Beyond The Wanderlust » Inspirational Photography Blog for Storytellers Worldwide

The Narrative Society: Educator Interview with Katie Brenkert

documentary photography, lifestyle picures

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

Yes!  I have loved photography since I really started to learn how to use my DSLR when our middle child was about a year old.  However, I knew it was meant for me, or that there was a bigger plan for me and photography when I was sitting around the table working on a school project with my son.   He asked me, “what do you want to do with your photography mommy?” I told him about how I would love to one day travel with my favorite disaster relief organization and photograph the joy they bring to people each time the respond.  As I was having that conversation, an email was making its way into my inbox asking me if I wanted to travel with that organization to Haiti to help spread the word of their mission work.  Um yes, I knew right then, God’s plan is far better than my own and I’ve been out to follow it ever since.   

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

When you read questions like this, sometimes you have to sit and think for a minute as to how you’re going to answer and other times, the answer comes quickly.  This one came to me instantly.  My daily life is not ever boring.  I have 3 kids, all of which grow and change every single day.  They like something today that they didn’t like yesterday and next week they will be able to do something that they can not do right now.  When trying to capture these little evolving people in a way that is truest to who they are, in their constant state of change, it is pretty hard for me to get bored.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

That moment when we’re all together, and the kids aren’t fighting.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Oh good grief – loaded question that would take a really long answer to answer appropriately.  Inspiration is everywhere, all the time, people, books, art, moments, life, nature and the list could go on!

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

I just keep shooting.  Even when I don’t want to, I make myself spend at least 3 minutes a day with my camera in hand.  Sometimes the images are terrible, and I toss them all, but it forces me to look at the world instead of be frustrated with it, even for just a moment.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

Who in your life inspires your art the most?

Well I still believe that any bit of creativity I have comes from God, so his work inspires mine.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

What inspires you more - light or movement?

I want to say both.  Can we say both?  My initial reaction is light.  I love how it defines shapes or evokes a mood just by the way it falls.  It can make an image seem magical, alive with just color or darkness or a little bit of sparkle.  But, movement is so wrapped up in light that its hard for me to really know one without the other.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Documentary is life – it is in that moment without any direction and change from what we see – no lead in moments.  Lifestyle is making a pretty picture out of real life by direction, “hey family, can you go stand in that pretty light over there?”, or cleaning up of the dirty dishes before capturing the moment happening on the kitchen counter.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

Would you rather continue with your life or restart it?

Oh continue no doubt!  My life has been a lot of fun so far,  I want to see where this one goes.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Stop time for 10 seconds.  “Life moves pretty fast, If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” –Ferris Bueller

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Never speak again.  I for the life of me can’t hold my tongue and I have never been very good at thinking first before the words spew out.  That and saying EVERYTHING on my mind could be a lethal combination.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?

No cell phone.  I don’t like being accessible every minute of every day.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures 

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?

Lose GPS.  We did just fine with the ol’ map.  In fact, I think I still have an atlas in the back of my car.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Tough, first response is eyes that can film but I have to give this one more thought.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

iPhone.  More storage space in real life just means more room to store stuff I don’t need.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Ooh, those are both a pretty long walk.  I’m going to go with Amazon River.

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Olympic Gold Medal

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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

Unknown and rich, no question!

documentary photography, lifestyle pictures

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Katie Brenkert of  Katie Brenkert Photography
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