Spring has finally arrived here in Michigan. In many parts of the country, people may have been running around outside barefoot for quite some time now. But here, in the land of perpetual winter, we have had frosty mornings and even snow at the beginning of this month. Living in a place that is cold and dreary for nearly half the year really takes a toll on creativity. The beginning of winter is filled with holidays and magic. But towards the end, everything is brown, muddy, cold, and uninspiring. As primarily a lifestyle photographer, this time of year is always hard for me. Everything looks the same, the weather is gross, and I’m just ready for that creative spark to be reignited. This is when I like to turn to my secret weapon for breathing Life back into my lifestyle photography! My Lensbaby Collection!
"For me, when I’m deep in the trenches of a creative rut, I need to do something to change things up."
For me, when I’m deep in the trenches of a creative rut, I need to do something to change things up. I need to look at things that have become mundane and boring in a new way. There is beauty in everything, and there is always a new perspective to find. I’m lucky to have some tools in my creative tool kit that make finding this beauty a bit easier. I was even luckier to be chosen to beta test the new Omni Universal Expansion Pack!
I got the Omni Universal Expansion Pack at just the right time. I was barely shooting, and when I did, nothing felt exciting. One of my passions is capturing my family in an artistic way. And every single thing I tried to create felt flat. So as the weather got warmer and we ventured outside a bit more, I would grab my Omni set and take it with me to see what it would do. I have always been a fan of shooting through various objects in my work to create different creative effects on camera. I’ve used prisms or crystals to shoot through, used my iPhone or an iPad for reflections, and shot through a copper pipe or plastic bag. You name it... I’ve tried it.
But those traditional methods sometimes make you feel like you need an extra hand, and you are juggling your camera in one hand and the creative object in another. It’s not easy, and it can be frustrating! That’s what I love most about the Omni system. It lets you use all kinds of fun things to shoot through hands-free! I will even l tuck a couple of Omni wands, mirrors, or other reflective tools in my bag or pocket if I’m shooting with a Lensbaby without filter threads. I just hand-hold what I’m using, and the effect is brilliant! No matter what lens I’m using or what kind of light or weather, I’m able to add a little extra magic to my work with these tools! Taking these Omni tools on my photo outings made me get excited to shoot again.
I was able to bend the light and create magical bokeh and reflections. My “same-old” images of my daughter doing everyday things like playing on the swing, riding her bike, or shooting hoops were brought to Life with interesting light effects. Every image had depth and character and was unique. No two Omni images are the same. That excitement of creating something new and beautiful makes me want to pick up my camera more and more. I am driven and excited to create again.
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I’m Holly Awwad. I am a wife and mother to three girls living in rural Michigan.
My style lies somewhere in a grey area between documentary and fine art photography. I love to sprinkle my work with creative shots and I’m addicted to Lensbaby lenses and optics. I love creative composition and rich colors. I also love using light in creative ways to shape my subjects and create a mood. My style doesn’t fit into a neatly defined box, but that’s okay because neither do I, and this is “MY” voice.