Thursday, April 30, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 30: Victor Hamke


1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.

 Hi, my name is Victor and I'm a 28 years old guy from Germany. I work as a pro photographer, but the reason for me to be here is my personal Fine Art Stuff. In the best case my work feels emotional and touches you. In the worst case it leaves you untouched. I can't find a singular category for my work, but all my pictures have a dark side. I like fantasy, black romanticism and cyberpunk and some of those ideas can by found in my work.

2. How did you get into photography?

Long story short: I saved some money for eye-surgery and decided otherwise. I spent it on my first camera and from then on fell on love with taking pictures.
"Aurora"

3. What inspires your photographs?

As mentioned before, I feel inspired by fantasy, romantic and cyberpunk stuff, but also through old paintings and other artists out there. One have to pay attention to not being influenced too much, because you still want to do something you unique, don't you? :)






4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?


In the living room in front of a white wall. You would be surprised how many of my pictures were created there ;) Other than that: In the nature.

5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

From this year on, I work as a wedding photographer. Before it was just Fine Art, Portraits and Events. I like the diversity. :)

6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

My favorite picture is almost always my last one, because the sweat and tears of creating it are still present. I'm a perfectionist and I ALWAYS find a flaw – mostly just after uploading it. I try to accept that.

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Feel touched and experience some kind of connection to what they see. An emotional hollow picture is of no worth for me.

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I use Fuji cameras for all my stuff – X-T1 and X100T. They are phenomenal workhorses and I love mirrorless cameras. Other than that I occasionally use a Tripod and a reflector.

9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

My favorite photographer... hard question but if I was forced to break it down to one it had to be Stephan Vanfleteren, who I consider absolutely talented and to be a very sensitive and kind person.
10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

Not yet. The feedback is very positive, but I don't consider my work to be very provocative. I once heard it would be blasphemic, but I don't see that.

11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun?

I'm planning on doing a living with wedding photography and so far it's looking promising :)

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

I don't think so. :)

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

I have plenty of cool memories of my shoots. There were so many funny moments and I always love to laugh with the people I work with. Despite that my pictures have almost always a dark tone to it the shootings themselves are of a very relaxed and happy kind. I love to shoot with my girlfriend, because the atmosphere is so intimate and I just feel different while taking the shots. It is fascination how images change when I begin to edit them. And it even better, if the photographed person sees them and is stunned. :)

14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

Always try to improve. You think you master lighting or post or something else? Think again. You will always find something to improve on and that is a good thing. Also don't let that (in my opinion needed) perfectionism take away from your fun. Combine them and you will be better with every picture you take. :)

15. Any final words you'd like to say?

Thanks for taking your time for reading this interview and I hope to see you on one of the many platforms out there :) All the best from Germany



Thank you so much for answering these questions and being a part of this little series of mine! :D One thing I've learned from these photographers have been that there are surprisingly more support than I originally believed. I come from an area where people like to compete a lot and sometimes it can get messy and a lot of negativity happens. I'm glad to hear that not many people have had to deal with this sort of thing and I hope that continues and the positive community grows even more! I originally got into photography to express myself and to connect and grow with other like-minded individuals, not compete, and sometimes I think people distort everything into it having to be a competition in order to survive when that's not the case at all. I hope that you and anyone else reading these blogs will be blessed with lots of positivity during their photographic/ artistic journey! I mentioned in a blog that I actually ended up having more than 30 photographers wanting to participate, so I will continue to post these features until all the people that replied have been highlighted! :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 29: Gabriel Isak

"Renaissance"


1.
Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.

I am Gabriel Isak and I focus on fine art photography where I play around with the concepts of surrealism and symbolism to convey a story in each image. 

2. How did you get into photography?

I received a small compact camera from my father during right before high school, and began to document the external and internal world with it. Soon I began with Self-portraiture and more conceptual photographs and have since then spent a lot of time with photography. 

3. What inspires your photographs?

Anything I experience in the everyday life, music, paintings, my roots in Sweden, psychology, cinematography – I could continue to go on but this is where I find most inspiration for my images. 


"The Flight"
4. Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

I love shooting on location and my favorite place to work at is anywhere near the ocean. Other than that I enjoy to shoot anywhere in the nature.

5. Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

I enjoy to shoot conceptual photography where I use myself of anonymous subjects in surreal sceneries. But besides the thing I post online, I enjoy to practice to shoot in new territories as well such as in the studio or anywhere else where I practice new techniques. 



"Let Go"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

My favorite image I have taken is ‘Let Go’. It was an image I had to reshoot 3 times before I got the final result that I was looking for and was one of the first more conceptual images I posted online. The image is very personal to me and it is also an image I feel that many can relate to. 

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I want to give my viewers the opportunity to enter the internal world many of us life in, where they can interact with the subjects and their story and hopefully learn something about themselves and bring it back to their own lives. 

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?


I shoot everything with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 50 mm 1.4 

9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

My favorite photographer at the moment is Tim Walker. I love the simplicity in his work, yet being so rich in concept and ideas. His style is very versatile and many times surreal – which is two main things I strive to achieve in my own photography. 

