We have worked with photographer Christina Wilson from our very first shoot way back in 2006. We have always loved and admired her unique and graceful vision. She has now published a book of her beautiful and moody photographs in collaboration with her husband the writer and broadcaster Robert Elms. It is a wonderful, ethereal book of stolen moments and incidental musings. We caught up with Christina to ask her about the inspiration for the book.
What inspired you and Robert to make the book?
We have always wanted to do a book together, this one is more a visual narrative of moments in my life – some of them were on our trips together, some just from our everyday surroundings. I asked Robert to choose from some of the images and write a few words that inspired him. The words aren’t necessarily about the picture.
Why the name Stolen Glimpses?
The images I chose for the book were the ones that felt more incidental, a passing glance, a fleeting moment – a snapshot in time; a lot of my images are quite ethereal and romantic and stolen glimpses seem to sum up the mystery.
Do you have a favourite image?
As I have looked at these images over and over for the past year, they all start to look too familiar, but every now and again, I pick up the book and think, hmm, I really like that one…… I think my favourite image changes from day to day, but one of my favourites is Cornish Moon – there is something soothing and mystical about this image and its a place that I visit time and time again, but each time the view changes according to the light and the climate .
What is the story behind the book?
I always knew that I wanted to do a book, and that I would want full control design wise and to make it really beautiful – so by self publishing, you take a risk financially, but you get exactly the result that you hoped for. Its a collection of photos that interpret my love of life and places, together with some words by Robert; its not grungy or trendy or world changing, more a reflection of how I perceive the everyday.
Photos are my visual dialogue; I am not great at words and speaking, so they are my narrative and possibly when I take lots of moody dark photos, maybe that’s a reflection of my own feelings that day. Some days I take lots of colourful images, I definitely think mood plays a part in your eye view that day. Though grey moody light is what adds stillness, calmness and a different beauty to life and this is what I particularly like to capture, those quiet moments; especially as life is so hectic around us.
Your children feature frequently in your work – how did they respond to be photographed by you?
My children are pretty tired of me asking whether I can take a photo of them – a few times I can take photos without them noticing, but a lot of times I have to bribe them, or now that they are older, ask them to give me 6 shots !! Children never like to be photographed by their parents! Fortunately the children at Wild and Gorgeous seem to love it and I love photographing children of all ages; people say never work with children and animals, but I find them exciting, unpredictable and naturally beautiful and natural to work with.
How has having and working with children influenced your photography and world view?
Having and working with children has definitely made me more patient – I don’t mind waiting to capture that perfect smile or glance – their innocence and spontaneity challenge me, but each time its like starting again on a new project, its never repetitive. One of the most important visual things about my book is the juxtaposition of contrasting subjects on facing pages – the pages work as pairs, with images harmonising through mood, colour and form rather than through being the same shoot or same place. This is a big part of the visual story.
Robert talks about your innate sense of style and taste, how do you think that has influenced your work?
I have spent most of my working life in either fashion, art, interiors and style – so inevitably those things have influenced everything I do and own – from my home, my clothes and to my photography. Having been a stylist for 10 years previously, I naturally see things as through a camera, and even if I am taking a photo with my iPhone, I move the subject to make the shot aesthetically correct! It means though that I never just take a snapshot, as I am always trying to compose the perfect picture.
How did you dress your children when they were younger?
I love to dress the girls prettily – lots of crisp white dresses, a bit of vintage or maybe a simple jumper and kilt. sadly Wild and Gorgeous came too late for my girls to really enjoy all the pretty dresses and cardigans – but Maude luckily wore them for a few years before she became a teenager. With Alfie, I dressed him quite retro, in classic jeans and shirts and t shirts without logos. He is now like a mini Robert in quite classic clothes.
Visit Christina Wilson’s website.