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We are extremely honored to introduce you the new member of the 3rd annual B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION judging panel – one and only HEATHER EVANS SMITH!

Heather is a master of whimsical imagination and emotional storytelling!

Her work has been featured in solo and joint exhibitions nationwide, magazines, literary journals and online publications. She has been invited as a guest lecturer at colleges, universities and photography conferences such as Australian Exposure in the Gold Coast, Australia.

And she is now one of the judges on 3rd Annual International Photo Contest in B&W Child Photography!

Q: For the beginning, we have to say that we are extremely happy to have you as one of the Judges in The Second Half of B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION. How are you? How do you feel about the role of a judge on our B&W CHILD 2016?

A: Thank you for having me! I am honored and thrilled to be one of the judges for the competition. It’s a daunting task. There is so much great work out there!

Heather Evans Smith Judge

Heather Evans Smith

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Has art been a part of your life ever since the early age, or you happened to find it later in your life?

A: As an only child I turned to my imagination to entertain myself. I even started conceptual photography at this early age, taking photos of my cats in precarious situations. Looking back, I believe this type of childhood molded my art.

 I eventually left my hometown but not the state of North Carolina. I married, had a child, two different careers (first as a graphic designer, followed by photographer) and immersed myself in different types of art over the years. My yearning to create was always there. I just didn’t know what to do with it at times. Classes in b&w darkroom photography ignited my love for the art form. Almost 10 years later I would dive into photography and watch it unfold into another career.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Cut” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: How did living in a rural part of North Carolina influence your work and creativity?

A: The south will always be that third party in my work, in the landscapes as well as the heritage and traditions. It’s familiar and comes naturally.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Breathe Me” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your photographic career?

A: Believing in myself and giving myself a break. The more successful one becomes, the more pressure one puts on oneself to do bigger and better things. That pressure comes from within. I have learned (and am still learning) to cut myself some slack and work when it feels right to me.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Shear” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: Let’s talk about your ongoing project “Seen not Heard”.  Can you tell us more about the urge to express the feeling of motherhood? How did that influence relationship with your daughter?

A: For the past few years I have been creating images to express the emotions of motherhood. My daughter has never been included in those images. But as she has grown from a baby into a force of nature all her own, I was drawn to pull her into my world of conceptual photography and explore our relationship during a time when emotions of love, stress and confusion are high.

Seen Not Heard takes its title from the Old English adage “To Be Seen and Not Heard”, a term often thrown about in reference to the desired behavior of children. These images are silent, but they create a voluble visual narrative on the relationship between parent and child. They explore the cycles that are passed down through generations and the tension between keeping to what is known and forging a newer, and perhaps stronger, path. As strong as the close, forever bond between mother and daughter is, there also exists a distance inherent between two different individuals.

My daughter and I worked on these images for two years. She was a huge collaborator in the project. You can only direct a child so much. Her poses and movements and “mistakes” led to images that were stronger than originally planned. She enjoyed the dress up and play of it all.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Cycle” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: Does shooting on emotional level sometimes wear you out? It is constant looking into your soul, and it can easily drain you and make you feel stuck. Have you ever come across that feeling?

A: At times. I envy those who can bring their camera wherever they go and enjoy the process of photography, capturing all that’s around them. Having such a conceptual/emotional focus means that there is so much planning and stars aligning. I would love to be freer with it.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Package Deal” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: How did you feel about transition from local artist to having been spotted by Italian Vogue, Ron Howard and Australian Exposure Conference?

A: You know, honestly it doesn’t feel any different. It seems different from those on the outside but my daily life hasn’t changed much. I work in my own little bubble balancing projects, motherhood and home life. It’s always surprising when someone meets me that’s familiar with my work.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

Q: What is the piece of advice you always give to people when giving a speech?

A: The most amazing opportunities can come from the most ordinary situations. I’ve been disappointed by events that seemed like a sure fire way to success and in the end didn’t work out. The amazing opportunities came through unlikely people. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the connection until several years down the road. 

Judge Heather Evans Smith

“Marks” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: What are the artists that greatly influenced and inspired your work?         