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

Yes I have, and I would say that it mostly comes from an internal perspective. It is very easy to fall into traps where I don’t think what I do is good enough, and that has caused some negativity into my art at times. However, I feel that it is from those times I learn a lot and keep on going. After all, the biggest competitor I can compete with is myself, and it is my job to gain all the knowledge I am looking for. 

"The Forest Tale"
11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun?

 I am currently studying photography at Academy of Art University and have about one and a half year before I will be done. I definitely want to pursue photography as a career, but can also see myself getting into the film world. 

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

My favorite quote is from Walt Disney – “If you can dream it, you can do it”. I have this quote up on my wall and always look at it whenever I feel less motivated or inspired. We all have big dreams, and we are all able to achieve them if we work towards them and never give up – that is exactly what Walt Disney is saying in this quote that is so inspiring. 

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

"A New Opening"
When I shot the image ‘The Battle’ which was a fun experience. I had set up a backdrop in my apartment and did a few smoke portraits. After a while the apartment was filled with smoke that wouldn’t go away, so I opened the windows to air it out. Soon enough the landlord came knocking on the door as neighbors had seen smoke coming out of my room. However, I never opened the door and pretended to not be home and soon enough the smoke disappeared and they dropped it. Just glad I didn’t get into any trouble although it was quite exiting, haha.

14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

To produce work continuously whether it is every day, twice a week or a few times in a month. It is the best way to grow as a photographer and find your style. I also find it important to step out of your comfort zone step by step in order to find new techniques to apply to your style and discover something new.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 28: Tyler Grace

Tonight I bring a wonderful photographer from Australia! He is super nice and helpful and I really enjoyed talking to him. Hope you guys enjoy his interview! A short announcement as well! When starting this project, I made sure I asked well over 30 photographers to participate. Knowing how things sometimes go, I didn't expect to get replies from everyone, and I didn't. The ones I did though, thank you so much for all your wonderful words and being a part of this little blog journey of mine! With that said, there were also a few more than 30 photographers to reply, so this series will extend until all photographers are highlighted. I feel like that is only appropriate seeing how they were so nice to reply and have an interest in being in this little group of highlights. On to tonight's highlight, Tyler Grace! :)




"Deep"

1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


Hi, I'm Tyler! I'm 21 years old and I'm a conceptual/fine art photographer from a town in Australia called Albury! I love sharing my thoughts, emotions and experiences through my photography. I live with a myriad of chronic illnesses that severely limit me in what I do, and due to them I can't go out and do photo shoots very often, but I try my hardest to push through the limitations that my illnesses put on me. I pay for it each and every time I shoot with having to spend a few weeks stuck in bed and in a lot of pain, but it is usually worth it!

2. How did you get into photography? 

When I was little my Dad would bring his Nikon D70 to all of the family gatherings and parties. I didn't know at the time, but that is where my love for photography began. I would ask my Dad if I could use his camera and I would be shooting with it all night! After a while he ended up just giving it to me without me having to even ask!

It had been a couple of years since I last shot with Dad's camera when I just had this random craving to do some photography, but alas I had no camera of my own, so I decided to save up for one and in January of 2012 I purchased my own Canon 60D and it was honestly the best purchase I have ever made! It changed my life for the better!


"Anxiety"
3. What inspires your photographs? 

My experiences being chronically ill are the main things that inspire me, but sometimes the most random things in the world can inspire me, like a funny shaped leaf or a rock formation, as well as clothing! I find a lot of inspiration in other photographer's work as well such as Benjamin Von Wong, Rob Woodcox, Brooke Shaden and Robert Cornelius!

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot? 

Back when I first got my camera, I enjoyed shooting in the studio, but thee days I enjoy shooting out on location most! My favourite location is probably our near the Hume Weir, even driving up as far as Tallangatta! There are tons of places up by the Hume Lake which are awesome!

5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

 I love photographing other things as well as my main work. The only problem is that due to being chronically ill I rarely have the energy to shoot my main work, so the other stuff has to be pushed aside until I have that extra bit of energy. The other styles I love shooting are fashion and glamour!

"Staring Into The Unkown"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

My photo which is called "Staring Into The Unknown" is my favourite shot! It turned out exactly how I wanted it to turn out and I feel it conveys a strong message to keep pushing forward and not give up despite not knowing what is ahead! It was tough for me to do and I had to face that exact challenge while taking the shot! It was 6am on a cold mid-winters morning and getting in the water to take this shot was extremely tough! It was beyond freezing, and that is not good for my body. In fact I was down and out for about 4 weeks after doing it! I didn't give up and kept pressing on until I got the shot I wanted It was well worth the after effects though!

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work? 

I want my viewers to not only understand my stories, feelings and experiences behind my images, but to also create a meaning of their own!

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why? 

My kit nowadays is a Sony A7R with a Sony-Zeiss 55mm 1.8 lens. My most used kit though is my Canon 60D with lens being a Tamron 17-50 2.8. I recently upgraded to the Sony from my Canon, but due to only having the one lens for my Sony, I still use my Canon/Tamron combo for most of my wide angle shots! My lighting kit is full of speedlights, an Einstein E640 strobe and a few different modifiers which are mainly 60x90 softboxes and various sized octaboxes.

