Interview with Heidi Lender, Photographer
Interview with Heidi Lender, Photographer
Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing Heidi Lender, a Connecticut born photographer who currently resides in Uruguay. Heidi was formally a fashion writer, editor, and photo stylist for various fashion magazines, while traveling to places such as New York, London, and Paris. She then changed directions and studied yoga in India and became a yoga teacher and owner of a yoga studio in San Francisco. However, in 2009, Heidi’s life changed forever when she purchased her first DSLR camera and began creating images like the ones from her project entitled, Once Upon. A selection of Heidi Lender’s work is displayed below. Please visit Heidi Lender’s website to view more of her wonderful work!
KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as a photographer and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?
HEIDI LENDER: I bought my first dslr camera in 2009, while I was teaching yoga in a studio I owned in San Francisco. Though I had taken photos regularly most of my life, this was the year it clicked. Who knows why these things happen. I joined Flickr, gave myself an intense photo education and I was hooked within no time, almost obsessed. Suddenly, all the roads I had taken up to this point in my life made sense, and met in the making of images.
KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?
HEIDI LENDER: No, I majored in apparel and textile management in college, and went on to work in the publishing industry straight away – as an editor, features writer, and stylist. No art background whatsoever.
KATHERINE CARVER: How do you describe your style?
HEIDI LENDER: Stylized, personal, and balanced.
KATHERINE CARVER: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating photographs was absolutely something that you had to do?
HEIDI LENDER: Within the Flickr community, I joined groups to help me learn. One was called “Bench Monday,” which had a weekly assignment. After half a year of submitting to this group, I was committed to my camera. Making images daily became almost as important to me as my yoga practice.
KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin creating self-portraits, which include your dog, Bubba, in your work entitled, “Once Upon”?
HEIDI LENDER: See above: The “Bench Monday” group!
KATHERINE CARVER: Where do you show/exhibit your work?
HEIDI LENDER: I’m represented by three galleries in the U.S.: Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Guthrie Contemporary in New Orleans, and Wallspace Gallery in Santa Barbara. From time to time, I’m also part of group shows.
KATHERINE CARVER: What does “being creative” mean to you?
HEIDI LENDER: Expressing myself in ways other than thinking and talking, which might be anything from how I choose my clothes, the way I decorate my house, make my bed, write a letter to writing essays, making images, drawing, and collaging, etc…
KATHERINE CARVER: What is the most challenging aspect of being a photographer?
HEIDI LENDER: Timing. I wish I were more patient. I think I’d make better work.
KATHERINE CARVER: What inspires you to keep going and what keeps you motivated?
HEIDI LENDER: As you mentioned above, once you realize that you HAVE to take pictures, it’s not hard to keep going. Because you HAVE to. Because it feeds you. And if you don’t do it, you feel empty. Hungy. Of course, I have bad or down days, or long dry periods of not making any substantial work, but my iphone is just about attached to my hand, so I am always practicing and recording and honing my eye.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are the most rewarding and satisfying part about being an artist and creating art?
HEIDI LENDER: Freedom. Freedom of expression. And being inspired and hopefully inspiring back, effecting, touching, and motivating someone somewhere.
KATHERINE CARVER: What kind of patterns, rituals, and routines do you have while making your art?
HEIDI LENDER: I make it a point to post to instagram every morning. And I look at a lot of images all the time, on the internet and in books. I’m a mad photo book junkie.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?
HEIDI LENDER: A new idea is incubating, something that is evolving from my iphone work. It is too early to discuss.
KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?
HEIDI LENDER: Irving Penn is my hero, and I’m all giggly girl for Wes Anderson. I love vintage fashion photos – they probably inform a lot of how I interpret what I see…color, composition, and style.
KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
HEIDI LENDER: Keep practicing. And showing up. Your work will evolve and grow even if you can’t see it happening. I promise!!
KATHERINE CARVER: How can people view and purchase your art works?
HEIDI LENDER: My projects are on my site: heidilender.com. The about page lists the galleries that sell my work. And my instagram photos (@heidilender) are all for sale through me.
Please note that all of the images contained in this blog post are courtesy of Heidi Lender.
You can read additional interviews here.