A: I’m inspired by the emotional qualities of Francesca Woodman and Sally Mann, the dress, props and sets of Tim Walker and the cinematic feel of Gregory Crewdson. However, it’s not just other artists that inspire me: a song lyric, a vintage item of clothing, an emotion, daily life or an old movie will ignite an idea. I keep my mind open to new ideas and immediately jot them down. Sometimes I will shoot these images right away and at times it may take years for the right timing.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Wrench” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: You are one of the few artists that successfully manage to balance between personal and commercial work, what is your perfect formula?

A: I don’t know that I have a perfect formula, but have found that staying true to your style and story will lead you to client work in that same style. If the commercial work is equally engaging and moody then it can be just as satisfying as the personal work.

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Stranger On This Earth” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: What is the importance of self-portraits? Do you feel more involved and connected to the final images in which you are the subject, or it is more about the process which is more intimate?

A: I started out shooting self-portraits. Initially, it was convenient. I was always available and knew what I wanted the scene to look like. I found that the result was a deeper emotional connection. Over the past couple of years I’ve moved away from self-portraits. I’ve enjoyed the change from being in front and behind the camera to just behind. I can see the scene as it is playing out and that is satisfying for me. However, I am sure I will make appearances here and there in future work.  

Heather Evans Smith Interview

“Shed” by Heather Evans Smith

Q: How do you constantly keep your creativity flowing, do you sometimes experience a struggle  to come up with a new, distinct artistic vision?

A: I have not yet experienced a block in creative ideas, just difficulty finding the time and energy to shoot the ideas. When your child is your subject matter you never want to force the work. During Seen Not Heard we would take several months off at a time. It should never be mandatory for your child to model for you. I spend a lot of time collecting items that will eventually become ideas for new shoots. I keep working on this scavenger hunt of sorts, and when the mood strikes get to work.

You can find more of Heather’s splendid photographs on her  Facebook page, Flickr and Instagram .

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We are happy and honored to have a chance to speak with a woman who won Silhouette category once again! She has got 1st , 2nd and 3rd places in the previous years of B&W Child Photo Competition, as well as many Honorable Mentions! But most important she has splendid eye for child photography! She is Karen Osdieck – Winner in The Silhouette Category In The First Half of B&W Child Photo Competition 2016 !

 

Q: Hey Karen! We are enormously happy to have you here! You won before and you did it again! How does it feel like? ☺

A:  One word… Unreal!  I am so honored to be featured in this competition along with talents from all over the world.  Thank you so much for hosting this. 

Karen Osdieck Interview Winning Shot

“Jump” by Karen Osdieck , USA – 1ST PLACE IN THE SILHOUETTE CATEGORY | B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

 

Q: Introduce yourself with 5 words.

A:  Passionate, nostalgic, authentic, loyal and stubborn. 

Karen Osdieck 1st place B&W CHILD 2015 , First Half

“The Breakfast Club” by Karen Osdieck, USA – 1ST PLACE IN THE SILHOUETTE CATEGORY | B&W CHILD 2015, First Half

 

Q: What is your life story? Where are you born and raised? Why photography?

A:  I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago.  I have always loved taking photos and I had a Polaroid, a film camera and then a point-and-shoot while growing up.  The passion for capturing moments was always there but once I had my first son I was on a mission to learn as much as I could to take beautiful photos. 

Karen OPsdieck 3rd place

“Double” by Karen Osdieck, USA – 3RD PLACE IN THE CONCEPTUAL & PHOTO MANIPULATION CATEGORY | B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

 

Q: Are you related to the subjects you photograph? How does that influence your photographs?

A:  I am mainly a hobbyist and shoot my own family.  My passion is capturing my everyday with my boys and husband.  I would say that does influence my photography because I shoot them in a documentary style with no pressure!  I do also have a passion for teaching and I teach an advanced 4 week shooting course called Capturing Imagery With Purpose. 

Q: Do you photograph every day?

A:  Almost everyday but it is refreshing to take breaks (for me and my subjects).  I do work full time in the finance field so sometimes picking up my big camera everyday just isn’t possible.  But I shoot with my iPhone just as much. 

Karen Osdieck Interview

Q: What is a secret of succeeding in capturing such an intimate moments?

