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 1x.com, 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.