A few months ago I had the honor of meeting Leslie Shewring through an online blogging course we took together. Since then I've been a dedicated fan of her blog A Creative Mint and of her beautiful photo styling. Just look at these gorgeous displays that she creates herself and then photographs! I had fun learning more about Leslie and I know you will, too. :)
Vicki: Tell us a little about yourself!
Leslie: I grew up on the idyllic Vancouver Island in British Columbia. My mother is an artist and avid gardener so our family home was always a laboratory for creative ventures. At any given time we were doing art projects like painting ceramics on the dining room table and having flowers pressing in books on the kitchen table. My mother and father had an eclectic group of friends, which also influenced more critical and creative ideas.
While working on my interior design degree in Northern California I decided I wanted to go further and study architecture. Even though I did not practice architecture, it was incredible design training. Immediately after finishing grad school I had the opportunity to team up with a manufacturing and distributing company. In collaboration with them I developed, designed and did packaging direction for lots of products sold in many of the major retailers in North America. However, the products were very masculine and utilitarian. I would not call much of what I designed through those years feminine or pretty in the least! I guess I am now trying to get back to what I love which is more female, color, and pattern driven. In the last three years I have only done a few projects and my main focus has been my two little children. My daughter is three and my son is almost one.
Vicki: When and how did you get into photography?
Leslie: During grad school I took a couple black and white photography classes. I learned how to use the dark room and how to use the manual settings on a camera. I loved the class and took lots of photos of friends and some buildings. After school finished I pretty much stopped taking any pictures. I always liked it but did not make time for it except for the odd shot of a friend or my niece. After I got married my husband took most of the family pictures and he bought our digital SLR about three and a half years ago. I really did not pick up our camera until this past February when I took Susannah Conway’s “Unravelling” class. This was the first time I really used a digital SLR camera and I am still trying to figure it out!
Vicki: What is your favorite camera to use?
Leslie: I guess it would be our Canon Eos. I like being able to see the photographs I take immediately. With film there is always the waiting through processing and with digital it is instant! I just bought a mini Polaroid type camera, which is fun too.
Vicki: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Leslie: This is a hard question for me. Today, I would say flowers.
Vicki: How does color inspire your work?
Leslie: Colors provide me with a kind of framework to work in for the week. I like having a little design challenge for myself, I know it sounds a little dorky but that is how my color stories started. I give myself a little problem and a time to complete a set of images. Otherwise, I would keep working on one color combination for weeks!
Thank you so much, Leslie! I'm inspired by your creativity.
P.S. Leslie is also a talented artist, but wouldn't admit to it when I asked her about her artwork (Leslie!). :) Look at a few of her lovely collages below:
If you get a quiet moment today (those are hard to come by), visit Leslie's blog to view more of her amazing photo styling!