Lisa Huelin is a family portrait photographer in Queensland, and the care she takes with families definitely shows. As you'll see, there is a level of comfort that comes across in the families - children, especially - that she photographs.
I came across Lisa Huelin's photography on Lemonade and Lenses some time ago, and being a lover of eyes, fell immediately in love with Lisa's work. Her entire images are gorgeous...but, the eyes...and the colours.
What does Creativity mean to you?
To me, creativity is bringing to life new ideas.
How do you expand yourself creatively?
I do a few things to expand myself creatively… 1) I LOVE to visit local art galleries and I do so whenever I get a chance 2) I follow a lot of designer Instagram pages. I especially love children’s rooms designers and kids and women’s clothing designers 3) I have just started doing a daily illustration of some sort in my art diary. I love to use watercolour and ink and I also love to do zentangles (I find it really relaxing and helps me clear my head to think up new photography ideas).
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
I think I was creative as a child. I always loved to paint, and got in trouble many many times from my mother for spilling paint on my bedroom floor! I was given my first little automatic camera at around 12 years of age. No one really encouraged me, I just loved art and wanted to do it all of the time.
What inspires you most?
Probably two things: Children (especially my daughter) - I was a primary school teacher for 19 years and I love photographing children absorbed in an activity that they love. I love to capture the true personality of the child and the relationships that they have with their own families. And Secondly - The colours and textures of the beach. I have always dreamed of having the perfect modern beach home and filling it with gorgeous artworks that feature the colours that I love inspired by the beach (white, grey, cream, brown aqua).
What turns you on creatively?
Beautiful light and uncluttered environments.
Do you have any gratefulness practices?
Yes. I spend 10 minutes each morning saying thanks for all of the wonderful things I have in my life right now (like my husband, my gorgeous little 3 year old daughter and my family and my friends. I am ever so grateful that I am healthy and that I have been lucky enough to get a teaching degree).
Do you daydream often? If so, does it inform your work?
Yes I do daydream often. :) I am constantly visualising new concepts for photo sessions and artwork.
How does a relationship and/or children affect your creativity?
I’m lucky that my husband supports me 100 percent with my art. The fact that he is so positive encourages me to keep pursuing it. My daughter just loves to paint and draw, so she is an inspiration in herself.
Is there a Creative, past or present, that you would give just about anything to work with? Who, and why?
Oh gosh this is a hard one. There are so many wonderful photographers out there with whom I’d love to work with. I love Jose Villa’s work and he would be amazing to work with and also Dan O’Day because he is amazing too. I have always wanted to work on the set of a big movie as well.
How do you care for yourself to ensure you’re available when ideas present themselves?
This is something that I am working on. I quite often have ideas and then promptly forget them because I’m in a time and place that doesn’t allow me to document them. I try to at least type a note into my phone or take a snapshot with my phone to remember for when I have the time to develop the idea/s.
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
I definitely make space for them. I have learned that when I’m struggling to come up with an idea it’s best to stop trying to think of one and occupy myself with something else. In time an idea will come to me.
How do you deal with change, especially when it comes to creative mediums and passion?
I hate having to learn to use new technology, especially when it comes to the business side of things. I feel that I have to waste time learning something that is essential, but boring!
How does criticism affect you?
If the criticism is constructive I’m really grateful for it. I believe that it’s the best way to grow.
Has your work ever been copied? If so, how did you deal with it?
I don’t think that I have been directly copied, or at least if I have, I have not been aware of it.
How important is self compassion to your creative process?
I have extremely high expectations of myself. I am not happy if a print is not perfect, or I feel that I could have done a better job in some way. I am kind to myself in that if I know that I’m too tired to stay up and finish a gallery, I’ll go to bed and give myself extra time to complete a job. I explain to my clients that I’d rather take my time with their photographs and deliver them something awesome than feel like it was rushed.
Do you have any other mediums you use to express yourself creatively?
Yes I love to paint - either with acrylics or watercolours, but always abstract.
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
Initially I spend time collaborating with my clients talking to them about their family, what they love most about their family and what makes them unique. I then plan a photographic experience based around what they have told me. My aim for each photo session is to celebrate families in a way that is true to who they are. I am also planning before the photo session where the artwork will hang in their home and the style of finish that would suit the decor in their home.
Do you work in a studio/space designed specifically for your creativity, or on the spur of the moment/anywhere inspiration strikes?
Most of my photography sessions are outdoors. But really anywhere where there is great light. I have sacrificed the main bedroom in our house for my editing room and I love having my favourite music playing and candles burning as I’m editing.
Is it important for you to have a creative, inspiring environment?
Do you plan thoroughly for projects, or go with the flow?
A bit of both. My sessions are carefully planned, however there is always a bit of go with the flow happening on the day as well.
Do you have a preferred way of cataloguing ideas?
No not really… I wish I did though!
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
What is your typical day like?
Wake up at 6-6:30am, get my daughter up and breakfast fed. Take my daughter to daycare and then get home and start either ringing clients, editing sessions, sending off orders, a bit of house cleaning, a bit of grocery shopping…do whatever needs to be done. Pick my daughter up from daycare.
Do you have any rituals that help to set your creative time and/or space?
Yes. I like to have candles burning and music playing as I’m editing. When I’m getting ready to go out on a shoot I pull everything out of my bag, clean all my equipment and repack. I always make sure I have spare of everything. On the way to a shoot I like to play my favourite pop music really loud in the car to get me pumped.
Do you believe art can change the world? If so, how?
I don’t know if it can change the world, but it can make it a better place.
Do you believe that connecting with your creativity, or helping others to do so, can positively affect the world? If so, how?
The only experience that I can draw upon for this question is when I used to teach art to children from disadvantaged homes. I believe that helping the children to connect to their creativity had an extremely positive effect, not only to the children themselves but to their families and the community to which they belonged.
Are you active in your local art community? If so, how do you help and support each other?
I am a member of a local professional photographers group and we meet every month or so to discuss where we are at and some of the issues we may be having with our businesses.
Do you surround yourself on a daily basis with creative, inspiring people?
I wouldn’t say yes on a daily basis, but I try to as much as I can.
What effect do you want your art to have on the world?
I just want the families whom I photograph for to love their photos and the photos are a trigger for them to be reminded everyday how amazing their family is.
Does your creativity enable you to contribute to social work in some way?
I have done some charity work in the past. I have donated photo sessions to families in need. I would like to contribute to some more social work in the future.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
It’s not about you, it’s about your clients.
Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Keep practising and learning (I do this everyday).
Do you have any favourite books?
I love interior design books and arty magazines.
Do you have a favourite quote?
‘Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication’ Leonardo Da Vinci