FEATURE FRIDAY - Gwylan Goddard
MTL Bog is proud to present Gwylan Goddard a Montreal native and most importantly professional photographer. We are splendidly happy with this feature because here at MTL Blog we strive to pump out great photography and Gwylan 100% falls into that category. Traditionally MTL Blog`s in your face, aggressive and fuel pumping style of photos does vary from Gwylan`s emotional and strong personal aspect shots, but none the less we cannot help but pay tribute to one the best in the game. Here is a quick overview of Gwylan picked up from her website.
"Lover of spicy food, cameras, walks in the rain, hot cups of tea, the smell of potted soil and freshly cut grass, new socks, Parisian pastries, books and laughter. Born and educated in Montreal, Canada. Commercial and fine art lifestyle photography."
Now to the nitty-gritty of this expose, MTL Blog`s Q & A with miss Gwylan Goddard.
MTL Blog - Let us be clear Gwylan it is very much a pleasure to have you featured this week since here at MTL Blog photography is a big part of what we are.
Gwylan -Thank you, I appreciate the opportunity!
MTL Blog - When you picked up a camera for the first time do you remember what you shot?
Gwylan -I don't remember the exact shot, but I recall rolls of film with multiple attempts at getting a photo of a loon on a lake in Algonquin Provincial Park. Early years of family vacations in the wilderness seemed to pique my interest in photography. The lens on the camera was so wide angle that the loon was just a speck in a sea of gray. Those were the days.
MTL Blog - What form of education did you pursue to get where you are now and do you think it was the right path to take to become a professional photographer?
Gwylan -I studied photography at Dawson College's 3-year day program. I definitely learned a lot of skills and techniques there to move me in the right direction. Lots of time spent in studio and many hours in Photoshop! Learning the business side of things has come mostly with a lot of research and time. Nothing beats experimenting with what you've learned and gaining hands-on experience, I cannot stress this enough. I've worked as an assistant and attended workshops, both were invaluable to me. I think I was and still am on the right path, it's just a question of working hard every day to steer yourself in the direction you want to go.
MTL Blog - Your style is very clean and to the point seemingly not a whole lot of photo manipulation from what we gather. Why do you chose this approach to your art.
Gwylan -I guess this is my style for two reasons; firstly, I like to photograph what's real and show why it's beautiful as-is. The more enhancing I do after the fact, the less authentic it feels to me in terms of representing myself and what I want to achieve with the image. I prefer using natural light for the same reason. I enjoy finding the right light and determining ways of working with it rather than using artificial light and controlling it. Secondly, I'd rather be out there in the fields & the trees, and not sitting too long at the computer. I do apply basic colour, contrast and sharpening to every image I'm working with and sometimes I do play around with other features. Most photographers will tell you that most of what you want to achieve in a shot should be set up ahead of time, and never to rely on the computer. However, I am happy that I have the skills to make a shot just right in post-production if it requires it. I feel that as my style has developed, I've moved further and further away from too much manipulation.
MTL Blog - While looking over your website, which by the way is fantastic, we noticed that your portfolio portion is categorized into 5 parts, 4 of which hit very close to what LIFE is all about. Tell us a little about each one.
Gwylan -Thank you! Yes, these categories are a recent addition to my website. I got bored of the typical "portraits" and "events" categories or "portfolio 1", "portfolio 2" that you often see. I guess I chose these as a way of expressing a broader meaning behind each image, leaving room for interpretation while still dividing things into the different areas that I work in. I'm getting more and more into food & drink photography with an editorial edge, and these shots fit into the "EAT" category. "LIVE" contains photos depicting stages of life, stages of being and different experiences one might have throughout life. "LAUGH" is where I show any image that depicts joy, be it obviously or more subtly. And finally, "LOVE" contains shots of friends, families, children and lovers. This category is all about human & animal relationships.
MTL Blog - You are clearly leading a successful career at the moment, what have been some your favorite shoots you have done in the past?
Gwylan -I've loved the opportunities I've been given to work with the Canadian division of Woolrich, an authentic American clothing company founded in the 1830s. I've had the pleasure of working with them for a few years now, doing their seasonal shoots in the Spring and Fall showing their new lines of clothing. I've had the opportunity to travel and do shoots on location at wonderful spots in the city and the country. I always love the end results from each separate project. It's fun to be involved from beginning to end. I also just love any shoot that involves working with a willing subject that ends up super happy with their results at the end. It's a pretty swell job!
MTL Blog - I`m going to shoot straight with you now, every photographer that i know has found inspiration in something that happened to them in life, anything you would like to share as to where your taste and style come from?
Gwylan -I guess a lot of my taste was influenced by both of my parents, for different reasons. My father is an artist as well, a potter to be more specific, so I grew up handling clay and working with form and shape. I used to draw pictures in the wee hours of the morning before my parents woke, creating stacks of finished pieces by the time breakfast was served. My appreciation for materials, surfaces and textures probably all stem from learning about glazes and clay. My parents also instilled a lot of curiosity in me as a child. My interest in the natural world, in history and in human nature are all things I can attribute to them. My mother probably helped give me an appreciation for color, and also plants and flowers because of her amazing green thumb. Ornamental and vegetable gardens have always been a part of my life. I also spent a lot of my childhood at the family cottage, giving me more appreciation for the woods, for the water and for the summer sunshine that is so frequently seen in my photographs today. I seek these kinds of things in my images, the delightful fresh produce in the summer, the smiles of children in the park, the forgotten flower growing through the pavement.
MTL Blog - Spring is upon us and your shooting enthusiasm must be in high gear, is there anything in particular you are looking to shoot in the coming warmer months?
Gwylan -Yes! The warmer weather is exciting. It gives me a feeling of renewal. I'm very excited about Spring portrait sessions and Summer weddings. But I'm also psyched for great photos of personal events with friends & family, at birthdays and backyard BBQs. And I must not forget, my constant love for macro shots of flowers.
MTL Blog - Gwylan this has been an extreme pleasure getting to better know you and your work, I do however have one final question, was James Cameron`s "Titanic" really that good it deserves to be re-released in 3D?
Gwylan -Though I will admit that I did like the film, I am not a fan of the 3D experience altogether. Makes me dizzy, so you can count me out
MTL Blog - Any parting words or things youd like to plug?
Gwylan - I have an April Fools Print Special going on from April 1st through April 7th. Six different pieces of my work will be for sale for only $30 each, 8x10" prints ready to frame. Check it out at www.gwylangoddard.com/store as of April Fools Day!