"Becoming The Grim"
9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why? 

Benjamin Von Wong. His vision and concepts are incredible. He was the reason that I got serious about my photography! He knows exactly what he wants and can get through any challenges that are put in his way and create amazing imagery! I could write more about why I love his work, but I would be typing all night! You can see and hear more about my story with Ben here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeYK5uzR3cE

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it? 

I haven't really experienced any negativity from other people, but I have had some negative experiences due to my health. I have had to cancel shoots part way through, I have tried to push through some shoots and almost ended up in hospital because I was too unwell to even be out of bed let alone doing a photo shoot!
11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun? 

Sometime in the next few months I will be moving down to Melbourne, where I will have a lot more opportunities with my photography than I have here in little old Albury, and I am hoping to slow down on the paid glamour/fashion work and instead focus on marketing and doing conceptual/fine art shoots. Selling prints of my work is a big goal of mine as well!

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

"Don't just breathe...live!" - Benjamin Von Wong I have lived my life by this quote, even before Ben said it in one of his videos, although before then I didn't know exactly how to explain it.

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember? 

I will always remember the photo shoot that I did with Benjamin Von Wong and a heap of other photographers when Ben came to Australia and took me on the adventure of a lifetime!

I pushed my body way past it's limits and did many things that I never thought I could do, and even though I was physically destroyed before I even had a chance to shoot I managed to get some really awesome shots!

"The Imaginary World Beyond"
14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer? 

Never give up, never let anyone tell you that you can't do it, create images you love and most of all...have fun!

Monday, April 27, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 27: Aleah Ford





"Wall Art: Face"


1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.



Hullo! My name is Aleah Michele Ford, I’m a conceptual portrait photographer from Buffalo, NY.

2. How did you get into photography?

Initially, I picked up a camera and took a class in photo so that I could take my own reference images for drawing and painting. Shortly into the class, my teacher introduced me to the work of Aaron Nace, Brooke Shaden, and Rosie Hardy. From there I discovered a whole world of incredible photographers on Flickr.
"The Catalyst of Light"

3. What inspires your photographs?

Oh sweet mercy, so many things… sculptures, paintings, fairytale stories, songs, quotes, and even wallpaper! Adventure and fantasy are two of the main driving forces behind why I love photography… it gives me an excuse to embark on adventures in the most ordinary places on average days, the forest becomes a magical place again.

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

The forest and fields. There’s something magical nature, it becomes a beautiful neutral space of possibility. Specifically though, there is a pond up the hill, from it you can see across fields and hills to see the most spectacular sunset.

5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work? 

Being the extremely anxious bubble I am, I tend to stick with my main work. On the side I’ll shoot portrait sessions with clients. Concert and Wedding photography fills my tummy with fluffy butterflies of doom, I should leave it to those who love it.

"Wall Art: Wall Flower"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

Wall Art: Wall Flower
It has a subtle non-intrusive beauty about it that I find difficult to capture.

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I want them to pause. 

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

The 50mm 1.4 is my absolute favorite lens! I adore the depth it has, it renders the world so beautifully that sometimes I wish the human eye could see bokeh the way the 50mm does. As for the full army: Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm 1.4, 17-40mm, 70-300mm. Occasionally I’ll shoot with a Canon T3i and an underwater case made for the body. 



9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

I have to list a few, I hope that’s alright! Oleg Opscuro, Kirsty Mitchel, Alex Currie, Alex Stoddard, David Talley, Aliza Razell, Gabriel Isak, and Miss Aniela. I look up to Alex Stoddard because we started out in photography around the same time, the entire time I was developing my craft I had the privilege of seeing his develop too. I also adore the way Aliza Razell incorporates her watercolor paintings into her photographs, I feel like I am reading a story every time I see an image of hers.

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

Yep, it’s generally more from myself than anyone else. You know that inner dialogue that goes on in your head all the time? It’s constantly playing telling me that I’m not as good as someone else that my new work isn’t as good as a few months ago, that I’m pursuing a silly childish dream. This usually happens when I forget why I started shooting in the first place, its fun!

"Wall Flower: Paisley"
11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun? 

Oooh, this is quite the question…I’d like to teach photoshop as a professor. During my undergrad and graduate studies I had opportunities to design lessons and teach my peers. I think my future in art is in teaching. 

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite? 

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Over the years I have learned that everything that has happened in the past (no matter how random, painful, or unrelated it may be) comes together and prepares you for something ahead. Will I end up in my dream career? Maybe not, but all of this is still valuable, even if I do not yet know the reason.

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

Tyler and I were on our Honeymoon this past summer and we had this bizarre opportunity to swim with Whale sharks. These powerful creatures were enormous and gorgeous! We had to jump off the side of a boat in rough waters then swim our little tushies off to keep up with them! Afterwards the boat crew raced a storm back to shore. The entire thing was so surreal! (www.flickr.com/photos/-si-tu-savais-/15168782891/)

"Wall Art: Sculptured III"
14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

Make art… and a ton of it. Michelangelo did not create a masterpiece at his first go, so lighten up, neither will you! Bayles and Orland (1993) wrote that “The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction of your artwork that soars” (p. 5). So there you go, you now have permission to create!

