Sunday, 9 January 2011

Photography Interview with KJ Halliday (& Poetry Challenge)

Welcome to One Shoot Sunday!

Chris Galford here once again to bring you another wonderful spotlight for One Shoot Sunday! Today, One Stop Poetry’s going down under with Australian photographer, artist and writer Kevin “KJ” Halliday. I first discovered KJ through his presence on Twitter…a presence I quickly discovered was matched with a presence on Facebook as well. Continuously on the go, this tech-friendly photographer’s skills range from the beautiful and natural to the artistic, computer-aided image.

KJ’s work is spread across numerous sites, including a blog (, Facebook (, Twitter (@Kjwrite), and his own personal site:, a comprehensive collection of articles, writings, photography and art, as well as forums for those looking to share a few words. KJ’s a skilled and highly self-motivated artist, and so it is my pleasure to share some of his thoughts, and his work today:

What originally sparked your interest in photography? How long have you been working with photography?
 KJ: I grew up in a country area and to be honest I was probably spoiled for scenery and never paid too much attention to taking photos. It was only in University that I started to toy around with video and studied film. While this was a great experience I have over the last few years been more interested in capturing single moments in time. So while I have been working with visual mediums for a while it has really been the last few year that has really drawn me to photography. I have to say that the joy in photography itself is capturing a moment in time that will never come again. While there are grand historic examples like those during World War Two, Vietnam and the Korean wars, there are also those personal moments which for me was a couple of Kookaburras (Australian bird) posing for the camera. Not as important as some photography but still meaningful.

On your own site, you’ve worked to promote works across the spectrum of the creative world—what common ground do you find in your work between photography and other creative pursuits like writing and poetry?
KJ:  The original was actually just a release of a poetry and art series that I put together quite slowly over a number of months. This included writing (of course) as well as inks, acrylic paints, photography and pastels. The common ground between any of these creative pursuits is of course the attempt to condense an emotion or a meaning into one work. I find that poetry has much more in common with photography and painting than with novels or longer forms of writing. I think as 'creatives' we must all dabble in any medium we get the chance to try. For myself I am a mediocre painter but learned so much about composition just by giving it a try. This is especially true for visual artists as most of you would know that a few words placed here or there on a visual piece of art work can transform it completely.

Do you have a personal philosophy about photography? How do you find it complements your other creative work? 
KJ: As far as a personal philosophy goes I think as far as creating and experimenting you're best served by not having one. If anything then it would be a little goes a long way, like cooking a sauce it is best to reduce, reduce, reduce. This is the main reason the new series was done in black and white with high contrast on a lot of the shots. I am glad you asked this question actually because a few years ago a good friend looked at my site when I was more stubborn and just putting my poetry on there and she said "it's good, but it needs more pictures". This is I think a common problem with people writing poetry in that they have little to draw someone in unless they take the chance to read your work. This is where the newer series I have produced have had something to get people reading. It also stops me from getting bored with writing or photography, if I am tired of writing I work on photos and vice versa.

Is there any advice you could offer for poets and photographers considering working together on creative projects? 
KJ: The best advice I can offer is to do it, and as often as you can. I have been a little lucky having such an interest in visual and written works that I can play around with both. I of course have friends that only work with visual art that never want to write. Then many of you just want to write but probably have the problem I mentioned previously that people may just see a bunch of words and not read your poetry. Using poetry and photography together works well in that the photographer will quickly draw in an audience but the writer will hold that attention. It is also a great way to bounce creative ideas off of each other as I believe this site does as well.

 Do you feel Twitter and other like-minded social sites are helpful to the individual and communal creative process?
This is a difficult question to say yes or no to. Yes, because it allows us all to connect with each other and view what others are doing; but no because we are all in danger of drowning each individual's creative vision in a sea of tweets. It is of course fantastic to see so many diverse creative people sharing their work and it is a great way to see things you would otherwise miss. Unfortunately with anything like this there are always a great deal of people only looking to profit and you see quite a lot of twitter accounts relating to writing that only exist to sell products. For the most part though I find it a great way to view trends and to especially view work from around the world that differs greatly to my own. I think all artists can benefit by viewing these works.

