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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.