15. Any final words you'd like to say? 

Thanks for asking me! It’s a delightful honor to be able to answer these!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 26: Lisa Lizarraga

I absolutely love this woman! She is quirky and loving... and very very passionate! Her answers made me giggle and they're so real and raw... I just love it all! This feels like talking to a friend over a super formal interview! Always fresh to talk to her. Introducing Lisa! :)



"Caramel Orange Dress"
1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


Hello my name is Lisa Lizarraga and i live just north of Sacramento California. I consider myself a fine art and conceptual artist but i photograph everything because i get bored easily and need change for inspiration.

"Grande Life"
2. How did you get into photography?

I got into Photography about 10 years ago because oil paint takes weeks to dry lol not to mention i was a starving artist. Now i make at least enough to support my passion and some change to jingle in my pocket. I love the instant control i have with photography both in camera and in Lightroom and more so in Photoshop.

3. What inspires your photographs?

Passion inspires my photo creations. A feeling, story, an addiction. The need to yell at the top of my lungs silently, visually, about something controversial or some feeling deep inside that i can't utter publicly. I create the composite or surreal image as a silent voice to my inner battles that i cannot let out. I hide things in my images when i composite that only i know, yet if someone with a keen eye were to scan my entire file at full resolution may find. I am ok with that yet i may never answer the question when they find it. Deep issues that remain my own.

4. Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?
"Fall at Grey Garden"

Without a doubt, abandoned houses or farms. Dilapidated dwellings where life once was full but all that remains now is a feeling in the breeze and aroma of yesterday's lives. It gives me a sickening feeling, but also an adrenaline rush like no other, especially when I'm there by myself in a vintage dress, eek, omg, I can feel that feeling already in the pit of my stomach. It's unreal, surreal.

5. Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

I love it all... ok I'm not into porn, barf. I love fine art nude, artist Marco Barsanti has some amazing nudes in nature that i aspire to.



"Anything to See Rebecca"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

For me it is this image, titled, "Anything to see Rebecca" Becca who's name has now been changed to Myair. This image is still the deepest for me, and i love it so incredibly much.

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I will be candidly honest so forgive me but i never think about that. I create because if i didn't i would explode with emotion for holding feelings inside. My work is a release for me. A voice to my confusion, happiness, sadness, dreams, visions, anxiety, thoughts, excitement etc. If people like or dislike my work is not important to me because i create for myself. That is one reason it is really hard sometimes to create a commissioned piece for someone because i don't have their vision or feeling. It doesn't feel authentic and that is difficult for me. when i create my own work there is no pressure because i am the only one i need to please, i don't have to ask anyone if they like it. I guess i want them to take away a freedom of their own feeling about my work.

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I have a Nikon D810 body and for art i mostly use the Sigma art 50mm1.4 that combo is sharp, fast and gives incredible detail. For many normal sessions i love the 70-200 2.8 but i feel like i need to give love to all my gear, so far it has been good for me.

9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

I love change, so my favorite artist is ever changing. I am so in love with Brooke Shaden's early work. Her simple white sheet, apartment, and distortions with muted tones.

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

I don't give negativity any energy, so my answer will be no. I live an incredible life doing my passion and i am such a happy and positive person, there is no energy for drama or negativity. Just live a beautiful life and photograph it...
"Quite Simple Sit and Have Coffee"

11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun?

Omg yes, i have my work showing in an art gallery in California for over a year and i will be showing my work at the Old Soul coffee shop in Sacramento in August 2015. My dream is to make enough money to continue to live my passion for the rest of my life.

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

"A muddy life is ok" i love that one. Also this one, "I will learn that which i do not know in order that i may know it" i have a lot of people ask me how did i learn this or that in photoshop and i just choose to learn something new almost every day, never stop learning something new. Stay humble because we will never know it all. Oh and go play in the mud, it is incredible in the pouring rain in a wedding dress.

"Marry the Rain"
13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

Long pause...my next one. I live in the moment and love every second.

14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

Find your passion and get completely absorbed in it. Shoot outside the box and break walls, fly solo. Rip a hole in the sky because there are no limits...

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 25: Erin Graboski

Erin's Website!

Erin on Facebook!
Erin on Flickr!

"The Butterfly Queen"
1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


I'm in Erin Graboski and I am a fine art photographer who concentrates on conceptual, dark art, and portraiture themes with in my work.

2. How did you get into photography?

I got into photography when I was about 15 years old. I started out really exploring and experimenting with nature and landscape genre photography and then as I discovered more and more about the art and finding other photographers to follow I started to incorporate self portraiture into my work and then after I got Photoshop, I really started to concentrating entirely on conceptual, fine art work.

3. What inspires your photographs?

Dark themes, dream states, fairy-tale, mythical ideas, story-tales are definitely words that come to mind when I think about what inspires my work. I am really big into having a dark art concept into my images while pushing the ideas of whats real. I love to make surrealistic, fantasy type ideas look real and possible in my work.
"If You Can Stomach Me"

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

I really love shooting outdoors on location. I go to a lot of open space areas around where I live and have little places that I find and go shoot new images in and finding other awesome places to explore around and create in.

