Tuesday, 28 December 2010
She shoots both film and digital, but the camera makes no difference when it comes to the quality of her ideas and shoots. Intense images of (mostly) people, beautifully coloured photos of flowers and still life. This is her, a girl called Teresa. She's one of the up-coming stars of our precious contemporary photography.
(And she was so nice to answer all my questions because I asked her much more things than I asked anybody before.. thank you for that, beauty. And there is also more photos from her than there has ever been from anybody. That means Happy New Year from me to all the beautiful people who are interested in this small blog.)
The lovely girl's story:
1. How did it all become? Do you remember if there was some particular reason why you started taking photos?
- I know how uninteresting it sounds, but there really was no particular reason why. I used to take pseudo-fashion portraits of my best friend at the time and I really liked it, along with all the beautifying production before it. I remember I used to borrow cameras from my friends, since I didn't have any at the time. Then I bought a second-hand sony cybershot 2mp (you have phones with 2mp, now ahaha) and only later I bought my Canon 400D. There was a time when I used to (awkwardly) ask complete strangers to model for me and I actually made friends that way - good times. ahaha Anyways, then I kinda got bored of all the posing and make-up and fancy dressing, and I felt like shooting something with a little more essence and substance. That's when I fell in love with film, I think. It just seemed like the perfect ally to do it, with it's soft tones and cinematic feel, everything is magical and prettier when shot with an analogue - film does it better. I started photographing mostly for fun, but it has been growing and I've been putting a little more thought and effort into my pictures recently. Nowadays, I just feel really passionate about it and I really don't think I would be the same person without it.
2. Describe yourself in a few words.
- Ah! I hate these questions, seriously. Whether they're about me or about someone else, I just hate them! ahaha. We live in a world where change is said to be the only constant. And we, humans, do change constantly, both psychologically and biologically. So, It just feels bizarre trying to limit someone to a few words, just as much as it seems bizarre to me, that someone would actually feel the need to pack people into groups - psychological tests and astrology (not in-depth astrology, but the basic 12 signs) do this, like many, many other theses and theories.
To make it short: I have no idea how to describe myself in a few words! I change my interests and points of view constantly - I'm such a different person from the one I was 2 years ago. Anyways, I do believe that there are certain personality traits that remain, that are stuck to us like glue, some sort of essence, maybe. The ones that I seem to be keeping throughout the years, though, are: being creative, sensitive, honest (brutally honest, at times). I still keep my child-like sense of wonder, I'm communicative, perfectionist, open-minded - even though I'm usually firm about where I stand, so I can be a little stubborn too. :) ahaha
I hope it's enough.
3. What do you express with your photography, what is the message for the world?
- There's really no specific message behind my stream, I think. I'm not on a mission and I'm not trying to fulfill any purpose besides my own. I love taking pictures - period. I love being able to picture the world in a prettier way. Other than that I'm just expressing myself, I'm creating something - because there's an urge to do so - and putting it out there, sharing it with anyone and everyone that would like to see it.
I like creating little stories, I like putting emotion into my pictures, I like it when people feel something looking at them, when they can relate to them. But on top of that, I'm an aesthetic person so, beauty is the key. However, beauty has many forms. Solitude, melancholy, longing, sadness, death, even, they are beautiful too, so why not portray them that way? There's beauty in everything, I believe. Yes, even in the darkest flaws and most cruel actions - being a good person is overrated, anyways.
4. What equipment do you use? (meaning also editing program)
- I use a Zenit-11 and a Canon 400D. When using my Zenit-11 I barely need to edit the pictures. Usually I just twitch the colors a bit to get them just like I want them, but it's nothing much. Now, when I use digital, yeah, Photoshop CS3 is in order.
5. Where do you go for inspiration and what makes you keep shooting?
- I don't go anywhere for inspiration. I get inspiration from other fellow artists and from new places and new people and a pretty object... well, just about anything, really. Light is the usual common factor though, there's nothing like good light to make me want to shoot. That late afternoon light, it just brings things to life in a magical way... fills me up inside. Besides, It just seems like such a waste not to use it when it's staring me right in the face. I just have to. There's really no way to ignore it. ahaha
6. Where were you born, do you still live at the same place and do you wish you lived somewhere else?
- I was born in Aveiro, Portugal. And, yes, I still live here. There was a time when I lived by myself in Porto, which I loved, but then I came back here. Felt good to be home for the christmas season, though. :)
As for living somewhere else, the thing is, I've never travelled anywhere else besides spain, so I don't really have means of comparison. But I do believe that when I do start travelling places, I probably won't want to come back.
