Friday, August 7, 2015

Feature Friday with Melina Nastazia Photography!

Melina McConnaughy of Melina Nastazia Photography was the winner of last week's 'in-between moments' theme challenge.  Melina has been feature on Snap Maven before (here & here), so instead of our regular interview, we've asked Melina to share some photos that are important to her <3

Drawing Inspiration from The Arts

I have always been a person deeply rooted in the Arts. I was a voracious childhood reader, a passionate performer, and a hopeless daydreamer. My pursuit of acting took me on a journey from Thessaloniki, Greece to Boston, MA…and then on to the Actor’s Studio in New York City, a place I currently call home.

I never thought to combine my passion for The Arts with my new found love for photography, until I took Caroline Jensen’s creative class:The Art of Observation. In her class we were asked to carefully study paintings, to listen to classical music, and use them as a jump off point of inspiration for photography.

I was immediately flooded with ideas, my creative spirit buzzing, happily taking note of colors, lighting patterns, textures, crescendos and childhood literary heroes. It was the beginning of an ongoing personal project that I always come back to, especially when I find myself in the midst of a creative rut.

These are some of my favorite images inspired by The Arts:

1) Sensory Bliss

This image was taken during Art of Observation, and was inspired by Gerrit Dou’s painting:

 There is a fine line between inspiration and imitation, and I wanted to be sure that the image I produced was truly my own, and not a copy of the painting. I decided to focus on one or two elements that really captivated me about the painting as a jump off point for my own image. In this case, I loved the sensory possibilities of flour and the gorgeous window light.

2) When Life Gives you Lemons

This image was inspired by Morgan Weisling’s painting:

Once again I focused on two elements: the lemons and the light. My girls had a blast with this particular image. They took turns dipping the lemons in sugar and savoring the bittersweet, crunchy fruit! It was our own, very messy, version of lemonade!

3) Counting Chestnuts

This image was once again inspired by one of Morgan Weisling’s paintings:

I was extremely drawn to the composition/symmetry and light. My daughters had spent the afternoon picking chestnuts, and we decided to incorporate them in our shoot. Their prickly texture is one of my favorite details in the final image.

4) Strawberry Fields Forever

This image was inspired by the film Across the Universe.

I was fascinated by the sensory visual of squeezed, dripping strawberries, to represent the violence of war. There was something so visually powerful and emotional about this vital, vibrant fruit getting squelched, that stayed with me for days. In my own image, I wanted to capture that part of childhood that is messy, raw and uncensored. 

5) The Giving Tree


This final image was inspired by the homonymous, famous storybook. 

As soon as I saw this gorgeous tree, standing tall and proud by my tiny daughter, I was flooded with childhood memories of the wonderful bond between a child and a tree; and the majesty, comfort, and incredible generosity of mother nature.

Thank you Melina, for sharing your art and thoughts with us!
Find more of Melina's gorgeous work here:

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