As I meet new people and widen my circle, I’ve come to realize how much we are all connected. #Sixdegrees is real! I know I sound like some new age guru, but it seems that every time I talk to someone new, they know someone I know or are somehow connected to someone that I’ve interviewed.
Case in point: After I interviewed Hair By Glenna for my last blog post, I attended a natural hair event that she hosted. During the intermission, I scanned the room and I noticed Ardean Peters– photographer and blogger, sitting right behind me. It was kinda funny because although we’ve never met (we’ve only communicated online), I was set to interview her in a couple of days.
I immediately I walked up to her and introduced myself. We giggled at the odds of us bumping into each other at Glenna’s hair event. #smallworld.
A couple days later we met again at a café in Roncesvalles. I chose the area for the interview as I envisioned the artsy, hipster locale would spark interesting convos…..which it did. We talked about her interest in photography, but spent a long time talking about our families, travelling and men.
WHY I HAD TO MEET ARDEAN
I wanted to connect with Ardean because I have become a fan of her “light photography.” She shoots portraits and wedding photography too, but I noticed that all over her social media, she kept referencing light as if it was some whimsical being. I was intrigued.
Throughout our chat sessions at two different cafes (psssst…we had to leave one as it was closing, so we made our way to Timothy’s), I was drawn to Ardean’s artistic nature, love of light, and her need to capture it in photos. She even walks over an hour to work every day just so she can obtain those golden moments.
Wanna know more about this artsy photographer? Keep reading.
Hometown: Jane and Finch, ON
Astrological Sign: Pisces
Instagram or Pinterest? Instagram. It is the platform I use to share my light photography
Years in photography: 4 year
Fun Fact: Uses her cell phone (and sometimes her camera) to snap her light photography pics
Did you always want to pursue photography as a career?
I have never thought of doing photography even though I liked it in high school. I remember I would go to Yorkwoods public library and go to the photography section and look at all the books. But it never crossed my mind that I could be a photographer.
I’ve always been searching for my passion. I’ve done Admin roles…I eventually got into fitness and I liked it, but it’s not my “passion.” Finally in 2008, my mom and sister bought me my first DSLR camera for my birthday. From there on I learned how to use it.
How did you learn?
I’m self-taught. Photography is a huge community of self-learning. A lot of information is out there if you want to learn.
In December 2009 I found out that there is an online community [Model Mayhem] where you can find models that would model for you. I was like, “Yay! People will let me take pictures of them?” I was just getting tired of taking pictures of flowers in my backyard.
During this time I learned to shoot studio style with 2 lights, a soft box and an umbrella. I really didn’t love studio lighting as much as natural lighting.
SPEAKING OF LIGHT…
What is light photography?
Since I was using my cell phone to take some photos, I fell into really shooting light. It simplified the whole matter of photography. With your cell phone, there is only point and shoot. It actually started to train my eyes to see light differently. So when I shoot, it’s because something says, “Stop, and take a picture.” Afterwards, I was like, “Oh, because the light was really good there.”
What does “light” mean to you?
Light informs everything and changes things. It’s always the light that captures me. At first glance you might think that I am into “street photography”, but I’m not trying to capture the person in the street, it’s always the light that attracts me.
How do you come up with concepts for your images?
I have no concept for my images [giggles!]. That’s the thing with photography; there are so many styles out there. I would consider myself a portrait photographer first. For me, I like people to look like themselves.
To me, when you have a concept, you’re starting from a different place and the light doesn’t matter until you get there. I’m the opposite. I can’t shoot until I see the light.
DIVERSITY IN MEDIA
You classify yourself as an Image Activist. What is an Image Activist?
I read that Michaela Angela Davis calls herself an Image Activist and I like the sound of it. It means something to me. She’s trying to get positive images out there.
I also want to see more images of people of colour in the media. When you don’t see yourself reflected, it does affect what you see yourself aspiring to and what others think of you too. One of my photographer friends said to me, “I love how your work is so diverse. There’s not just one race represented.”
What are some of your passions outside of photography?
I don’t have any passions outside of photography! [Laughs]
Mid-way through the interview, Ardean asked me if I would agree to a photo shoot with her. My heart raced because I am slightly scared of cameras (strangely enough, I take a million #selfies!), and I don’t think I’m very photogenic. Although I was terrified, I said yes and told her that I would be honoured.
The day of the photo shoot was more fun than I imagined. I was posing, laughing, dancing – just enjoying the moment.
I really want to thank Ardean for being patient and for making me feel comfortable. She took some really cool pics. I had to include the pic on the right. She captured the excitement of the day! Thanks for meeting with me, Ardean!
If you’d like to contact Ardean, hit her up at the links below.