may cmpro of the month | emma wood

It’s another month and time for another CMpro of the month.  For May we have our super talented CMpro Emma Wood!  Emma is not only an amazing photographer but she is a kind and generous person.  She has a love for light and black and white photography and has been working on something new for Clickin Moms.  Keep an eye out on the CM forums for an announcement later this month!

may cmpro of the month | emma wood

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

Tell us briefly how you became interested in photography and got your start.

I’ve always been interested in photography and drawn to the camera.  I guess this journey began a long time ago when I tried my hand at modelling.  Capturing images and photography intrigued me, what I didn’t realise was that I should have been behind the camera and not in front of it, where I just felt awkward nervous and not myself.   I really only discovered my love for photography about 17 months ago when I stumbled across Clickin Moms. I joined and felt as though I’d truly ‘come home’.  After spending hours in what I can only describe as my own ‘open University’, learning and inhaling all that the forum could offer me, I soon discovered my passion and love for this art.

I think everyone is wondering this right now but being a mother of 7 how on earth do you find the time to focus on photography?

I’ve gotten pretty good at snatching moments.  I beg, borrow and steal them!  I’ll trade a half hour here, a half hour there with my Hubby for jobs that he doesn’t like or ask the teens to help out if I need a bit of time doing some editing or work.  Another little ploy that works well is to designate ‘coffee and tea breaks’ as my computer time….I drink a lot of tea!  I think that finding the time to shoot is often easier (if it’s home based).  I’m able to be with the kids at the same time and like to involve them as much as possible.  I’m also a night owl, so I’ll happily work into the night, when all others are sleeping around me.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

You’re obviously a naturally talented photography but everyone needs to be educated along the way.  What methods did you use to learn?

I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that the only learning I’ve done has been on the Clickin Moms forum.  There is such a wealth of information in there that there hasn’t been any need for me to look elsewhere…and actually I still haven’t got through it all.  I know there are tutorials that I still need to get to.  The CM workshops have been invaluable to my progression. I know that we don’t all have the funds to take lots of workshops but my first one was a Birthday gift and it was one of the best I’ve ever received.  But apart from that, it’s practice.  I pick up my camera every single day.  I feel empty if there is a day that goes by when I haven’t taken a shot, whether I like the results or not…part of the enjoyment is in the practice of the art.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

What is one piece of advice that you’ve received along the way that seems to stick in the back of your mind?

The best advice I’ve ever received came from Sarah Wilkerson.  She once told me to be true to myself and shoot what I love and what makes me happy, instead of trying to be something I wasn’t.   I realised very soon after that that I didn’t want to go into business, that I loved teaching and being involved in the learning process but that family photoshoots with strangers probably weren’t for me.

Your images are full of stories yet so simple at the same time.  How do you maintain that balance?

I think the balance comes with the intensity of emotion combined with a simple concept or edit.  My images are very much focused on my subject, with not a lot else going on in the frame or background.  This is how I prefer to shoot and edit, it’s something that  I naturally gravitate to without even thinking about it.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

I love your use of light in your photography.  Before you ever take a picture, what do you look for when finding good light?  What makes that light good to you?

I love light.  The more dramatic and diverse the better.  I’m not a fan of flat light and really don’t use it much.  For me, light is the most important part of my image and the fact that different light translates in so many ways, is just one of the things that I adore about it.  Any light is good light, but it’s what you do with it that makes the difference.

Do you feel like the light you choose emphasizes the story that you’re telling?

Oh absolutely.  I usually have an idea of what I want to shoot and waiting for the right time of day, position of light is something that I always consider.  The light that I choose has a huge impact on the story as a whole and depending on when and how I shoot, it can totally dictate the feel of the image.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

What does a photograph mean to you?

A photograph to me means that I have a piece of history frozen in time forever.  I know that I can look upon an image of my child, long after they have grown and flown the nest and remember that curl, the way they glance at me sideways, the way their dimples form when they cry, the way they stand on one foot slightly turned inwards.  I’ll never forget that first missing tooth, Christmas in Oz, The Queensland Floods in 2011, and how my kids interact together.  I will forever have the details right there in front of me whenever I want them and that makes me a bit less panicky about them growing up – just a bit.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

You do black and white photography beautifully.  How do you determine what makes a good black and white image?  Are there particular elements you look for either before taking the picture or in post?

