As part of my usual Monday posts on Blogging, Photography and Design, I’m also reviewing some blogs that I love reading, and greatly admire.
I was first introduced to Karen Walrond several years ago, when she was a writer for Bloggingbaby.com. I clicked over to her personal site, Chookooloonks, and I fell in love with her daily pictures, words, and most of all her love for her daughter.
Not only is she stunning and a beautiful person, her daily writing is refreshing and she captures such a lyrical richness of her life through her photography.
Her site Chookooloonks (a Trinidadian term of endearment) is now a photography blog, but she used to write at her old site about parenting, motherhood, adoption, being a writer and being a pro blogger.
I managed to grab some of her time and ask her a few questions :
Me: Tell us a bit about yourself.
KW: In a nutshell, I’m a Trinidadian, wife to a Brit, mother to an American, lawyer, photographer, 40-year-old analytical extrovert with the soul of an struggling artist. More or less. I also make a mean rum punch.
Me: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
KW: There were several professions I was pretty intent on becoming when I was a kid. My mother tells me that when I was five, my earliest aspirations were to marry the garbage man (I’m told he was very nice to me). I then wanted to be a geologist, an archeologist, a paleontologist (I call that my “gist” period). Then I wanted to be a linguist. Then an architect. My father convinced me that my talent was in mathematics (it really wasn’t), and so I instead became an engineer. Then a lawyer.
I may do something else, yet. For the record, I never did marry the garbage man.
Me: When you’re having a really bad day, what are some things that will most certainly cheer you up?
KW: My three-year-old daughter, Alex, has an amazing sense of humour for her age, and is sensitive enough to know just what to say to get me to laugh. I have a kind husband who calms me down in a heartbeat. And of course, there’s always my camera, if I need to just get away and focus (hah!) on something else.
Me: You’re from Trinidad and Tobago. I’ve never been there before, can you describe it in a sentence?
KW: The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago is a country of great beauty, friendship, warmth, tropical Caribbean beaches, fabulous food, and incredible music. And I miss it terribly.
Me: A good and bad thing about living in Texas?
KW: A good thing: Texas, and in particular, Houston, is a very easy place to live. It’s really inexpensive, the people are quite friendly, the availability of culture — ballet, symphony, theatre, sports of all kinds — is impressive, and Houston’s variety of truly first class restaurants is its best kept secret.
A bad thing: Texas is a relatively conservative state, and for a multiracial, liberal family like ours, living here can sometimes be challenging.
Me: How did your love for photography begin?
KW: Well, many years (and many pounds!) ago, I used to model. I loved the magic that the photographers could make with their cameras, and I befriended one particular fashion photographer who gave me advice on buying my first camera, and helped me get started. I love shooting pretty much everything, but my first love, largely because of this photographer, is portraiture.
Me: What’s your favourite way to spend time with your daughter?
KW: Alex is actually a pretty great model, so we have a great time playing around with my camera. Lately, we’ve also taken to having chats at coffeehouses (I have cappuccino, she has very weak, milky, sweet tea), and we “discuss what’s going on in our lives.” I tell people that “language” is her superpower, because she’s always had a real facility with communication — so hanging out and talking with her is my absolute favourite thing to do.
Vote for Chookooloonks
Karen’s site has also been nominated for “Best Photography Blog” at the Blogger’s Choice Awards. Go vote for her!