Exclusive interview with Image Source photographer Megan Maloy on the emotions surrounding her PDN award-winning photo
Comedian WC Fields famously advised “never work with animals or children,” there’s a fear of chaos, of the unknown, just of losing control. Which is why it’s no surprise that an image from Megan Maloy’s Youth series was a winner in this year’s PDN annual – she’s got a gift for visualising an age group where emotions are on the surface. As humans we’re rarely like this again (alchohol helps revive this, often not for the best!). In these images there’s nothing bubbling under, no hidden anxiety, no repressed feelings, just the raw expression of feeling.
It’s a really focused series of images where she reduces any visual noise (grey background, white baby grows) and lighting which allows pure feeling to sit right on the surfaces of this toddlers faces. Faces crunch, stretch, pucker, crease, wrinkle, and drop. A study in surface emotion.
What were the concepts behind the shoot?
The concept behind the shoot was to have fun and photograph the individual personalities of babies and toddlers. Kids wear their emotions on their sleeves, and I wanted to capture those emotions in a photo series. I have a 2 year old daughter, and most of these babies are her friends. Becoming a mom has put me in a new world surrounded by little ones and I find them fascinating to watch because they are so expressive. I was hoping to catch some of my fascination in these photos and I’m so happy I was successful.
What is it about the winning image that you are most excited by?
This little boy named Corte’ (see top image) was so energetic and enthusiastic! He was a great little model. His emotions, like all toddlers, were “big”. When he cried, he cried hard; when he laughed his smile was huge. In this shot he was dancing, and his moves were adorable. He was definitely getting into the music and really showing off. He was hilarious. I love this shot because of the energy. You can see that he was expressing himself with every part of his little body.
Stephanie Cabrera was Art Director on the shoot, what is the most useful aspect about Stephanie’s involvement?
Stephanie Cabrera is wonderful. She and I have actually been working together for about 10 years. We started together way back in the days of Photonica. As soon as I met her we just clicked. She is a great inspiration, and really knows how to conceptualize according to my aesthetic. The original idea for this shoot was hers and of course I was on board. Stephanie is great on every shoot because she easily handles both art direction and production. But most importantly she motivates me, and we have fun working together!
Do you enter many awards competitions and what advice would you give to competitors about selecting images to enter?
When entering award competitions I think it’s important to show the judges something they haven’t seen before. Depending on the competition, I would assume that the judges look through hundreds, if not thousands of images. They probably only have a few seconds to spend looking at each image, so I think it’s important to show something that immediately grabs their attention. Something with instant impact.
You can find out more about Megan via her website.
Click here to view Megan’s work for Image Source.