I have benefited from the talents of other people so many times in my life. I recently had the opportunity to interview my cover artist for THUNDER, Kibbe Day. Her photographs, which can be found at www.jkdayphotography.com and on display at Device Brewing Company in Sacramento, California, are pretty breathtaking. A full time Deputy District Attorney, Kibbe was drawn to photography when she realized she could find true happiness and achieve ultimate relaxation in the outdoors. She states, "Nature is my happy place. I started to take pictures to capture the moments that struck my soul. I didn't understand the true art that was involved in photography until my wedding. For the first time, I saw and appreciated the camera's ability to capture a moment rather than just freeze time in a snapshot." She has been working professionally as a photographer since 2009.
So, get cozy-comfortable, pull up a seat, and join me for the Perspective of Kibbe Day.
Me: My mom is a photographer, and I take gadzillions of photos of my kids, but I know nothing about the true art behind photography. Do you always carry your camera around, just in case?
Kibbe: I take my camera if we are doing anything outdoorsy (is that a word?). If I am anywhere near water, mountains, or fall colors, I will have my camera attached to me. I do not carry a camera to work though I have seen multiple shots that I would love to capture. My commute to work is mostly farmland, protected waterways, and vineyards. The sunsets, sunrises, and fog make for stunning moments. The problem is that my perspective is always from the freeway and there is very little access to actually be able to compose the shot I see from my car. Needless to say, those moments haunt me regularly. I could do an entire series of photos from my commute if I actually had access to the areas I want to shoot. I have yet to find a way ... but I stress yet.
Me: Ha! But how do you decide on what shot to take?
Kibbe: That's both a complicated and easy process. I am drawn to the shot by simply looking at it. It lures me in. Composing the shot has become much more complicated now that I know what aspects of a shot will drive me crazy in post processing. I have learned over the years what things in a shot will bother me to the point that I could not enjoy the framed print. My composition techniques are constantly changing. I am always trying to take a photo at an angle that the eye doesn't normally see.
Me: You've got to have some stories, then. What's the funniest thing that's ever happened while you were trying to get THE shot?
Kibbe: I believe my wife is compiling a photo album of all my ridiculous poses trying to get THE shot. I have no idea when it will be used against me, but I fully expect it to happen. I am often flat on my stomach or flat on my back to get the shot. I can be balancing on two separate rocks with my tripod in the water to get THE shot. I expect the funniest thing to happen while trying to get THE shot will be the blackmail publication.
Me: Oh my gosh, I will sooo have to purchase that when it's, er, released .... What about inspiration? Where does yours come from?
Kibbe: I found my inspiration to be more outgoing and public with my photography from my dear friend Courtney Harrington LeBouf. She was diagnosed with cancer that was eventually terminal four years later. She and her husband set out on the most incredible four year journey that one could imagine.They threw all caution to the wind and traveled the world, appreciated the little things, said what was on their minds, and showed the most incredible love to those who were close to them. Courtney pushed me to share my photography with others. She pushed me to be vulnerable and brave. She pushed me to enter contests, showcase my work in cafes and other public places, and sell my work at art shows. She pushed me to GO BIG because she believed in me and was absolutely inspired by my photography. I will always think of her as I continue on my journey to inspire those around me.
Me: Wow. I love that, and what a great way to honor your friend. She definitely helped you find your photographer-self, it sounds like. What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Kibbe: The best advice I was ever given was to take chances and get out of my comfort zone. Take one step further than you think you can go. Never settle.
Me: Oh, that's perfect-- what great advice. I may have to borrow that. What advice would you have for aspiring photographers?
Kibbe: A) When you think you are getting the shot you are looking for, turn around. What's happening behind you may change everything. This is especially true with shooting sunrises and sunsets. The cloud color may be better where you least expect it. B) Avoid shots from the point of view that our eyes see everyday. Get up, get down, get unique. C) Remove as much distraction as possible from the photo. Less is more.
Me: That's fantastic. Writing is very much like that as well. The best advice is the stuff that can be applied to many aspects of life! We've got to wrap it up, but before I let you get back to your crazy-busy life, THUNDER was your first book cover. You did an amazing job. Is that something you'd be interested in doing more of? Making book covers using photography?
Kibbe: I would be more than happy to do more photography-based book covers. For people who are interested, they can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Me: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer all my questions. I really appreciate it!
And thank you guys for taking the time to learn a little more about viewing the world from a different perspective. Go ahead and look up Kibbe's work. You'll find it truly moving!