What has been your experience with the internet as a medium for sharing your art and experiences? What prompted you to get so involved with the online and creative community?

The internet itself is a great place to stay on the creative cutting edge because of the pace in which it evolves. It has allowed me to use many different mediums and combine mediums particularly photography and poetry. My experience started out badly creating to host a single poetry series. Because poetry cannot be indexed properly by search engines visitors to the site were nearly non-existent. It was only after the new site was created and I discovered twitter that people began to show a lot of interest.

I have always been a little impatient and it was the 'instant' nature of the internet that prompted me to focus on digital publishing. It is an exciting area where even experts are not sure exactly what works online and what doesn't. For my own poetry I found that the compact form of writing that it is works perfectly for the online world and the amount of time people will spend reading online. 

What were your intentions when you created your site? Has it lived up to expectation – and do you hope to expand or build upon what you’re doing now in the future?
KJ:  My original intentions were very subdued and experimental. The "Scents Sand Censor Billy Tea" series was great to make as I wanted it to be as organic as possible and the websites lend themselves to organic creativity quite well. The goal was to 'see where it goes' and so far that has led to me having the site, blog, two spin off sites as well as my first published book of poetry. I really want to get a free e-book of poetry up onto the site soon and to provide an avenue for other writers and artists to get their content onto e-reading devices and computers.

The main goals at the moment have been to work towards 'self sufficiency' as an artist and writer. So while the visitor numbers to the site are fantastic the economic realities are far from rosy. In saying that it is definitely a labour of love for me and I guess most writers and photographers face similar economic problems especially if they are pursuing projects they find 'interesting' instead of projects that merely make money.

My next step would probably be to create some form of communal art market for local (Australian) and international artists to sell and promote their work. Not many if us have cash to spend on gallery displays and so the Internet is our next best option. I also work with another blog of mine called "The Gift Economy" and am interested in the communal idea of sharing and gifting among artists. It helps a lot when collaborating and sharing among other artists.

What kind of camera, lenses, filters, and/or editing programs do you typically use?
KJ:  I use a digital SLR (Canon EOS1000D) and try to remain as 'organic' as possible. Due to other mentalities as an artist I also use 'GIMP', an open source imaging program and have been able to do more than I imagined with that. I highly recommend that program especially for people that don't have the money to fork out on Photoshop, etc...  I love natural light and although it sounds simplistic I try to use only the camera relying more on digital editing for some of the photography.

Are there any photography or other creative resources you would recommend for individuals who wish to know more about these art forms?
KJ:  I always find the internet a great place to go when you're stuck for ideas. It sounds obvious but twitter and facebook can be a great start for just sharing some of your work (be it visual or written). This was especially true for myself when I was still 'testing the waters' as it exposes your work to non-artists who will be the hardest judges of your work. I have also used before and have a profile there and found it good for visual works but so-so for sharing writing. As for learning about different art forms I have found blogs by individual artists to be fantastic as they provide frank accounts of what they are doing, what has worked and more importantly what hasn't worked. There are so many great artists that have almost impossible to find blogger accounts that it is worth having an old fashioned surf around. While websites and other resources are great for technical guidance I always think people need to forget about these sometimes to find their own creative 'voice'.

Thanks for the interview, it was great having to think over all the questions and it gave me a better insight into what I am trying to do online. Congratulations on a great site and look forward to seeing more of it!  —KJ

And now for our Picture Prompt Challenge!

  1. Write a poem (or Flash Fiction 55). Post it on your site.
  2. Sign up using Mr. Linky so people can find your work.
  3. Let us know what you are sharing by leaving a comment below.
  4. Finally, visit other participants; comment on their work.
  5. Please give credit to KJ Halliday in your post. 

Thank you,

Accept the challenge! :)


dustus said...

Thanks to KJ Halliday for sharing excellent images with us today. Inspiring answers. Excellent work, Chris G.

Very expressive image for today's prompt. How would you interpret the image through poetry (or 55)? So many possibilities to explore... Give it a shot. And don't forget to have fun checking out the creative posts of those who have also accepted the challenge.

me_duress said...