5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

I like to photograph my main work a lot. Its what I'm most passionate about with in my craft. I do like to photograph landscape and nature images still, not as often. I find myself shooting those types of images more so when I'm traveling and when I'm exploring new places.

6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?
"Dust to Dust"

"Dust to Dust" is probably one of my most favorite photos I've taken. It is the image that most defines my style I like to create in. I love the colors in it and how the pixie dust in the image just is exploding right off her body in the image. I just love everything about how that image came out.

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I want viewers to take away a sense of fantasy and escape from my work. I always describe my work as a way to escape, dream, love, and inspire which why I create my work and that's what I want viewers to experience as well.


"Down by the River"
8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I use a tripod, a wireless remote set up, a Canon 60D, and a 50mm f/1.4 lens for shooting. My 50mm is the only lens I have in my gear right now. I love using that lens to create a shallow depth of field and its great for compositing images.

9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

Brooke Shaden is my favorite photographer. She was the first fine art, conceptual artist that I discovered and followed when I was developing my own conceptual style. She is an artist that I definitely look up to and admire immensely.

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

I haven't really dealt with any blatant negativity as a photographer. The only real 'negative' input I have received as a photographer is people saying stuff like "you need to do with with you image to make it better" or 'this needs to be done to it" and I just take comments like that with a grain of salt. I don't let any negativity towards an image ruin my confidence towards my art.

"The Underworld to Wonderland"
11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun?

I plan on becoming a full time photographer. My absolute dream would to host workshops and own a gallery space one day. It would be so awesome to release of a book with my images in it too. The list I have created with regards to what I want to do with my work is always being added to.

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

"Do what you love and do it often. Live your dream." This quote is my favorite because it is exactly what I am working to being able to do to one day.


13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

"Skeletons in Your Closet"
An experience from shoots that I will always remember is just loving the stillness and quiet that comes around when the sun is setting. I shoot pretty much all of my work at magic hour so especially in the summer it is so amazing just to be out in that as the daylight ends.

14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

The best advice I could give to a new photographer is to have a lot of fun with it and just go for it. I taught myself a lot of what I know today just by going for whatever inspired me to try to something new with my images and just going for all the ideas I could dream of when I thinking of new concepts to create. I still try to practice a lot of that today.

Friday, April 24, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 24: Elias Ruiz Monserrat

I'm so very happy to of seen so much work from very young artists! It fills my heart with happiness to find other creatives that have a passion at such a young age! Welcome Elias! :)



"The Kindness of Strangers"
1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


My name is Elias Ruiz Monserrat, I come from Spain but have been living in the UK for the last 6 years. I am 18 years old and currently on my last year at college (in the UK we refer to high school as college). I've actually never stopped to think what category best suits my photography but I’d say it’s more conceptual and artistic than anything else.

"Stairway To Heaven"
2. How did you get into photography?

I can’t really remember the exact reason of why I got into photography, none of my family members are artists and wasn't really influenced by anyone I knew. I've always been into drawing and art as well as into technology and everything around it (I guess I could call myself a bit of a geek…) and found photography to be the cross over of these two worlds. I was about 14 and wanted a camera so one day I went with my mum to Argos and bought a camera that looked all right for £40 (about $60), it was Pentax compact camera believe. I remember getting very frustrated at the camera because it wasn't picking up exactly what could I see with my eyes so I did some research on the internet and found out about DSLRs, with the money I got from Christmas the next year I bought my first DSLR, a Canon 1100D. It then was only a matter of time that I would discover the endless possibilities of Photoshop, there was only one thing, I had no idea on how to use the camera or Photoshop and had no one I could get help from so I just kept on watching and reading tutorials on the internet. If I was born about 10 or 15 year earlier where digital photography wasn't what it’s today, I’m not sure I would have gotten into it.

3. What inspires your photographs?

I wouldn't say I have a main inspiration source or some sort of muse, but I have been heavily inspired by music, in fact most of my photos are titled after songs or music albums. From my point of view my photographs are purely based on aesthetics, I don’t try to communicate the way I feel through them, they weren't created based on a feeling or an emotion, I leave that to the viewer so they can interpret them any way they like. 

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

Loughborough, which is where I live, is surrounded by green areas and small woods and luckily enough for me, my house is only a 5-minute walk away from one of these woods. There is something about that place that inspires me, I’m not really sure what it is but every time I go there I seem to come out with an idea for a photo or an actual photo.

5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

I’m only 18 and haven’t really had the chance to try many things but other than the work I usually do, I really enjoy doing music photography.

"Let the Music do the Talking"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

It sounds cliché but I’d say it’s my latest photo, this seems to happen every time I take a new picture. I’ve seen so many times my old ones that they end up becoming boring to my eyes.

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, when I take photos I don’t try to convey a specific feeling. For me, a photo is successful when different people see different emotions and meanings on the same image.

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

To be honest, the only reason why I bought the 1100D I used to work with was the price, it was the cheapest DSLR I could find. I then bought a couple of lenses and when I was ready to upgrade my camera the logical step seemed to be to get another Canon so I could still use all my lenses. My current camera is a Canon EOS 60D and the lens that is always on the camera is a Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 because of its versatility and wide aperture, however, when I know exactly what photo I want, not much light is available or want an extreme shallow depth of filed I use the Canon 50mm f/1.8.

