Beyond The Wanderlust » Inspirational Photography Blog for Storytellers Worldwide

The Narrative Society: Educator Interview with Sandi Harkness

Most artists have a point in their life where they knew this was meant for them. Do you have that moment?

I’ve always felt like an artist, from the moment I was a little girl. I used to draw and paint all the time. Once I had kids, my art transformed into preserving special memories with them that I never wanted to forget.

documentary photography, self portraits, the narrative society

Documenting our children’s lives is so important. What is your secret to not getting bored with your daily life?

I try to think of the things that I know will be changing about my kids before I know it, and I document them…like my son pinching his neck for comfort, or my daughter’s chubby baby rolls.

documentary photography, self portraits, the narrative society

If there was only one moment you could photograph for the rest of your days, what would it be?

My son and my daughter playing together.

documentary photography, newborn pictures, the narrative society

Personally I find more inspiration from things outside of photography. Where do you find inspiration most?

Nature. I am a midwestern transplant to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am overwhelmed and astounded by the beauty of my surroundings daily.

documentary photography, the narrative society

We all go through periods of mental blocks. How do you push past times of not finding inspiration?

When I’m tired of shooting, I shoot anyway. I find one thing in my house that inspires me, and I take a photo of it. Or I take a self portrait, which usually lifts my spirits and leaves me feeling inspired again.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Who in your life inspires your art the most?

 

My kids. No question.

documentary photography, the narrative society

What inspires you more - light or movement?

Light – and shadows!

documentary photography, the narrative society

Documentary and lifestyle photography are different to some. How would you define them?

To me, lifestyle is mildly posed, directed or encouraged photography that is planned out ahead of time. Documentary just happens. Like going over to hang out with a friend and getting your camera out, documenting as if they didn’t even know you were there.

documentary photography, breastfeeding self portraits, the narrative society 

Would you rather continue with your life or restart it?

Continue, for sure. Everything I’ve been through has brought me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather reverse one decision you make every day or be able to stop time for 10 seconds every day?

Reverse one decision.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?

Say everything that’s on my mind. I try not to harbor secret feelings.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?

No cell phone.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather lose the ability to use GPS for the rest of your life or lose the ability to use a debit or credit card?

Definitely lose the ability to use a debit or credit card….I am directionally challenged.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather have eyes that can film everything or ears that can record everything?

Eyes that can film everything – man, wouldn’t that be grand??

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather have unlimited storage space on your iPhone or unlimited storage space in real-life?

iPhone, for sure. I don’t mind being cluttered with photos and music…but I don’t want to be cluttered with stuff.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather walk the Great Wall of China or Amazon River?

Amazon River.

Would you rather win an Academy Award or an Olympic Gold Medal?

Olympic Gold Medal.

Would you rather be fabulously famous and poor or unknown and rich?

Unknown and rich….being seen isn’t everything.

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Sandi Harkness of Sandi Harkness Photography
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