Beyond The Wanderlust » Inspirational Photography Blog for Storytellers Worldwide

The Narrative Society: Educator Interview with Justine Curran

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

I think that it has taken me a while and have only come to that point just recently when I started to believe in myself. I’ve always enjoyed capturing moments. Always been a creative, from illustrating and painting to digital art, photography and dance.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

I don’t think so much that I get bored with daily life, but life gets busy and chaotic and I think it’s always important to pick the camera up and capture the small moments whether or not your in the mood to. If I find myself in a rut I think about things we do on a day to day basis I have not captured yet or in a while or perhaps even a different perspective of a daily occurrence.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

The family together on holidays. 

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

Definitely stories! I find most of my inspiration from connection and getting to know my client’s story. Hearing about who they are and what they like to do and all their quirks inspire me to capture things in a certain way. I always enjoy learning from other photographers who may see things differently to me.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

That’s a hard one. I usually take a break from whatever it is I am working on, spend some time getting out, socialize – then come back to it with a fresh mind.

the documentary photography, the narrative society

Who in your life inspires your art the most?

My kids and I was heavily influenced by Gabe McClintock and his use of shadow, mood and connection.

What inspires you more - light or movement?

That’s really hard! I would have to say light. Finding light to create depth to my image is the most important factor for me but I really do love movement.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

So many photographers mix this up and there is a huge difference. Documentary is capturing true moments. The photographer is a fly on the wall while the subjects engage as normal. Lifestyle is a more natural approach to traditional portraiture that ‘softly’ sets the scene. The photographer still directs the subjects into poses but aids connection between them all. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather continue with your life or restart it?

Sometimes I do fantasize about where my life would be now – especially during the chaos – if I had of not met my husband. We met when I was 16 and have been together ever 10 years. I feel like all of my life events played such an important part in creating the person I am today; which I would not change for the world. I love the beautiful kids we have made and the people we have helped become. My husband bought my first camera to take on our travels while I encouraged him to pursue his career. My kids inspired me to capture my everyday.

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?

Definitely stop time. Life is chaotic at times and I would really love to be able to just stop everything for 10 seconds take a deep breathe and compose myself.

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 what’s on my mind. Which I am usually straight like that anyway. Communication is important and I don’t think people say exactly what they think often enough.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?

No phone for sure. I always seem to lose the stupid thing anyway and I would have to give up way more things with no internet.

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?

I can totally live without a GPS but something tells me I should lose the ability to use my card haha.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

That’s a hard one? I love observing but far out sometimes I could use moments where I just need to shut up close my eyes and actually listen. I think we all forget to actually sit back and listen to people. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

Unlimited storage in real life. I do not have enough in our tiny 3 bedroom house. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

Amazon River. I think exploring the Amazon would be amazing.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

I’m not really into the Olympics and competing athletically, so I would say Academy Award. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

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

How amazing would it be to sit in your filthy wealth undisturbed 😀

documentary photography, the narrative society 

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Justine Curran of Justine Curran Photography
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