a blog from seedling
Photographer Callie Lipkin brings a unique quality to her images, expertly capturing the palpable emotions and personal connections between her subjects and their surroundings. As an artist and mother, she manages to capture life—real life—with authenticity and vibrancy. Using her own family as a source of inspiration, Callie launched a series documenting the reality of "Dad Time" featuring the chaos, the mess, and the sheer joy of fatherhood. We caught up with Callie to find out how her work has progressed, and why photography is an essential part of documenting our everyday lives.
How long have you been a photographer? Do you remember the first time you took a photo?
I have been photographing seriously since 1994. I went on a study abroad trip to China that summer, where I fell in love with the medium as a way to document everything I was experiencing. This was before the Internet really exploded, so I had very little exposure to what life was like in Asia and felt like it would be useful to me and others to create pictures of the people and scenarios I was encountering.
Why is photography important?
I think everyone has a different answer for this, for so many reasons. For me, the act of photographing is creatively invigorating. It also brings me into contact with all kinds of ‘strangers’ which I really enjoy — I like connecting with new people. For the viewer, photography is a powerful communication tool. Unlike a written piece, the message is instantaneous.
You have set yourself apart from your contemporaries by documenting the dad experience. What drove you to seek out dads and children as your subjects?
My own husband was the initial creative collaborator and inspiration for the project. He stays home full time with our two young sons, 3 and 5, and lives Dad Time with them every day. Some of the images are inspired by my life as the sole-working parent — the kids are always coming into my home office while I’m working and I’m often multitasking when with them. It’s mostly inspired from our personal lives and our day-to-day experiences.
What do you love most about photography?
The entire process of making pictures. Meeting people and being either let into their lives, or being allowed to direct them within a scenario.
How has the subject of your work changed you over the course of your career?
All photographers shoot what is important to them. Over the years, I have explored various topics—from travel to women’s issues, journalism to social documentary work. Right now as a parent of my two young boys, parenting is top of mind for me.