9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

With no doubt my favorite photographer is Alex Currie, I became aware of his work last November and since then my photos have seen a drastic improvement on quality. I find his work is simple and yet intimate, dark and sometimes even very emotional. He has been like a model to follow for me, I was amazed by the quality of his work and knowing that he is the same age as me made want to work even harder to get to his level. Another photographer that I admire is Robert Cornelius, to me, he is the best Photoshop artist I have ever seen, his work is just stunning. My dream is to be able to produce pictures of the technical complexity level of Robert’s work mixed with that intimacy feeling that Alex manages to get on his photographs. 

"On My Way Up"
10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

Actually yes, before I discovered Alex Currie’s work I always use to complain that all my friends were too shy to model and had no one that I could take photos of, but after seeing his work that stopped being a problem and actually became something good, that’s when I started taking more self portraits and since then I have been the main subject on most of my photos.

11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun? 

Next year I am going to start a degree in Industrial Design at university, I don’t like planning out my future and taking for granted what is going to happen but I know is very hard for someone as young as me with hardly any experience to make a living out of it. At the moment my photography is not getting me any money, I’m doing it for the love of art, but if I see a chance of making some cash I definitely will.

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite? 

Yes, I can’t remember where I got it from but it’s a quote by Alfred Stieglitz. “Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” The way I interpret this is that a photograph is not based on the equipment we have or how good the environmental conditions that we have available are, we rely on what we make out of what we have, it sort of reminds me of the famous quote “If live gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

To be honest all of my shoots have been pretty boring but there was one time that I was taking photos of a field (which was private land and therefore I was trespassing) that the farmer caught me and threatened to shoot me with an air rifle if I ever came back again.

"Get Off My Cloud"
14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

Never give up, no matter how bad you think you are everyone was as bad if not worst than you. The only was to get better is to keep on trying and experimenting news things. You’ll eventually get there.

15. Any final words you'd like to say?

I haven’t mentioned it but I also “work” for a local online magazine based in Leicester called The Jitty (www.thejitty.com). There’s only two people running the website and do an incredible job at giving young people the chance to put in practice any skills related to journalism, I mainly do gig photography and occasionally write gig reviews too. It’s a charity funded by the Leicestershire county council aimed at and ran by young people between 13-18 years old.


Thank you so much Elias for this interview! I have definitely had my share of people telling me they would shoot me if I came near their place, even if I wan't on their property - haha. Some people just don't understand. They think every kid is just out to destroy everyone's property and cause issues. That's definitely not always the case, not with me at least and I'm assuming not with you either. It kind of makes me laugh at other people's reactions when I'm out and about doing my photography. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 23: Vincent Minor

I'm so excited to introduce another male conceptual photographer! His work is absolutely wonderful and I do hope one day our paths cross! Vincent Minor!


"A Helping Hand"
1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


Hi I’m Vincent! I shoot fine art storytelling portraits with a dark quality.


2. How did you get into photography?

I’m originally a west coast musician that found photography when I moved to NYC. I got a camera and decided to take some basic classes on how to use it which led me to street photography, portraits and eventually a narrative approach where I can use my imagination to create something.


"From Ruin to Epiphany"
3. What inspires your photographs?

Lately I’m inspired by how I feel emotionally, I can’t shoot something happy or whimsical if I’m feeling melancholy. Usually my emotional state is what dictates the story and passion I put behind a photograph. I use photography as a way to express where I am in my life contextually.

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

I shoot a lot in Prospect Park in Brooklyn as it resembles nature and forests which I am drawn to. Im always placing my stories in nature as I feel an organic connection to it. But I also like challenging myself and shooting indoors and in abandoned locations.


5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work? 

I like to photograph stories, usually they are thought out and planned but sometimes I’ll just shoot something if I feel strongly about it. I also will tend to shoot things for stock, that I can composite into later photographs.


"Begin Voyage"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

That changes so often because of where I feel I’m at personally. Sometimes a very simple image can resonate with me much more than the many hours of photoshop I put into others. That said I would probably have to go with the very first complicated surreal photograph I created where I had to really study and figure out what I had to do to make it a reality - “Begin Voyage”


7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I’m hoping they will find a connection in their own lives that relate with what I share. People can relate to each other on an emotional level much more than on a technical one. Emotions are universal and it’s nice when we can connect with a complete stranger and feel like we know what they are going through.

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I've been using a Canon 6D for a year now and my most used lens is a 50 1.4 lens. It’s light and easy to travel with and gets what I need. I don’t really believe in having too much gear, I like to keep things simple.

"Hand For the Opponent"
9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

Another tough question! I have favorites for so many different reasons! I think Brooke Shaden will always have a special place in my heart as she was really the inspiration for my exploring of this kind of photography that I shoot. I’m also very inspired by paintings so I take inspiration in using my photograph like a brush.





10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

Of course! I think I always feel like there’s someone better than me or what I create doesn't have enough details or technique. But I realized in where I’m at and what I want to be, I don’t want to be the most amazing graphic designer so I have to balance photography with what I currently know in photoshop. I know I’m good enough to communicate stories and share those. I feel like most of the negativity I've dealt with is self inflicted and then I need to stand back and realize art is so subjective.


