It's hard to believe that In a few weeks from now, we will be done with our last Semester at University. After that we will have no more courses and we will have to work on our final project: Thesis and photo series. So much has happened during our studies and we have learned so much. We have had so many different courses: portrait, editorial, fashion, staged.. Without realising it, one day you notice that all those long classes talking about imagery and photographers, talking about what makes an image good or bad and why, do actually shape the way you see and approach photography. Of course, in the end photography has a lot of subjective aspects and everyone sees things differently, but there are some rules that are important and just need to be considered.
When I started with photography my main interest was wildlife and nature, and though I do really admire the beauty of it, somehow my interest has changed throughout these years while exploring other genres with the different assignments and projects I have worked on. I can honestly say that I have really fallen in love with staged photography. There is something incredible about being able to create a story by arranging a person and certain elements in a surrounding. The possibilities are just endless, and this is what I love about it!
Throughout my studies, I have had a lot of people asking me questions like:
- Why do you study photography? I decided to study photography because when I started 4 years ago I had almost no experience with photography and I was just really curious. It took me a while to make the decision as I had already studied a degree and I was already 27 at the time. After long consideration, I thought to myself, what the hell, I have nothing to lose!
- Do you actually learn something? The answer is yes, you can learn a lot, just like when you study Medicine or Psychology. Photography is also a science, of course more accesible to everyone and less theoretic, but still, there is a lot to it. Joining Workshops in Vietnam and New York, having renowned photographers come to give lectures and having professors who have achieved great things in their fields, are all great input sources. Of course, you do not need to study photography to become a photographer, you requiere to have a certain talent and a good eye. You can also earn money with photography without studying, that is something we all know, now more than ever thanks to apps like Instagram, but at the same time, taking pictures and making money with Photography does not make one a photographer, or a good one for that matter.
By now, you've probably noticed that I'm drawn to light and shadow situations and that I have a thing for lines and geometrical figures. If you add a person or in my case "body parts" the equation just feels complete. This last Semester at Uni has been all about reviewing our best work form the past few years and putting together a consistent portfolio. Arranging images and putting an image after the other might look really easy, but it's not, many things need to be considered, and like with everything else, practice makes perfect, or at least closer to perfect. For those of you who are also interested in Portraits and Staged Photography, here are a few photographers and artists who might inspire you, check them out and let me know what you think. Oh, and if there are any photographers who inspire you, I'd be happy to get their names, as I'm always looking for new inspiration.
- Viktoria Sorochinski: I met her on my third semester at my University when she taught a workshop called "Staging a Narrative" during project week. I fell in love with her work and her ability to tell a story. Last semester she taught a Staged Photography class which was really inspiring. We reviewed work from many established and emerging photographers and worked on some really interesting assignments. Have a look at her series "Anna & Eve" and "Silent dialogs".
- Evelyn Bencicova: Her images are in the lines of the real and unreal. When I look at them I experience a weird combination of feelings. On the one hand, they are absolutely beautiful and so well composed, but on the other hand, they are grotesque. She is really able to find the perfect balance between both. Check out her series "Ecce Homo" and "Faceless".
- Gregory Crewdson: If you still haven't, you should definitely check out the Documentary "Brief Encounters". It's unbelievable how much work and money is put into every image he creates. There is a huge production team and a budget similar to the money which would be invested in a whole movie production.
He controls absolutely everything down to the very last detail. The day we watched it at Uni, I was amazed by all the work behind it, but I also asked myself, is it really necessary to spend all that time and money to create one single image? One thing is for sure, his images are masterpieces.
Like we told you in our last post, myself and Olja are thinking about creating a series of posts where we can share some of the things we have learned throughout this BA. If this is something that you find interesting, it would be great if you would let us know by leaving a comment.