I had came across Meg Bitton’s fine art photography a couple of years ago and for different reasons I was moved by her images (http://www.megbitton.com) . Along with Barb Uil, from Jinky Art (http://www.jinkyart.com.au), she immediately jumped on my list of top photographers who I would like to book a workshop one day.
I had attended Jinky Art workshop last year and had posted here my testimonial
Barb’s work is very much about the imaginary world of childhood and for obvious reasons we share similar approaches and languages when it comes to work with children.
I left the opportunity to experience the world of Meg Bitton after Jinky Art on purpose. Meg’s images are covered in layers of a poem, which embraces light and impeccable composition but most of all, depicts the child with lots of veil and mystery. The message in many of her images did not come across clearly to me. I was moved by her images precisely because each of her images can convey so many different emotions at the same time. I was not ready for Meg till this year. I knew I had to mature artistically a bit more before going to see her.
I had booked Meg Bitton Souls. Imagined Workshop for February but the unkind weather forced her to reschedule for this past weekend, giving me more time to refine my perspective and getting ready for the retreat.
I was deeply interested in getting to know the artist behind the images who can evoke so many different emotions with just one image. Like the other artists I had been blessed to come across on my journey, to get to know them a bit more personally helps me to understand more profoundly their art and their approach in child photography.
Meg welcomed me and another 5 talented photographers in her home. Her home is a piece of her as a person, an artist, a mother and a wife. Huge canvases were hanged on the walls portraying the vision of her beautiful family who obviously provoked her to be the artist who she is. By a warm fireplace, we were friendly invited to introduce ourselves and were gifted by a personal welcome package designed to make us feel part of Meg’s journey into the soul. I was the last to introduce myself before Meg’s. I had spoken very openly why I was there and why I had chosen this experience.
I was really eager to listen to Meg. For me it is part of my learning to carefully choose the artist who I will learn with, most importantly understand the person behinds each image. This allows a good context and base for my understanding of their art. I learned with other artists before and by contextualizing their vision as a person I can grow on my art and my understanding in child photography.
Meg Bitton was very open about her journey into photography, her experience as a child, a mum and as an artist. She was personal with no veils and no mystery. I had started to understand then who IS Meg Bitton. Her introduction built my excitement for the next day, as she was cleverly invited us to start the journey into our OWN souls by sharing so much of her own. The journey would involve no idolatry and no wanna Be’s, this was a journey into the SELF.
Next day we would dive with Meg. The dive happened between 3 very different sessions. We were able to shoot along her. She guided us, supported us and helped us to build our confidence, no fear. She was there all the time but we quickly realized how she was slowly building the confidence on creating images that were ours… not hers.
The journey of self-discovery continued afterwards by polishing the images and editing to perfect the vision and approach.
We could see from start to finish Meg’s writing her poem of light and composition, composing her vision and executing her photography. What a treat! We saw her embracing the challenges of different shoots and composing her masterpieces. At the same time we were able to relate to what we were producing and build our confidence. We were encouraged to orchestrate different angles, to expose to the challenges and to exercise our vision. That gave us confidence. We never felt intimated by the beautiful “songs” Meg was composing; on the contrary, we felt part of it!
The last day, David, her husband did a brilliant presentation about colour space, back up and LR4 and PS6. We closed the day with a personal evaluation about our journey into Meg Bitton’s world and how the experience had enriched us inside out.
At the end I could really see Meg’s vision, I could see through her layers. She had opened the curtains and let us in. We saw the child in the world of Meg Bitton’s. What I found really special was that the whole process of exposing herself as a person and an artist, invited us to look inside ourselves. She gave us confidence by being personal, by being real, by sharing her fears and passion. She shed the light on our own journey. She was there to give us a hand however she gave us the tools to embrace our own journey.
At the end she asked me who I would see next, I said- NOBODY. There is nobody in child photography that I still want to share and learn. She was the last one. I will visit Barb Uil again next year and now I can say, I will visit Meg Bitton again sometime in near future because I had found that behind the enchanted images of Meg Bitton, there is a person who is very unique, humble, special and kind. An artist who is a master in child photography by depicting the child who lives inside her as much as the child who happens to be sitting in front of her lens. I found a friend who I can share my journey with. I feel really blessed that our paths had crossed, MegBitton (http://www.megbitton.com). Thank you for enlightening my journey into child photography by encouraging continuing to be my own.