Currently based in Malaysia, Photographer Caroline Cuinet Wellings took the Petzval 58 Art Lens to one of her family's last trips before relocating to a different country. She shares with us intimate photos of her family and expresses her feelings for Southeast Asia through her work.
Please introduce yourself to the Lomography community and the readers of the Online Magazine.
My name is Caro. I am a french born family and newborn lifestyle photographer currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but will relocate to the French Riviera -South of France- from July 2018.
What is the origin story of your photography career?
It all started when I got scared of regret! I used to be a teacher and a coach. I worked in schools in different countries until life brought my family and me to Malaysia. I had been learning photography, so I continued that and also set up my business here. I was going to give it two years to see if I could make this work. I just needed to give it a real shot, take a risk. I am self taught and continue to learn because that's what is so amazing with photography. You will never know enough, and you can keep evolving.
How would you describe your style as a photographer?
I want to capture natural emotions and moments. I think my images give a very natural and warm feel. I look for light and I look for shadows, the connections between them and the people I photograph. Sometimes, in my client work, I need to guide a little more with some families than I'd do with others. I love that. Every family is unique and I strive to learn as much as I can about each one before I get to meet them. So my style can vary from fully documentary for an hour or so, to a bit more guided, with the unique goal of achieving natural connections and moments, with gorgeous light! I usually work in people's homes because m interest lies in capturing the everyday. I am interested in life, as it is.
What/Who do you consider as the greatest influence in your craft?
Way before I even knew anything about photography, I kept on reading over and over and over again the work of Robert Doisneau. It is interesting to know that a some of his shots were set up and orchestrated to perfection, but it's not like you could tell. I love that about his work. It was genius!
Light and shadow is my constant inspiration. I love their relationships, the shape they make it each other take, how it impacts on a moment. I am constantly seeking that relationship, how light and shadow behave and i always wonder how to use it, for what purpose.
How do you develop your skills?
I shoot daily. I do self-portraits, I photograph my children, our surroundings, things, our life. I constantly try to learn something new by following workshops, or I give myself challenges with personal projects.
Do you have any theme / concept for this shoot?
I took on the experience of shooting with the Petzval 58 art lens the same way that I approach photography in general: fun, challenge, working with light, and daily. The opportunity came that we were travelling to Luang Prabang as a family. It is important for me to record the smallest events in my home, as much as exploring a new place. So I did just that. I shot daily, I looked for the light and moments unfolding gave me opportunities to record a trip in an artistic way.
Tell us a little more about your Petzval 58 Art Lens experience. Any challenges or interesting stories?
Getting to know the lens was fun. Achieving the focus was an interesting process and seeing results was really cool! Little by little I understood that distances mattered as much as which "key" to use and by the end of the week I was able to choose which one was best to use in different circumstances (light, distance and goal). The most fun was to try an in-camera double exposure with the lens! Challenging but I love the result of my eldest daughter portrait in Kuang Si Falls!
Do you have ongoing or upcoming projects that you would like to tell the community about?
Well, as we are leaving Malaysia, I have started a weekly image of #welivedinMalaysia. I realise that I have photographed a lot our travels and our indoor life but I have not photographed our favourite hiking places or places I have worked or gone for a coffee, or shopped my groceries etc... So I am aiming to post 1 image per week on that topic. Some locations and people mean a lot and I want to intentionally record that. It might be a self-portrait or portraits of my children or us a family or friends, and it will be on Instagram. The aim is to have a collection of 26 images to make a mini-album to sum up our life in Malaysia, to tell of the different things we have done here, things that we have loved. Every April, I also start a light project for 100 days, called #100daysoflumiere I also write a blog about it all to kind of reflet on the project.
Caro used her Nikon D750 with the Petzval 58 Art Lens to take the wonderful photos in this article.