11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun? 

"The Impossible"
Right now I’m actually trying to figure out how I can transform this fun and fulfilling “hobby” into making some money or bartering. I’d like to devote 100% of my free time to photography but until then I will have to work on it bit by bit.

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."
- Oscar Wilde

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

Last summer I spent a couple weeks in Fire Island, NY. It’s known as a party island but I went with the sole purpose of experimenting and shooting self portrait stories. I wanted to practice techniques and had such a wonderful adventure with myself and even made a few friends who pressed the shutter button for me! That whole experience is so vivid for me because I was exploring creativity in a way that I had never experienced before.


14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

Have fun! If you aren't having fun then you are missing the entire point. Of course you have to have discipline too but shooting should be because it makes you feel alive creating something. Don’t pay any attention to what trends are or who or how many likes your photos get, that will ruin it all and really destroy the relationship you have with your mind, heart and camera.


"Lovesick"
15. Any final words you'd like to say?

Pain is universal, so is love and any other emotion. Photographers have a chance to communicate something visual that other people can feel connected with. There is no other better feeling than the feeling that you are not completely alone in this world. I think that is what love is. Someone out there is going through exactly what you are and through photographs and stories you may be able to reach another person that needs your expression because they feel it too.




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 22: Adam Bird

Tonight I will be introducing one of the youngest photographers on this blog so far! Adam has amazing work. I hope you all will enjoy this little interview and check out his facebook and flickr pages!


"The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway"
1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


My name is Adam Bird. I’m 17 years old and a self-taught photographer based in Birmingham, England. I specialise in conceptual, portrait and fashion photography.


2. How did you get into photography?

A few years back, my sister was scouted by a modelling agency and needed to get a portfolio put together. I shot some images in our garden at home and soon began experimenting with different camera techniques and looking at the work of other photographers online. I loved the creative side of it, transforming the images to look completely different.
"Underwater"

3. What inspires your photographs?

Pretty much everything inspires me to take a photograph! I’d say that most of my work comes from how I’m feeling or what’s been going on in my life lately.

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

I love shooting in the woods! I find it so peaceful and it’s a great location for conceptual style work.




5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work? 

I like to photograph landscapes! I’m not too ‘good’ at these though, but I find it fun every now and again to challenge myself to do something different.

6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

My favourite photo I’ve ever taken was my Alice in Wonderland image “Curiouser and Curiouser”. I’m really proud of this photograph as it was planned weeks in advance and turned out better than my original concept.
"Curiouser and Curiouser"



7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

I want my viewers to relate to my work. I want it to catch people’s eye and make them think.

8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I use a Nikon D610 with a 50mm 1.8. I love shooting with this lens as the quality is super good and the low aperture value helps create my signature style!
"Head in the Clouds"

9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

My favourite photographer has to be Rosie Hardy. She inspires me as both a person and photographer.

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

I’ve had people criticize my work all the time, it can be technically or personal towards me. I guess the only way to get through it is to keep creating.

11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun?

At the moment, I’m building up my portfolio and shooting for fun! In the future, I’d love to make a career out of photography.

12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite? 

My favourite quote is “only photography what you love” by Tim Walker. I believe that photography should be personal and by shooting what you love makes your work unique and special to you.

13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

I will always remember going on a shoot in the snow and it was so cold that my model passed out! It was so bad that we had to cancel the shoot!!!
"Fearless"


14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

I’m pretty new myself but I would say some good advice is to shoot as much as possible. It’ll really help you gain experience and become more confident with different jobs!

15. Any final words you'd like to say? 

I’d like to say a big thank you to Samantha for having me on this blog! Please check out my work on the links below and also feel free to send me a message :D



Thank you so much Adam for answering everything! Your work is beautiful! I'm not going to lie, I laughed a little at your most memorable shoot. Hope she ended up being okay, but that is definitely a memorable shoot, even if it didn't happen - haha! Good luck with all of your photographic adventures and you're so young and you already have a beautiful portfolio! Keep it up! :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

30 Days of Inspiration! Day 21: Elisa Scascitelli

This is a very special artist I'd like to introduce. She is very special in he sense of she doesn't seek glory for her work but uses it as a way to express herself. Her work is absolutely beautiful to me and I've been following her work for a while now. I truly love it! Enjoy!



1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work.


"Siamese" 
Hi! my name is Elisa and I was born and raised in Valmontone, in the province of Rome. I am 25 years old, the art for me is very significant. My photography is a blend of various portraiture, fine art, fairytales, conceptual. The photographic fairy tale for me seduces and satisfies the desire of wonder, nourishes the viewer's feelings; ambiguity, instability, curiosity, fear, elation, I love this, because the identity within it is not caged, the imagination is constantly changing, and the time seems not to exist.

