14.10.2013

Interview with… Jeanine Stewart

14.10.2013

Interview with… Jeanine Stewart

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I am a big lover of photography and I’ve always been a keen follower of photographer blogs because I believe they convey much more than any ‘cold’ website. If a photographer is willing to bare his true self by sharing his personal stories, his blog allows us to discover what is hidden behind a photograph: isn’t it wonderful to see an image and understand its significance, that moment in someone’s life, to be struck by the projection of someone’s feelings. In the light of this, I decided to interview some of my favourite photographer-bloggers, in order to understand the relationship between photography and blogging.

The first blog I would like to talk about is ‘Wonderings and Wanderings’, by Jeanine Stewart, a perfect combination of images and words. Dividing her time for some years between Canada and London, due to a long-distance relationship, Jeanine put a lot of herself into her blog, recounting moments of joy and of extreme difficulty, great highs and profound lows, the fear of never making it and a big happy ending, a wedding. Her photographs, delicate and poetic, bear witness to all of these events, in part thanks to the use of film, whose grainy images are even more dream-like. Her words and photos can be found in her blog ‘Wonderings and Wanderings’, whilst her photography portfolio is on her website.

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Where did your passion for photography begin?

I think I’ve always harboured a secret love of photography. My father had a darkroom when I was little, and I have a vague memory of large photographs floating in the solution underneath the red light. I was fascinated.  Despite all of this, I only began taking photographs properly myself when I started my blog. I bought a Canon compact, which immediately became an obsession. It was so easy to slip into a pocket and carry around everywhere! In 2010, I bought a Pentax K1000 and it was love at first sight. I said goodbye to digital photography and I’ve never looked back.

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What is your favourite subject and why?

Still life. Small parts of a bigger picture. Glimpses into daily life. Life is full of interesting things, and even the most mundane object can be a source of wonder. I am fascinated by those little moments, the light, the spoon on a kitchen surface, crumpled sheets, the sun filtering through the shutters, a cup of hot tea; the little things that, together, form a day, a life. When I go out with my camera, I try to look at things as though for the very first time. I like to get close to things, so I mostly use a 50mm. And light. I always look for light, the fascination it holds for me is irresistible.

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Why do you use analogue cameras?

I like my photographs to arouse a certain nostalgia. When you take a photo, the moment is gone immediately, and all you have left is what is on the film. When you develop a roll of film, you relive all those past and forgotten moments. Using film makes me slow down and really see things. It seems to me to be a more decisive and informed approach to photography. It forces me to be more attentive.

Why did you start a blog? Was it a way of showing your photographs or were the photos just an addition to the words?

Both. Sometimes the photos work as a frame for the words. Other times, it’s the photos that tell the story. I love both images and words equally.

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Is your blog useful in promoting your work?

Definitely. When I began writing my blog, it was, more than anything, a way to keep my family updated and to show them photos of my garden. It then became a creative space and I started to select photographs to post and then people started taking an interest.

Would you like photography to be your only job?

I think about this a lot. In some ways, yes, but photography is also my yoga, my meditation, my Zen. I prefer it to stay that way. I don’t want it to be regulated or, worse still, a chore.

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My name is Cinzia Ferri, I spend most of my time dreaming about travelling, taking photos, baking cakes and reading books. I write about all of this on my blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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