Interview No. 046: Miss Aniela
So werden ausdrucksstarke Selbstportraits gemacht!!!
About Miss Aniela:
1. What makes a good photo for you?
I struggle with this question daily. I look at the pictures already in my portfolio and try to categorise them into different types, determining for which images the ‘capture’ was more important or the processing was more important. For each, I try to say what it is about the capture, or processing, that made it a ‘good photo’ in my eyes.
I have realised that shape is so important. The SHAPE one creates in a photography, whether in the camera itself, or when compositing pictures together in processing. The shape of the subject, that you have created, is everything. The shape you have made with the light, with someone’s face and body, with objects. There has to be some character to whatever you have photographed, embodied within its shape.
2. What do you not like in photography at all?
Can this question be about anything, technical or conceptual? I do not like pretentiousness: people claiming the can judge a good photo. Then again, I like to judge other people’s work, and my own work, but I don’t like to impose my views on others necessarily.
I have my preferred subjects to look at: women, animals, some landscapes. The images that bore me tend to be those that do not do anything different: for example, the typical sunset pictures that tries to ‘correctly’ perform the conventions of photography, other tame, ‘safe’ cliches like women in conventional poses, that are trying only to appeal to the mass general public and not challenge the status quo.
3. Which book helped you most in the development of your photography?
I dip in and out of books, especially ones with lots of images. I suppose a book on Balthus inspired me the most, in that I created a whole series of inspired pieces.
4. Which internetlink would you advice other photographers?
Oh, Flickr.com, of course. 😉
5. How would you describe your photographic style? What is characteristic about your photos?
I think this question is for each of my viewers to answer, according to their own interpretation. However, if I were to describe my own style, it would be: colourful, moving, beautiful, challenging: always seeking interesting shapes, particularly from the human body (my own, mostly). I like to touch upon the surreal, without losing the ‘real’. I love overt processing, but not to make something look too far from a ‘photograph’; that crucial halfway-house between a painting and a photograph. I like to make things simple, which is why I have an inclination for less equipment, and also for nudes. I like to get enough of a context into a photo without being too far away from the subject.
6. What was your most intense photographic experience?
It is hard to think of my most ‘intense’ experience, because most of my work consists of small, short sessions producing one final image. In that case, my most intense was probably my lampshade Balthus series I did in a hotel. I produced at least four images in one day, in the same place with the same theme, which is rare for me. I was very pleased with being able to produce so many images I was individually satisfied with, in one space of time.
(the four with lampshades in this set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndybisz/sets/72157604250789383/)
7. What is your favourite tool/equipment when you are taking photos?
Other than the camera itself? My wireless remote, which I have only recently acquired! 90% of my self-portraits are taken with the 10-second timer: others, with a wired remote (not as convenient as wireless but still helps), or with a person assisting, holding the camera for me (boyfriend or sister),
8. Who is your favourite photographer/ your photographic idol?
I don’t have one, I don’t know one photographer too well. I have started to learn more about Cindy Sherman, Annie Leibowitz (from people telling me of their similarities to certain images of mine); I also have a book of Ruth Orkin’s pics. I like Gregory Crewdson, Julia Fullerton-Batten. I don’t look at enough books!
9. What is in your fridge at the moment?
It’s rather empty at the moment. I have a big bottle of whole milk (I have a glass every day), some mint leaves, sauerkraut, butter, a yoghurt, various condiments.
10. What is your favourite music/ your favourite musician?
I like allsorts, including Robert Palmer, Michael Jackson, The Darkness, The Offspring, RDB, Elektryczne Gitary.
11. What advice would you give to an ambitious photographer?
Be open-minded and take a second opinion, but ultimately, do what you want. Try to be different, and aim to be paid for it.