7. Your favourite photographers/painters/musicians/film-makers?
- This is another tough one, because it keeps changing. Photographers that I love? Many! But I probably won't love them as much tomorrow. Anyways I'll give you some names: Waldemar and Max, Rus Anson, Alison Scarpulla, Viola Cangi, Li Hui, Ann He., Mervecan Saral, Adam Sewastianowicz, Aëla Labbé, and many many others. Painters, I love paintings, but I rarely remember the names of the painters ahaha but Leonid Afremov, Audrey Kawasaki, Rebecca Dautremer. Musicians: Hanne Hukkelberg, Anja Garbarek, Psapp, The Raconteurs, Tom Waits, Patrick Watson, Lhasa de Sela, Panda Bear, Bon Iver - and many, many more (I'm a music addict). Film makers hum... I like Jim Jarmusch and recently a friend of mine showed me Hal Hartley's work, and I really like it as well. But I'm not big on directors names, sorry.
8. Tell us what your usual day looks like.
- I get up, get the train, go to work... then I usually meet some friend for coffee or walk the streets listening to music - making time until my next train back home. Then after coming back I can meet with another friend or take pictures... and then I'll be home editing them like a maniac. ahaha But my days are very unpredictable. I don't plan them too much.
9. What do you like to do beside of photography?
- I have many passions, but the biggest ones are: singing, acting and dancing. Those are the things, besides photography, that make me ecstatic. Other than that, I'm a normal girl - I love being with my friends, I love movies and books, I like writting, too. I love to walk, specially on cold days and specially at dusk. I love listening to music, I carry my mp3 at all times. I love the simple things in life... the little things.
10. What book are you reading right now?
- I'm not reading any book at the moment, sadly. I really want to, though. The last one I loved reading, and totally recommend, was "The Stranger" by Albert Camus
11. Is there something you would do anything needed to get it?
- Hum.. "anything"? No, I don't think so. I am a woman of principles. :)
12. Is there anything you couldn't live without?
- Well, currently, I couldn't live without internet. It gives me the music that I love, it presents me with new artists of every single craft, brilliant movies, inspirational videos, beautiful people... Yeah.. internet would be it.
13. What music do you like to listen to?
- I mostly like indie/folk/soft and progressive rock/experimental, but I also like blues, gospel, trip-hop and chill out.
14. What does it look like at where you are right now? How do you feel?
- I'm at my living room. My cat is sleeping on my lap (well, she's between me and the laptop ahah), I have my christmas tree right in front of me, and that makes me happy cause it reminds me that Christmas is almost here. :)
15. You have one wish - what would it be?
- To be able to keep doing the things that I'm passionate about.
16. Can you tell what you plan for 2011? Any new years resolutions?
- Traveling is at the top of the list. I really feel the urge to travel. 2011 is the year. :)
17. If you were a thing what would it be?
- A music sheet.
18. What are you proud of the most?
- You know... I got stuck on this question. I have no idea, really - which is sad, I guess. ahaha
It's kind of the whole issue of only wanting what others have, instead of cherishing what we have
Hum... but maybe the fact that I'm self-taught. Some say that I have many talents, but I can't really say that I feel proud about them specifically because they were always mine, so... It's not
like I worked hard to get them or anything like that, they were always there. Besides, I'm not amazingly brilliant doing any of them (singing, acting, photographing, dancing). But, yeah, I guess I'm proud that if they are a little bit above average it's because of me, it's my own doing. So... at the end of the day, I guess I'm proud of being a clever girl. :)
19. Do you have a favourite flower or smell?
- Favorite flowers: Orchids, dandelions, pom pom, baby's breath... I love flowers! ahaha I could go on and on. I'm really sensitive about smells. I rarely like men perfume, for example. Most men perfumes are just too strong, they literally give me a headache. So... I usually like sweet, fruity and soft smells, like jasmine flower and pretty much any fruit smell. Oh, also, cinnamon, candy, chocolate, mint, freshly cut grass and freshly washed laundry (and sheets!). Many, to tell the truth... I like to smell stuff.
Find Teresa at her flickr, deviantart, blog, tumblr and facebook. She deserves all your love!