In today's world it seems that everyone we meet leads a busy life. Renata Gelfi, photographer, mother and artist, is no exception.
Having lived in many places around the world, including Madrid, London and now Chicago, her experiences from each of these locations is clearly seen throughout her work. She has surrounded herself with a loving and supportive network of friends and family, and her children are even taking after her creative heart, capturing life's little joys through photos of their own.
If you're looking for inspiration on how to balance family life, creative hobbies and your #mostwanteddreams, read through the interview below. Renata's story will make you want to book your next flight to Europe, camera in hand.
You've lived in some amazing places over the years, including Naples, Madrid and London. How does your experience from living in these places influence your work still today?
"To have the opportunity to live in amazing cities it was an incredible experience for me and I always tried to soak it all up because I never knew how long I had in each one of these places. Living in Europe it’s like living in a fairy tale. To be able to travel and meet new places on the weekend is so enriching and inspiring, especially for a Photographer! You can clearly see that my work was truly influenced by European style. The Spanish way I dress my kids, how my house is decorated, the places I end up photographing my kids. My eyes always look for things that have a story to tell."
Can you tell us about the transition from moving from Miami to Chicago? And how you found a way to fulfill your creativity needs once again, through your photography?
"When I was living in Miami I used to style and organize events. I was really happy that I was able to find a work that wouldn't keep me away from being with my kids and I was still able to do something that I loved. When my husband told me that he had a irrecusable job offer and that we had to move to Chicago I felt so sad! My life was so balanced and I was so happy! I didn't want to leave my work behind, but sometimes there is nothing you can do and just had to accept it!
Anyway, on June 2015 while travelling back to Miami I was feeling lost and I needed a new goal when I went to shop at Anthropologie and I saw this flyer saying “ share your #summerinasnap on instagram for a chance to win $200 in merchandise” On that day I committed myself to take one picture per day during that Summer and to post on Instagram. When the Summer was over I was so used to it that I couldn't stop it. Those pictures were doing so good to me! I was seeing life in a different dimension. I was paying more attention to small things and to my kids. Something magical happened inside of me and this passion started to grow more and more each day. Since then I can't stop feeding it and documenting our lives. New opportunities started to show on my way and now I can say that one more time I was able to find a work that I love and that doesn't keep me away from watching my girls grow. Actually really help me to pay even more attention to them!"
Your children are often featured in your photos on Instagram as well as your blog, would you say they have the same passion for photography as you do? Their styled photo with the book and lamp was great!
"My kids are always very supportive with my photos! If I come home with an idea for a photo, they love to help me develop it. That was what happened in the lamp photo and was the sweetest thing I ever seen. Watching them working together and sharing their ideas, choosing clothes and details for the photo, it was so fulfilling to watch.
I can see that Carolina, my oldest, is very artistically gifted. This past summer when we went to Michigan I gave her my old iPhone and she documented bits of our trip. I felt really amazed by her pictures! She took a few gems! I can see she has a great eye! The other two are still very young, but I can’t wait to see what is reserved for them."
With a background in fashion design and fashion photography and having worked with magazines in Brazil, you are well versed in the fashion industry. How has the work you've done within the fashion industry, influence your own personal style?
"It has certainly influenced a lot about my personal style besides learning how this market trends and all the work behind each picture that you see in those magazines. I think that the most important thing that I have learned is that everything that appears in a picture tells a story and that you need to be very consistent. Your “model” attitude it’s really important! The pose, the expression, all has to be relevant. Everything counts when you are creating the perfect image even if it is a candid shot, so don't forget to pay attention to every single detail. The movement, the lines, the things, the light , all tells you a story."
What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to lead a more creative life, like yourself, that is in line with their goals and values?
"Nothing is easy but you have to commit! Put yourself a goal and go for it! Don't give up and be resilient because somehow you will be rewarded! Don't be shy! Nobody will ever know what you are capable of if you don’t expose yourself! Not even you will know what you can do if you don’t practice! Always study! Photography it’s not something that you just know, have a talent or have learned. It’s a journey of finding yourself and experimenting new ways. I think that I will never be 100% content with my work. There will be always something that I am missing to learn, that I can do better and that I dream to do. Photography is a way of living that I embraced even when I don’t have my camera with me. I see pictures all the time!"
What's next for you? Any projects or collaborations you're looking forward to?
"I have two projects that I am really exited about! The first is a catalog that I will style and shot for a fashion kids brand that I love called Printebebe ! The other project is making me a bit anxious and excited at the same time. I was invited to teach on a class for Modern Thrive about Instagram branding. I never thought about leading a class before since English it’s not my first language, but I can’t deny that I am loving the challenge!"
What does the #MostWantedDreams mentality mean to you?
"#mostwanteddreams It means that it’s something you can’t deny. That it’s bonded in you and that you have to make it come true! We are living this life, right now! Nobody can't guarantee that we will be gifted with other lives, so I believe that we have to do the best we can on this one! Follow your guts! Follow your dreams! They will only come true if you go after them! Even the most wanted ones!"
All photos provided by Renata Gelfi. Check her out on Instagram for daily photography inspiration.
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