone with photography experience and knowledge to critique your work and give you pointers. But above all things, practice. The more you practice, the more you’ll discover your own style and learn which techniques work best for you.
Suzanna – Bristol, TN. That time I bought a roll of black and white film and pretended to be a photographer…lol. I think I only got about 5 decent photos out of that 24 exposure roll. But it was so much fun, and I began to understand lighting a little better.
It only seems appropriate to end our session with this photo titled Bloom. Maybe it’s me waxing poetic but it seems to foreshadow the budding talent that has evolved over the years into a beautiful body of work that continues to flourish!
Thank you for taking the time to share a little bit about your passion Heather!