Right after you Dustus! Yipeee :) My attempt not nearly as good tho....

Gigi Ann said...

I tried, but each week it becomes a challenge, however I enjoy the picture prompts.

The interview was great, so much to learn about photography and poetry. I enjoy both.

Shewriting said...

I am really loving these photo prompts lately. They usually hit my inspiration button dead on!

Gave you some alliteration and circular verse tonight.

will be back in the am to read everyone else's take on the photo. Thanks!

haiku love songs said...

A fabulous photograph as inspiration.

I appreciate the opportunity to participate.


moondustwriter said...

Excellent photography KJ - thanks for sharing with us today at One Shoot.

Glynn said...

Great interview, Chris - and what a photograph!

Brian Miller said...

nice. i really like the reflections shot...and the last one for the prompt is very other worldly...look forward to reading a few of these...

Ted said...

She Measures Me.

Adam White - Poet said...

Thank you KJ Halliday for the inspiration and thank you One Stop Poetry for being awesome. Also, thank you to me for having stomach flu. Stupid me.

Kenia Cris said...

Sunday is really a challenge here! I'm never happy with my responses.

Challenge accepted, though. =)

Great Sunday everybody!


Claudia said...

thanks KJ Halliday for this excellent pictures and thanks Chris and Dustus for the excellent interview - i like the pic for the prompt a lot and couldn't resist to write a poem..smiles

dustus said...

Early morning here and woke up to some great poetry. Thanks for playing along everybody!

Jerry said...

Appreciate the interview...the take away for me is more images, more images. I should know this by now because the photo prompts for One Shoot have been very engaging.

hedgewitch said...

I'm using the poem I just completed for another prompt, because to me this photo has the same feeling of compulsion, same ominous wash of red laying over everything. Apologies to those who may have already read it.

Anonymous said...

For me, although the inages are inspiring, I find words spill from my soul rather than what is gathered my cornea. Great pics though :0)

dustus said...

Thanks for your comment, A. For me, I think inspiration takes many forms——can't help also writing about images too. I find it fun :)

... Paige said...

Thank KJ and Dustus for the interview

dustus said...

Credit to Chris G. for the excellent interview :)

Alegria Imperial said...

An image so evocative it draws out a whole range of emotions! Thanks to KJ Halliday and Chris G and to this creative space for making Sundays meaningful. Thanks to all.

Carmela-J said...

I really love this image. We just got back from a walk in the Chilterns (rolling hills in England) and it just evoked everything beautiful about the sunset over the fields. Thank you for such a wonderful prompt!

Anonymous said...

Many ways you could run wild with this prompt. Love the photo challenges, really make me think!

Maureen said...

I enjoyed the interview, especially the KJ's comments on social media.

My poem is titled "Red Menace".

Mama Abby said...

This was a great photo to work with...Thanks KJ and One Stop!

Pete Marshall said...

a wonderful feature and an amazing image....thanks again for a quality write guys...all the best pete

jen revved said...

At first I thought, no, I don't connect with this. But really the color inversion is amazing. As usual a great interview and a stimulating challenge! thanks Adam! xxj

Kerry O'Connor said...

As usual, I'd like to apologize for not using the photograph you suggested, but one of the others featured in the interview - of the reflecting pool. A big thank you to KJ Halliday for allowing us to use his images.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work KJ and kudos to the One Stop team for yet another great spotlight & inspiring photo prompt!

wurdz said...

many thanx to one stop poetry and KJ Halliday for today's inspiration.i can imagine no other way to spend a lazy cold sunday.the images are fresh and full of ideas!one stop has quickly become a place i'd like to call home!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo. Emotional, evocative and in result, easy to work with.

KJ said...

Thanks for all the great comments and feedback on the interview, I am glad you all liked the photography. I look forward to reading more of the poetry from the picture prompt, very interesting so far.


Dr.subhendu kar said...

beauty ramifies to bloom
as rose by its petals to glow
yet it awes to gravity of soul
fragrance dissipates by florence
does it reasons to reason out flow?