~ An interview of a talented artist in our General Photography Community
Tell us a bit about yourself, *Bloddroppe! How did you get into photography and why?
I've been interested in art since young age. I used to draw a lot during high school, especially realistic portraits. But after a time I felt that I wanted to experiment with other medias. I photographed a lot of nature with a point and shoot camera at first but I felt that I would like to try working with models instead. So I asked my best friend to model for me in a great field of flowers. I think it was my first shoot with a model so it was very fun and since that shoot I've wanted to continue with photography.
Why are you on deviantART?
I think I discovered deviantART through the site Gaiaonline. I used to post my photography there and was recommended to look up the site. I immediately started to upload my work and recieved great response. Nowadays I feel that I have good connection with my long followers on deviantART and I would like to keep in touch with them. But also because I really love to share my art there as I recieve such amount of appreciation. I also like to give feedback to others and of course to get inspired! I love looking through my favourite artists there and want to keep updated with their newest work.
What type of people and portraits photography do you most like to do and why?
I like fashion photography the most, also beauty. I like the concepts and how the clothes are presented. I can't exactly tell why, but it's just something I get inspired by and enjoy watching.
How did you first come across fashion photography? What were the inklings that made you think that you would want to do some yourself?
I actually think it was when I discovered deviantart that I became more inspired by fashion photography. Seeing so many talented artists here made me want to try it myself.
My interest for fashion has grown since then and I love following and be updated with the latest fashion photograhy and models. I also think that I wanted to be more commercial than when I first started. I was merely shooting for myself back then, even if I do shoot for myself today too, but it is on another level.
Why people and portraits and not a different kind of photography?
I like to shoot with people because I like to create a story around them in my photography.I've been trying to shoot products but I just can't find it as fun as shooting with someone who you can talk to, exchange ideas and to be inspired by.
I would love to be good with documentary, but it feels I need to plan my shoot from scratch for me to enjoy it properly. I wouldn't say I hate it, but I do definitely feel more comfortable shooting other types of photography.
How do you come up with ideas for your photoshoots, models, etc.?
It is a collaboration between me and the model(s). Sometimes I have a certain idea I want to shoot and we plan around it together. Other times the model has an idea with clothes and make up and we plan from that with location and the feeling. I am inspired a lot by nature, music and movies, but also by dreams and tales.
Where do you find your models or other members of your photoshooting team?
It depends. Sometimes the models find my work and other times I find them. I usually look on various sites made for creative teams. It is nice to get in touch with someone who are talented but hasn't had a breakthrough yet because they are very humble and open-minded about ideas and work. I do have my favourite models that I shoot with from time to time just because we find it fun and inspiring!
What is the best and worst thing about working with models?
The best thing about working with models is that you get inspired by each other. I love when she/he suggests poses and expressions, to try something new! I love to work with models who knows how to pose and is not afraid to look 'less pretty' when posing for a certain emotion. I don't really like working with models who only think that it takes beauty to model and who are afraid that they should look 'ugly' when trying new things . But fortunately all of the models I have been working with are such lovely people that I feel very lucky to have got the chance to work with them.
What are some hiccups you've experienced with your photoshoots, if any?
It would mostly be the weather. In the morning it is sunny, but when it is time for the shoot it could start raining or even snowing. We've had to postpone a shoot many times because of the weather. Other than that I have not had much troubles with models. But the technique though can really be tricky, especially when it doesn't work. Flashes that don't go off and a camera that is rather moody, I could live without that if I could!
Do you struggle with photography overall?
I do get frustrated sometimes when i want something really specific and it doesn't turn out the way i want it but when that happens i usually just leave it alone for the time being and try something else until i can figure out what could help me make that shot happen.
How long does it take you to set things up for a shot or a photoshoot, and then from shooting to uploading on dA? Could you describe to us your process here in more detail?
It could take a few days to some weeks - depending on the idea of the shoot. Sometimes things must be produced before, like the latex outfits that are made for the shoots. And it can be tricky to book a day where everyone in the team are available and to combine it with good weather. But after a day with shooting I must retouch at least one image from the shoot before I can relax, otherwise my fingers will itch until I can try out colouring and skin retouch on the images. I usually don't finish a series the same day because it takes time to retouch, but I select my favourites and start on it the next day. I like to finish the whole series before I upload it somewhere, also before I do that I want to send it to the team so they can look on them. I want to finish them at least within some weeks but sometimes it takes a month or two depending on how many other series and work I have to complete before.
Do you use a specific technique when shooting? What setting on your camera do you most like to use?
I work with natural light when I shoot outdoors, and if possible indoors too. So I guess working with a reflector to bounce the light is the most common technique in my work. I only work with the manual settings where I change the aperture and shutter from what is needed during the shoot. Most of my style happens in the retouch.
What do you mostly focus on when it comes to your photography?
I focus a lot on the retouch because my style is about the colours and the dreamy feeling I like to enhance. During shoots I like to work with the light so it is flattering and to keep the RAW file as good as possible so I have good material to work with after the shoot. But mostly the retouch, definitely. I spend a lot of hours to get the touch on my images that I want.
Do you like to post-process a lot?
Yes, I do. I don't see any problem with a lot of retouch, as long as it is done properly. I involve a lot of retouch to work with colours, feeling and skin. I don't change the model's appearance more then enhancing hers/his own features though. I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to the retouch which can be really frustrating sometimes. I rarely let anyone help me, only my partner has retouched a series of mine, other than that I retouch everything, if possible, on my own.
What program do you use to retouch? How did you learn to do it?
I start off to retouch the basics in camera raw (bridge) and then retouch the image in Photoshop CS5. My brother used to work a lot in Photoshop during his education many years ago and whilst being a role model for me I wanted to try out to design and retouch too. I experimented a lot and worked on a technique that back then worked for me, however I would never go back to it now, haha! When I became more interested and involved within the industry I learnt a lot by searching on the internet for tutorials, experimenting and also by friends and partner who went to the same education as I did.
What is your favourite piece and why?
I do have a several personal favourites which makes it hard to just choose one but I think I will have to pick the one I took of model Tea Time (Insanitea) in a "Alice in Wonderland"-themed photoshoot. It was a really fun shoot with a lot of props that Tea came up with. It is one of my favourites because it turned out better than what I had imagined in my head. The cards, Tea, the colours and the light. To me it feels like a scene from our own version of Alice in Wonderland.
What is your equipment list? What made you choose your equipment there?
When I first started off I used a point and shoot camera by Canon. I was looking around on deviantART and looked up what artists I followed were using and bought myself a Canon 350D. I knew it wasn't the equipment that made you a good
photographer, but I did not know much about the technical capacity. I then continued on working with Canon such as the 5D and now I have the Canon 5D Mark II with 85 mm f/1.8 mm and 50 mm f/1.4 and a lensbaby composer. I only have prime lenses since I like the sharpness they give, but I would love to get my hands on a 24-70 mm.
Are you doing any projects at the moment, photography wise or not? Offline and online?
Not any particular projects more than planning new photoshoots. Other than that am waiting on summer so I can be inspired more to actually start projects.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Experiment a lot with light, scenery and style until you find something you like. Be yourself and stick to your style when you've found it. There are so many photographers out there so you need to have a signature touch to your images so people recognise your work. Believe in yourself and don't give up!
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for doing this interview with me!
, posting on behalf of #CRPhotography