Life Is a Photo Op | Molly Flanagan

Molly Flanagan|

Where do you currently live?
Anderson, South Carolina.

How long have you been shooting?
I have enjoyed taking pictures since I was given a Nikon film camera as a high school graduation present, but it wasn’t until 5 years ago when my my first child was born that my camera became something I couldn’t live without.

Are you self-taught or schooled in photography?
Self taught.

Do you photograph for a living or is this a hobby?
A little bit of both, I take on a limited number of storytelling family sessions and weddings a year.

What is in your camera bag?
Canon 5d Mark II
I love wide angle lenses!

Do you shoot digital or film or both?
Digital.  One of my goals this year is to experiment with film.

How did this project come about?
This past summer when my baby was born, I was obviously house bound for a few weeks. I became a bit obsessed with the way the light poured through our windows every morning and evening, so I started a little project revolving around this light. I love that the light is the subject, and my home and children are the context onto which it shines.

What is it about this project that speaks personally about you?
When I first started shooting in manual, I only worried about having a room bright enough to get a decent exposure, but I am now much more aware of how light falls. These days the subtle beauty of the sun’s rays has become something I think about almost non-stop. I am constantly looking at contrast and shadows and the interesting patterns light makes. Now that I see it, I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t notice it. Incredible light is everywhere! Just like overlooking the complex beauty of light, I think God’s grace in our lives is something we take for granted because we are too busy living life to stop and really see it. In these images, when I see the rays of the sunshine enveloping my loved ones, it reminds me of God’s constant presence and love for me. Even though I may not see him, he is there. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

What would you want this project to say to the viewer?
You don’t have to venture out to a majestic mountain top to find beauty. It is right in front of you. You just need to take the time to look for it.

Are you currently shooting or planning to shoot another personal project?
Well, I just got an iPhone so I am little obsessed with instagram.  I don’t have any concrete goals at the moment, but I am having lots of fun challenging myself to make beautiful pictures with a cell phone!

How do you keep challenging yourself photographically?
To me the key is embracing those times when I feel discouraged.  It just means that I have learned everything I can.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa March 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

These are beautiful. Just goes to show, once again, that the simplest ideas are often the most elegant! Lovely execution on this project!

Stacy March 22, 2012 at 10:25 am

Great interview!! When I first started I thought everything had to be super bright. Now I am embracing shadows and loving darker images. I really love this series!!!

Marl March 23, 2012 at 1:55 am

I’ve been a longtime lover of Molly Flanigan’s images. Casual beauty in each and every one of her images. What family images should be!

Suzanne Gipson March 25, 2012 at 12:57 am

Beauty is right in front of us-sure is! awesome interview Molly!

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