A:  My secret to succeeding is letting my subjects lead the shots!  I do make suggestions to them but I let them do what is natural to them which translates to more authentic moments on camera.   

Karen Osdieck Honorable Mention

“His Shadow” by Karen Osdieck, USA – Honorable Mention in The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

Q: We notice a lot of “negative space” in your work. We can freely say it’s your trade mark. How did you discover your style?

A:  I struggled to find my style early on and shooting with a 35mm and then a 24mm changed my photography!  I then started shooting at a wide angle to include more of the scene and including the negative space became a love of mine!

Karen Osdieck Honorable Mention

“Chores” by Karen Osdieck, USA – Honorable Mention in The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

Q: Do you have any personal favorites from the First Half of B&W CHILD 2016? If you hadn’t won silhouette category who would have won?

A: “Night Swimming” by Jennifer Kapala, Canada is my favorite from the silhouette category.  The light is so gorgeous with the rays streaming through the water and I’ve just started to shoot underwater photography myself!

Karen Osdieck Interview

Q: Since you teach photography, what is the thing you always say to your young students?

A:  I provide course materials that include images as examples that I have shot over a year or two and after failing many times while practicing.  Many say right after being introduced to a concept that they are struggling so I tell everyone “It is difficult but do not get frustrated, it takes time and you will get it”.  No one is going to take perfect shots right away.  Once you take the pressure off it will click!

Karen Osdieck Interview

Q: How do you balance between doing photography as a business and as a hobby?

A:  I am running my workshop three times a year and those 4 weeks are intense.  I shoot but do not have that much time to edit until those four weeks are over. 

Q: How do you know that you took the perfect shot. Is that the inner feeling or something else?

A:  That is exactly it… It is an inner feeling to know when you have the “perfect” shot.  I put the word perfect in quotes because everyone’s definition of perfect is different.  With shooting two young boys my final shots are rarely what I envisioned when grabbing my camera!  Photography has taught me to be patient, to see the beauty in everything and to be flexible.  I am definitely more open minded and relaxed. 

Karen Osdieck Honorable Mention

“Light and Water” by Karen Osdieck, USA – Honorable Mention in The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

 

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A:  I find inspiration from light!  And from the quite moments that are so often overlooked.  I am naturally a nostalgic person so I am inspired to capture what is going on in our lives in unique ways.  I can tell already that I have passed the love of photography to my boys. 

Karen Osdieck Interview

Q: Do you have any quote that leads you through life?

A:  This too shall pass. 

Karen Osdieck Interview

Karen Osdieck Interview

 

Q: How do you feel about post production, since it is spoken a lot whether photographers should edit photographs or not.

A:  I do not spend much time editing my images I probably could shoot in JPEG and be happy but for my images I do like the film look.  I am careful to get exposure and white balance correct in camera (which is also part of the workshop).  I do like a purposeful crop though!

Karen Osdieck Honorable Mention

“Bonding of Brothers” by Karen Osdieck, USA – Honorable Mention in The Silhouette Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

 

Q: What equipment do you use?

A:  I shoot with a Nikon d750 and mainly the 24-70mm 2.8.  I also use a Fujifilm for my underwater images. 

karen Osdieck Interview

 

Q: Older, wiser, more experienced and definitely multiple times awarded-photographer. What would be your message to other photographers?

A:  I would say to never get frustrated and give up!

Honorable Mention Karen Ssdieck

“Untitled” by Karen Osdieck, USA – Honorable Mention in The Silhouette Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half


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Olga Ageeva is one of the photographers who is regularly participating in our Annual International Photo Contest B&W CHILD.  Her work has been well noticed by our judges and for the first time she has become The Category Winner! In this interview, we finally have a chance to find out more about Olga and her work. Enjoy!

 

Q: Hello Olga! We are so happy to have you here. Your winning photograph is stunning. Congrats! Well deserved. How does it feel to be a winner of the Lifestyle Category in our competition?

A: It is absolutely unexpected, but I am very pleased.

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph? It is a real story within the frame!

