08 8 / 2012
Our ‘Motherhood Through Instagram’ series continues today with Leah Zawadzski @leahzawadzki, whose snapshots of her twins in their sunny Southern California settings feel reminiscent of 1960’s California, like something from the set of Gidget. Leah’s eye for design and love of mid-century style come through in all her photos and inspire us to look for good design in our own everyday.
Poopsie Collective: Tell us a little about yourself and your background. Where are you from? Where’d you grow up? Where do you live now? What do you do for a living?
Leah Zawadzki: California born and raised, I grew up in the small town of Mariposa in the California foothills. Bits of my heart still reside there and in San Luis Obipso, CA where I lived during college and some after. I went to school for interior design at Cal Poly and worked in the architecture industry over 10 years. My husband and I moved to Orange, CA in the late 90’s, made it our home and began raising our family about two years later. When my kids where little I picked up the camera and decided I didn’t want to just take snapshots—something inside pushed me to learn and grow and capture more—their hearts and their spirit. I am so grateful for my background in design, as I know it has made me a stronger photographer. As I still enjoy mid century modern design and my 1960’s home—I have never regretted giving up my career in design to raise my family and pursue photography.
PC: Describe your perfect day?
LZ: Honestly, this is a super hard question to answer! My days have been so crazy lately that all I know—anything opposite of that would be perfect. It would be a quiet day, my kids would get along and be happy. It would most likely involve some sort of outside activity like a day at the beach or an afternoon hike or bike ride. It would be a day that would have lots of space and music and moments of connection between myself and my family.
PC: When did you begin taking photos? What does photography mean to you? Tell us how Instagram has affected your photography?
LZ: I have loved photography since high school, but it was shooting my kids that sparked my interest—when they were young is when I really started growing in my photography. In the beginning, I couldn’t put the DSLR down—shooting everyday. But as time passed, I shot less and less of my own kids. Carrying the big lug of a camera around in my everyday life became less appealing. Photography to me, as it does to many, means capturing the moments—creating images that will help us remember this time for years to come. What I love about instagram is that I can get a little treasure of a memory anywhere, so fast—with no work later. It has certainly made photographing our daily life easy and fun!
PC: What inspires you, either for your work or in your day-to-day?
LZ: Usually it’s the little things. Simple, sweet moments that capture my attention and make me realize how quirky my kids are, how beautiful this life is. As I watch my kids grow up, I realize how fast it all goes, sometimes it’s that fleeting feeling that pushes me to capture the day to day.
PC: What messages and stories do you hope to convey to your children through your photographs of them? And your life through the lens of your iPhone?
LZ: Sometimes life gets so hectic and crazy. My kids don’t always get along. We don’t have those perfect days very often. But there is so much good stuff in between. Good stuff that even I don’t realize. When I push myself to slow down and observe, to record and take those photos—the moments of our life unfold before us. We have so much to be grateful for. I hope that someday they can look back on these photographs and they know in their hearts they had it good, they we had each other and that’s what really matters.
Many thanks to Leah for contributing to our series today. We are thrilled to have her beautiful photos for your eyes. You inspire us to take a better look at the small moments.
**All photos in the gallery are property of Leah Zawadzki
You too can contribute to the ‘Motherhood Through Instagram’ series by using the hashtag #motherhoodthroughinstagram on our own photos that show your perspective of the everyday beauty of motherhood.