How were you initially introduced to Lensbaby lenses, and how do you use them in your photography to help realize your vision? differentiate your work?
I was looking into a technique called freelensing in the winter of 2013. My eyes have always been drawn to bokeh. While I was on my first 365 project, I saw Ana Rosenberg’s Lensbaby image in late July 2014. I inquired as to the lens she was using and she gladly shared that it was a Lensbaby lens. I loved the way the lens would draw the eye to exactly where I wanted the attention in the image. And the bokeh it creates is delicious! So, by August 2014, I took the plunge and bought my very first set of Lensbaby kit (which at that time, only consists of S35 and E80 with macro converters). My work has a style of its own and the Lensbaby lenses brings that style to the next level.
Tell us about any new projects or assignments you’re working on, and how you’re executing them?
My current project is a twenty picture photo essay that has been in the works since February 2015, after attending a Native American Pow Wow. I was invited into the arena with an Elder and was completely moved by the experience. At the same Pow Wow, I met a young lady and we began a conversation that turned into a collaborative project: documenting her day of preparation for a Pow Wow. Due to the nature of the ceremony and the rituals and traditions that must be honored, I do not have the liberty to take pictures as freely as I like, as certain rituals do not allow photography. When we finally got the green light from the elders, we were so excited! With approval now set, we have a plan to start early at her house. I will create a black and white series for the first part while she is preparing herself at home, and then color images for the second part at Pow Wow, since their costumes are simply too colorful and pretty not to share those vivid aspects of the ceremony. I feel that emotions are best captured in black and white, and I would like to lead with emotion, then burst forth with color as the ceremony begins. (By the time you read this article, I will have finished my twenty picture essay and will embark on a NYC project with some Lensbaby fans!)
How would describe your work?
I see in detail. Many of my fellow photographers comment that I see in macro, as I see something of beauty almost everywhere I look. My work is soulful, natural, and tells the story of life, whether through flowers, animals, or my fellow man.
How has your work evolved over time?
The more I shoot, the more I see. The more I am able to capture, the more I’m inspired to look deeper. My work has become more focused over time. I love to draw the eye to what I see when I look through my lens. I want others to see the world as I see it and I find my work has evolved to do exactly that.
Who/what inspires you and why?
I am inspired by the beauty around me, as well as the people around me. I feel emotion, I see emotion, and it makes me want to capture that emotion. I see beauty and details in all of God’s creation and I just want to share all of it!
What are your goals for your own photography career?
I want to document life. Whether I am photographing people or nature, I want all aspects of life to convey in my images.
Share an interesting fact/story about yourself that is not directly related to photography but has shaped who you are as a person and artist?
I went from being a second sergeant in the Singapore Navy to a Beauty Educator for a reputable skincare brand. I love routine, standardization and organization, but through years of training in the beauty industry and working along with mostly women, I learnt to be creative and go with the flow.
To see more of Pauline’s work, visit Oak Tree Shutterbug.