A: It’s a picture of my daily routine. This was one of the acrobatic performances of my daughters in the winter evening, after their homework had been done. Retro music was coming from the TV, grandfather was surfing the Internet and there was also a cat who has been the necessary character of the frame.

1ST place in The Lifestyle Category B&W 2016 Child Photo Competition

“Untitled” by Olga Ageeva – 1ST place in The Lifestyle Category B&W 2016 Child Photo Competition, First Half

 

Q:  Could you please introduce yourself? Tell us something personal. Who is Olga?

A: Olga is a person who looks at the world with her eyes wide open, trying to capture the most interesting moments with her camera, and  also a mother of three children, who are her leading characters.

Olga Ageeva "Sea" , interview

Q: When did you meet photography? Was it the love on first sight?

A: I met photography at school. I used to took pictures using the film, then develop it and print the moments of my friends’ school life.Then I had had a long break and I resumed three years ago.

Olga Ageeva Interview

“Pendulum” by Olga Ageeva – Honorable Mention in The Fine Art Category at B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: If you could describe your work with only three words, which words would you use?

A: Kids, family and warmth.

Olga Ageeva Interview

“The Apple Time” by Olga Ageeva – Honorable Mention in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

 

Q: What does it lead you to recognizing and capturing that perfect moment you always manage to capture?

A: It’s a difficult question, I think it’s probably the kind of harmony which occurs in that one second in the frame.

Olga Ageeva Interview

Olga Ageeva Interview

“Melancholy” by Olga Ageeva – Nominee at B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Can you tell us few photographers that influence your work?

A: William Eugene Smith, Sally Mann, Dorothea Lange

Q: What inspires you?

A: Books, music, strolling, travelling, photos.

Lifestyle portrait of the sisters

“One moment in the life of the sisters” by Olga Ageeva – Nominee at B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: What is the best advice you have received regarding photography?

A: Take more pictures.

Portrait by Olga AgeevaOlga Ageeva Interview

Q: What’s the importance of taking part in quality photography contests?

A: Contests gives you the opportunity to expose your work and to find out about other photographers.

Olga Ageeva interview

“Untitled” by Olga Ageeva – Nominee in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

Q: Can you tell us which are your favorite photos from The First Half of B&W CHILD 2016

A: There is a lot of interesting and vivid photos, especially from CATEGORY: DOCUMENTARY & STREET, for example “Life in Balkan”  and “Father”.

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Alicja is one of the photographers whose work we have a chance to see on every Annual Competition B&W CHILD. Every single time, her works stands out. This time, she took the 1st Place in The Fine Art Category at B&W CHILD 2016 – 3rd Annual International Competition in B&W Child Photography. 

Q: Hello Alicja, we are honored to having you once again in our competition. You won the first place in The Fine Art Category in The First Half of B&W CHILD 2016. How does it feel to be a winner this year and competing for the 1000 EUR Cash Award?

A: Winning definitely offers a huge positive stimulus. If you had doubts about what you were doing before you can believe that it makes sense once again. There are many very talented photographers taking part in this contest so I think choosing the winner will be extremely difficult.

grandfather learning his granddaughter to swim

“Untitled” by Alicja Brodowicz, Poland – 1ST PLACE IN THE FINE ART CATEGORY | B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

Q: We’re happy to have a chance to talk to you again, are there new things you would mention when having been asked “Who is Alicja Brodowicz?”.  Anything new since our last interview that you would love to share with us?

A: Well, I’d like to say that a few of my photos were selected for an exhibition during TIFF photography festival in Wrocław, which is going to take place at the beginning of September. This year’s theme of the festival is “Rivers and Roads” and I am going to present my photos from the “Learning to Swim” series. I am also working hard on my photography studies and hopefully I will graduate in September. So this is quite a busy time for me.

“Rebeka” by Alicja Brodowicz, Poland - ST PLACE IN THE PORTRAIT CATEGORY | B&W CHILD 2014, Second Half

“Rebeka” by Alicja Brodowicz, Poland – 1ST PLACE IN THE PORTRAIT CATEGORY | B&W CHILD 2014, Second Half

Q: Can you tell us who were your favorite photographers and photos from the First Half of B&W CHILD 2016? What do you think of competitors this year and First Half Winner’s gallery?