There are elements that I look for in black and white photography, and since most of my images end up that way I’ve learned to see through my lens in black and white.  Its a combination of seeing the world and what is in front of you in light, shade, and shapes.  It’s a pretty simple concept and one that comes more easily with practice.  I explain a bit more about that in my breakout session.

Do you process all your black and white images the same or does it depend on the overall story?

All my images are processed depending on the mood and the light. Each one I treat as an individual and the final edit will not only depend on how and when I shot them, but also what mood I’m in at the time.  I’m a very emotional person and so this can vary a lot.

What is it about black and white photographs that draw you in?

It’s been a long standing love affair, as a child I must have watched every black and white movie made, I was pretty obsessed by them, and I guess I still am. I actually find it hard to put into words what exactly I love so much about it, probably because I could talk about this subject all day.    But to put it simply, it’s the breakdown of everything except the exact form in front of you.  By stripping away color it gives me the chance to really concentrate on my subject, leaving me with an intensity that I often don’t get with color.  There is a timelessness and a rawness that black and white that adore.  The simplicity of it appeals hugely and quite simply black and white images make me feel calm.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

Is there anything exciting happening for Emma Wood Photography in 2012?

I would love to teach a workshop at Clickin Moms, and I’m hoping that it’s something that will happen sometime this year.  I have a breakout session coming out very soon and a few personal projects and commissioned pieces lined up that I’m very excited about.  Moving across the world will also have a huge effect, and I can’t wait to explore the light and beautiful countryside that England has to offer.

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

Thank you so much for sharing your insight and talent with us Emma! 

Head on over to Emma’s blog to check out more of her gorgeous photography and check out her facebook while you’re at it.  Do you have a question for Emma?  Hop on over to the CMforums and visit her “Ask A Pro” thread and ask her anything you’d like!

may cmpro of the month | emma wood photo

43 Comments

  • Genesis says:

    Emma, I am a huge fan of your work. I think you are amazing in your manipulation of light and your processing. I am always, always captivated with your images. I am impressed that you have learned all you have from CM and look forward to your breakout session as well as any workshop you come up with.

  • celestejones says:

    Emma, you know how much I adore you and your work sweetie. Love the interview and thank you for being so open about your journey:)

  • Nina says:

    Congrats Emma!!! Thanks for sharing all this with us. Your work is stunning! :)

  • heidi says:

    A breakout! YAY!!! Love your work, thanks for sharing!!!

  • Lexie says:

    Emma!!! I see so many of my favorite images of yours in here!!! I loved reading more about how you approach your photography and can't wait for your Breakout and future workshop :)

  • karen says:

    I have always loved your work and I look forward to what you will be offering at CM! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  • Antigone says:

    Emma, I adore you :)

  • Lacey says:

    Congratulations on being chosen for this spotlight, Emma! You are so talented and I could look at your work endlessly!

  • Heidi G says:

    Seeing so much of your work in one place is such a treat! Not only is your work beautiful, but you are such a beautiful person who is always willing to help others. I can't wait for your breakout session!!!

  • Emma, your work is so so gorgeous. :) Congratulations on being in the spotlight and I cannot wait for your breakout session. That is so exciting. <3

  • Congratulations on being pro of the month, my friend. Your work is just exquisite, and so are you…in every way!

  • Elena says:

    Emma, I can totally see you as a model! So well impressed that you have only been at it for 17 months. A gift, that is what you have. Congrats!

  • jodi says:

    emma, i loved your interview so much i read it twice!!! i love your vision and the way you work with simple moments. i'm so excited about your upcoming breakout!!!

  • Krista Campbell says:

    I love you and your work Emma! You are so inspiring!

  • Megan says:

    Emma, I just adore your work, and cannot wait for your breakout session! Congratulations on your feature!

  • Maggie says:

    I can't wait for a breakout! I adore your work, it is breath taking!

  • Cassandra says:

    Ah Emma everything you do is gorgeous! I am as always in awe!!!

