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BOWDOIN STREET, PORTLAND - WINKY LEWIS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Stories

photography by winky lewis @winkylewis

Winky's photography has a playfulness and energy to it, she loves capturing moments. This is evident in her collaboration with her neighbour and friend Susan Conley, a writer. Winky would send Susan a photo each week, and by the end of the week Susan sent a little a story back - a moment in time that talked to the photograph. They barely talked about what they were creating until they reached one year. A publisher was found and the beautiful book , "STOP HERE This is the Place - a Year in Motherland" came to life. The two of them are currently working on another project together which they hope to share early this year.

Winky, I love your name, were you born with it?

My given name is Laura. But my mother had the same name, as did her mother, etc. It goes back many generations. My daughter’s given is Laura too, I couldn’t break the tradition. But most of us have had nicknames. The story goes that my older brother saw me wink when I was a baby, and called me “Winky.” Obviously, it stuck!

Many of your images include your daughter, source of inspiration?

My daughter is in so many of my pictures, still. I’ve always photographed my kids and she is the last hold out. The boys are too old, though they’ll occasionally humor me by sitting for me, etc. They are good sports, as are their friends. Actually all my kids’ friends are so generous. I recently needed to pull in all my daughter’s friends for a shoot. But there is something about the youngest, maybe something about the mother/daughter thing too. I love making pictures with her. Hopefully i’ve got many years left of taking pictures of her, but who knows, it could come to a screeching halt any day.

When did you take your first photograph and how has your photography evolved.

I took my first photos, as a young kid, when my grandmother gave me a camera. I have always loved taking pictures. When I was a child my mother got very sick, I think I may have turned to photography to look away from the scary parts of that narrative and focus on the more positive aspects of our world, like my cute little brother, our dogs, etc. So in a way, not much has changed (subject matter wise)! I did study (fine art) photography in college with the incredible photographer, Emmet Gowin, who was and remains a huge influence on my work. My work has evolved over the years, but I also think there are some pretty strong consistencies, maybe it is the 8 year old perspective, I’m not sure. I feel my strength as a photographer has something to do with capturing a moment and a feeling maybe. I do like to catch things, moments, and hold onto them.

xx

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