2. How did you get into photography?

I studied graphic design, and between studies was also photography. But I was young and inexperienced, I still had not figured out that perhaps one day could be so important. I started
"Enchanted Rose"
working at my first real portfolio in 2012. Before turning to photography, I felt of seek and discover a part of me. I'm always looking for something, maybe that's what drives me to photograph. I do not love this kind of question, to describe, explain how certain things are born, it is so complicated. Maybe, the photography was born to protect me, to save me, to make me feel less alone, was born to allow me to communicate with the most hidden part of me, with my soul, some things already living inside us. Photographing is an adventure for me, to observe and listen to my spirit, soul shows me the world for what it is, not for what it should be, not for what they want to see the others. It's hard to explain.


3. What inspires your photographs?

My source of inspiration is nature, the mystery, the search for something infinite, continuous questions without answers. I love the forests and the sea, the wild places, where man is small and is powerless before the stateliness of the nature. Decorated gardens and labirinths are a pleasant obsession for my soul. I love fairy tales and all that is innocent and childlike, because it is pure and is not stained by the experience of an adult. I have a sort of inspiration thanks to my hair :P

4.Where are some of your favorite places to shoot?

Often shoot my photographs in the garden, or in some woods, usually shot even indoors where the depths are flat, and the magic of my fairy tale takes over.



5.Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?

I like to get involved even with other types of photography, it is always a lesson, this allows me to understand who I am, where I'm going, what I can do for myself and for others. This allows me to develop other hidden skills.

"Wounds"
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?

It's hard to choose, each photo has a deep meaning. I'm fond to a photo of my photo stream, "wounds". For me it is important because I was inspired by the wonderful musical text "les miserables" text sad, but rich in meaning. I realized that no matter if someone out there will destroy your dream, because no one can do it, only you can decide to quit or continue.

7. What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Most of all, I wish that you immerse the viewer into the picture, the observer must see his world and not my world. My photographs are to be for the viewer, a threshold to be able to cross, to get lost in a maze, a door to open. It would be nice that every viewer express a personal feeling looking at the photos, laying bare the feelings, even the negative feelings. I want to show a world that is beautiful in its tragedy, where anything goes, where everything is right and nothing has a limit, a world that can be observed and understood only by those who have never abandoned that inner child. In my opinion, when a person excludes the possibility to observe carefully the art, this person is no longer a pure spirit, as when it comes to a child. I do not want to limit my photographs telling too much of them, some things need to be discovered.

"Death Waltz"
8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?

I use a Canon 400D. I do not have much equipment in truth, I use a 18-55mm lens, a 35-80mm and 50mm, a tripod and a remote control. It seems absurd to use a simple and inexpensive 18-55mm lens, but I started taking pictures with that, basically for me it is just a means, I know very well that with a goal more professional I can do better, but my wallet does not allow me to bear such high costs.

"Birth of a Butterfly"
9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?

There are many photographers that I admire, Laura Makabresku, Kirsty Mitchell, Katerina Plotnikova, Tim Walker, a Brooke Shaden the dawn of photography. These characters have literally captured me, amazed.

10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?

Initially, the photos that I did I did not like at all, I had many things to tell, but I did not know how to do. Work by himself and I can say that every day there is a lot to work on, a lot to learn. When I do not do photographs, I create props; tutù, crowns, and other things craft, this creative part of me very affects the way I photograph, I repeat, art is a way of life. I am a self-criticism, so if a picture is not as I imagine, I can throw it all even after many tests, or after many hours of work in photoshop. But I never gave up, simply because I love to photograph, the difficulties are challenges.

11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun? 

My photos are almost all self-portraits, is a constant therapy for me. It's a fun thing that I take very seriously. Right now I have a contract with an agency for book covers. But in general I have no expectations for the future, what will happen I do not care, I just want to continue taking pictures, I do not seek glory and craving, in my little work, there is much self-realization, and it is more than I could hope for.

"Ritual Loop"
12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?

"My story, not the story of my life, but the story of my imagination"
-- --
"What is art?" is a disease. Love? An illusion.
The religion? A surrogate worldly faith.
What are you?
define is a limit.
Give me a thread to follow ..
The wires are broken lose your way in the maze. "

I think it does not serve to explain =)


"Magnetism" 
13. What is one experience from shoots that you will always remember?

What I can remember from my photographic experiences? ;D
The fun of being embarrassed in his underwear during a change of clothes in a forest, the startled faces of the people who do not understand what you're doing when you do self-portraits.
The best thing that I will always carry in my heart is to feel the earth beneath my feet, feeling the wind in total solitude, to feel that you are part of nature, feeling of create magic in a magical place.


14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?

Look into yourself, imagine and create that world, that dream. Passion is the only true essence of life.



15. Any final words you'd like to say? 

Thank you very much for the opportunity you gave me to express my art, sometimes it would be nice to avoid talking, photos say a lot without speaking.
It was a real pleasure Samantha! :)

Thank you so much for sharing your insight into your work! I feel like it's always great to get a glimpse inside the mind of each photographer. Sometimes we're misunderstood and sometimes that's the beauty of it all! I love your work and I look forward to seeing you create more and more every day! :D

Here are also a few more places to find Elisa's work!
Tumblr: elisascascitelli.tumblr.com/

PhotoVogue: www.vogue.it/photovogue/Profilo/e5825eb7-426e-43ec-ad06-5444b6c28a6d/User