  • Joyce Kang says:

    Emma <3 You know I have been and always will be a fan! I can relate to everything you said in this interview, from how you started on the other side of the camera and how you learned from CM!! You are an inspiration!!

  • Woohooo Emma!!! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us with the Break Out session!

  • Oh Emma. You genuinely are one of the most giving people I have ever come across. Thank you for all you do on and for CM and for being such an incredible mentor to me. Your insight has been invaluable to me and I can't thank you enough for all you do. I am looking forward to your breakout too!

    Shan <3

  • megan moore says:

    Loved reading more about you, Emma. Thanks so much for sharing your words and amazing work with us!

  • Amii says:

    Oh Emma…so happy to learn so much about you and how you are as a photographer! And of course, I can't wait to take part in your Breakout Session!

  • Chiara says:

    Ahhh, I love looking at your work, it's stunning. I can not wait for your breakout session.

  • Kelly R says:

    Gah! Totally a huge Emma fan here. <3 Loved reading this and looking at all those photos that I adore.

  • Congratulations, Emma!! I could look at these images all day — just stunning. Everything you do has such a deep beauty. It's just magical!

  • Susan O'Neal says:

    – how wonderful, Emma !!! CM Pro of the Month !! — so deserved — I have loved & admired your gorgeous work since the very first image I ever saw — I know, too, you are a beautiful person inside ——– wishing you & your family all the best in your new home !!!

  • Elle says:

    Such natural talent <3 Congratulations for all that you've achieved so far, Emma – cannot wait to follow along and see where you go from here! x

  • Tanya says:

    Congrats, Emma! Breathtaking work!

  • kdokoza says:

    What a wonderful interview! Your work is just beautiful, and I can feel the emotion behind it. I will certainly be looking out for your break out session — that is one I don't want to miss! :)

  • Meredith says:

    Hi Emma, I was delighted to get to know you a bit during C&C recently and now a breakout session, I'll be first in line!

  • Leah Cook says:

    you inspire me more than you know, Emma Wood. not only is your work absolutely captivating but you are an incredible person and I'm so thankful to call you a friend (even if it's from very far away!!!) congratulations!

  • Emma, I think Sarah described it perfectly… "a deep beauty." I love your use of light and how you use shadows to bring focus to your subject. I tend to shy away from shadows but your making me want to branch out and experiment. Deep beauty… perfect. :)

  • sara says:

    beautiful work + great interview, emma! looking forward to your breakout :)

  • Amy Lucy says:

    Such breathtaking work, Emma! As I've told you before, there is an elegance and sophistication in your work that keeps me always wanting to see more of what you create. Congratulations on the feature! Very well deserved, my friend. <3

  • I am so happy to see you featured Emma! You deserve it. Your work is beautiful and so are you inside and out!

  • Kendra says:

    Oh Emma! You are constantly finding new ways to captivate me :) Your work is absolutely incredible and you are such a wonderful inspiration to me. xoxoxo

  • jennifer says:

    Emma, I love this! So excited for you to be the CMpro of the month for May!!! :)

  • Mara Vaughan says:

    Emma, your work is so powerful and inspiring! I love how your images make me stop in my tracks, taking the time to really look and reflect.

  • Crysti POtter says:

    oh thank you so much for featuring her,,Emma you are just wonderful and your photography speaks volumes

  • Tina Hursh says:

    Such beautiful and inspiring photography!!! I am a new fan!! Congratulations!!

  • Wendy Paske says:

    Emma, your photos take me places! I feel like I am transported to another era and place all together. Thank you for inspiring an aspiring photographer who has been in a rut for several months now. Your photos have giving me a sudden reminder of what I loved about photography in the 1st place. Talk about eye opening!! I have decided to stop taking new clients until I get a better grasp on what my style should be…. what I've always wanted it to be, whereas before I had caved to what I thought my clients wanted to see, and yet I was not getting that rush of pride when I looked thru my images. Thanks for being the jolt I needed!! I plan to join Clickin Moms Friday and cannot wait for your breakout and utilizing all of the learning tools that Clickin Moms has to offer:)

  • Stan Small says:

    You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

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