The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Photographic Inspiration

Last year I’d been toying with ideas for a festive image when I came across a photo by the superb photographer and very wonderful human being, Conny Wenk, of her son wrapped up in Christmas lights.

Conny's delightful photo

Not only is it a lovely image that can’t help but put a smile on our faces, it is also a very Conny Wenk style photo. I defy anyone to visit her blog, scroll through her photos and not end up with a broad grin from ear to ear. Her ability to draw such genuine, heartfelt warmth and smiles from the people she photographs is a skill many portrait photographers would sell their left leg to achieve.

Although I was instantly inspired, I knew there was no way my own son, Rogan, at 16 years old, would ever let me do anything vaguely similar to him. Besides, I wasn’t out to copy, but to put my own spin on the idea.

With no one in the family I could grab, the only option was to turn the camera on myself. Self-portraits are not the easiest thing at the best of times, but when tangled up a string of Christmas lights it adds an extra dimension of trickiness.

After about 64 attempts, I ended up with an image I felt I could work with:

My slightly different interpretation

I had the composition I wanted, but the colours weren't right. Time to start editing.

Photoshop: how many ways do I love thee?

In the end I was quite pleased with it and uploaded it to, who were asking for seasonal submissions. To my delight they accepted it into their gallery.

Fast forward a year to this Christmas and I was gobsmacked to find 1x had decided to use this photo for the main banner on the front page of the site. Given the status of 1x, this is pretty much the equivalent of getting my image on a magazine cover.

Front page of 1x over Christmas 2012

It’s been up since the beginning of the week, but now Christmas day has passed, I don’t know how much longer it will be there. But I have allowed myself a wee *smug* moment, and really just wanted to say thanks to Conny for the inspiration.


angryparsnip said...

Congratulations and what a wonderful surprise.
This year I made ordered stamps to mail my Christmas cards with and it was Watson my Scotty wrapped in colored lights.

Lights make everything better.

cheers, parsnip

Sini said...

I was showing to a friend, and guess who was staring from the banner! I got to say that's Kim Ayres.. ;)

Sini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hindsfeet said...

Fun!!! What a cool fa la la la la for you, Kim! Santa must like you best ; )

Also, thanks for the expansion of my vocabulary tonight...."gobsmacked" it and can't wait for an opportune time to us it ; )

Happy (really) New Year for you, Kim...Thanks for all the richness in 2012...


Conny said...

CONGRATULATIONS Kim!!! Well deserved!!!!! Thank you so much for your wonderful words - my day couldn't start any better!!! Maybe you can convince Rogan for another interpretation, I bet he'd surprise you with something fun ;-)
Keep up your superb work!!!!

Pat said...

Well done!
The things we do for our art:)

David Mark Williams - Poet said...

Well done, Kim. That's brilliant.

Aoife.Troxel said...

Congratulations :) Love the photo

hope said...

Wow again!

Congrats. You deserve recognition whether you're wrapped up in lights or not. :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yayyy you, Kim, for getting your pic. selected too!

Connie's photo with her little boy is delightful, isn't it?

Yours made me laugh, it's and bah-humbug-ish and Christmassy too.

Roschelle said...

There's just no end to all the famous people I know. Congrats. Your eyes really pop in that photo btw :)

Kim Ayres said...

That's odd - I'm damn sure I wrote a response to everyone. No idea where it's gone.

Ah well, Happy New Year to each of you and thanks for taking the time to comment :)

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