Today’s post is a bit different, I discovered this Photography Tag on youtube and thought to give it a try in writing.

How did you first get into photography?

I always was fascinated by how people can transform and capture what is in front of their eyes and evoke a feeling to any viewer. When I was 14 I got a cheap film camera as a present but didn’t quite understand how it all worked, I also kept borrowing my sister’s point and shoot. Later, in university, was when everything started. My parents, after some convincing, decided to buy me my first DSLR camera. I didn’t know which one to get so I joined a photography club in Cluj-Napoca where I met these amazing people that advised me and became my friends.

What was your first camera?

Nikon D40
Nikon D40 Selfportrait

My first camera was a Nikon D40. It was a decision based on budget, available options and one advice from the photography club members: “Nikon is the best!” … just joking !! What they said was: “Get the camera brand your friends photographers have. This will allow you to borrow lenses and try different gear before investing”

Who are your photography heroes and inspirations?

Forest fairy
Forest fairy

Oh such a difficult question. I keep listening to this great podcast: Be Inspired Photography Podcast and all the guests get asked this question: “What is your favourite photographer of all time?” I always wonder do I even have one?! .. I’m inspired by so many of them, and they don’t even have to be big names .. actually if I’m honest I don’t even know most of the big names (which I’m a bit embarrassed by). I will mention a few:

Jessica Kobeissi – she’s such a strong funny hardworking person! My vision of editing might be different from hers but I just really like what type of person she is.

Lara Jade – beautiful fashion photography I wish I had her success and courage to take risks

Laura Makabresku – Her style is unforgettable, and I would like to have that impact.

What does photography mean to you?

I find this also difficult to answer. When I’m behind the camera ..it’s more like a feeling. And feelings are difficult to put into words. Words feel limiting so I tend to avoid questions like this. What I know is that when I am taking photos I’m like in a bubble of joy and calm, I can’t feel the cold or the rain (Unless the camera is getting wet then I get a bit concerned). And another thing I noticed is that I see photo opportunities everywhere, I see framed images everywhere and I think I am more aware of what surrounds me.

How do you overcome photographers block?

Thought Selfportrait
Selfportrait

I need some alone time, time to breath, to just lay down somewhere and think. My motivation comes also from seeing other photographers showcase their work, share their behind the scenes. I recommend creative live website as it has great workshops with great artists that can remind you why you love photography and kick your behind into gear.

Besides that I get inspired by other images, browsing through Instagram, seeing beautiful photos, or any type of art can spark an idea.

Tips for noob photographers?

  • Go out and shoot, anything, everything, decide which gives you more pleasure, what do you have an eye for.
  • Read the camera manual and understand camera manual settings.
  • Always shoot raw
  • Copy images to learn techniques but don’t claim them as your own, or at least link to the original artist.
  • Ask questions

If you had to shoot just one genre, what would that be?

Fashion Portrait
Fashion Portrait

Oh such a difficult choice .. I will have to say people, beauty portraits, fashion photography. But it’s also quite a difficult type of photography to shoot for due to my nervousness around new people. I am aware of it and push myself .. it gets better every time. Repetition teaches your body and mind how to succeed.

Any photography pet hates?

  • Too much retouching – you know when you are just slide the saturation or contrast too much?! Or think that blurring and removing all skin texture and all shadows will make a portrait look better? That!
  • Copying – I just don’t like people copying someone else is work. Or my work, my ideas, my words and I don’t know what to do about it. It takes a lot to calm myself when things like that happen especially when someone you know is doing it.

Any photography faux pas?

Girl and the sea
Girl and the sea

I am not sure if I understand this question very well but here are some examples of what I think is photography faux pas:

  • I had this amazing shoot with my beautiful aunt, on a beach but the day was quite dull and the light was not great, and I shot all of it in jpeg. This was 5 years ago and I still regret it but it taught me a valuable lesson: Raw is best!
  • After a first shoot with a model I never met before, while editing the images I realised my SD card was corrupted and a lot of the images where unusable. After the initial scare I realised the thumbnails looked ok meaning a jpeg version of the file could be recovered with some command line coding magic (thanks Software engineering degree).
  • When I was younger I used to edit too much, I was learning photoshop and had a crazy obsession with changing eye colours, lip colour, and backgrounds .. most of times leaving the image look very fake and unappealing.

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