A:  I absolutely love Alicja Pietras’ photo entitled “Boyhood”. The title is perfect too. The little boy with a fragile naked body and a funny facial expression that makes you smile is standing among beautiful leaves. I adore it. I also really like two of Kelly Tyack’s photos that were awarded in the competition, “The Moth” and “Leaves”. There are great photos in every category. I enjoyed looking at photos from the Documentary category – they let you take a glimpse into the intimate life of other people in different places around the world.

Q:  Winning photographs is a part of your ongoing series ‘’Learning to swim” can you tell us more about the whole series?

A: Originally, I was just taking photos of my daughter and I did not think of them as a series. In the course of time, I realized that they form a certain pattern. It is obvious that they are about my relationship with her, but they are also about looking at your child grow and become independent and about the cutting of the umbilical cord in a more metaphorical way. It is about letting your child go and live in the world, stand firm on the ground on her own. You can no longer hold her in your arms and protect her, she has to go and live on her own and experience everything – the good and the bad things that happen in life. The parent can have very mixed feelings about it: I feel very proud and, at the same time, very scared. The series is accompanied by a poem written by a friend of mine. The poem explores the themes of water and gradual transformation from an aquatic creature (tadpole maybe?) into a terrestrial one and I found that it fits the idea that I wanted to convey in my pictures perfectly.

Interview with Alicja Brodowicz

From “Learning to swim” series

Q:  You also take self-portraits, do they have significant value for you?

A: I take self-portraits every now and then. However, they are not about documenting physical appearance and changes in my looks; they often mark some significant moments in my life. Even though they may seem completely ordinary to the rest of the world, yet for me they are worth remembering. They evoke memories of very specific events, persons, smells, weather conditions, etc. Together, they make up a specific self-portrait diary where every photo is connected to a particular event in my life.

Alicja Brodowicz selfportrait

Q: You are someone whose work has been recognized on many competitions. In which ways quality photo competition influence your work and your career?

A: I am often not really certain if the things I do are good enough. I often feel discouraged and full of doubts. When you get positive feedback like, for example, a prize in a competition, you definitely feel more self-confident and believe in yourself more. It is a great stimulus to continue working.

tree in the water

Q:  How do you imagine your perfect day?

A: I would love to go on a trip to some big city, like New York or Tokyo and take the camera and explore it, wander around all day long, without any specific plan. It would be great to get on and get off buses or underground in places that strike you as interesting with nothing else to do but just walking about and seeing new things. I have been working a lot recently and I really miss travelling – so that is probably the explanation for a perfect day that would look like this.

Polish photographer Brodowicz

Q: What is the most inspirational thing you’ve ever seen?

A: As far as photography goes, I still think that the thing that inspired me most was the work of Sally Mann. I love her photos from the “Immediate Family” album. I think it also makes you aware of one important thing: if you want to photograph, you do not have to look far for subjects. The most interesting people and places are the ones right next to you. I think that Annie Leibovitz also mentioned it as her piece of advice for aspiring photographers: “Stay close to home. Start with your friends and family, the people who will put up with you. Discover what it means to be close to your work, to be intimate with a subject.”

Portrait of Alicja's daughter

Portrait of Alicja's father

Q: How and when did you realize that fine art photography is “your thing”?

A: I do not really think that there was any specific moment. I just keep doing what I like. I do not do photography professionally, I treat it more as a hobby and something fun to do and I want to keep it this way. This works best for me.

Q:  How involved are your subjects in the whole process of one photograph?

A: I take photos of people who are close to me: my family and my friends. So there is always a close relationship between me and my subjects. However, their involvement in the whole process is quite a different thing though. When I ask my daughter if she could pose for me, she is often too busy doing other things and I simply have to resolve to bribery. When there’s more than one person involved – like for example the photo that won in the Fine Art Category – my father and my daughter – there’s usually a lot of laughing and everything goes horribly wrong: either I am unclear in giving instructions or they are not really following them closely and we have to repeat the same photo a number of times until the result is somewhat satisfactory – and my daughter usually starts laughing at the wrong time, so we have to try once again. Anyway, the final result is rarely as I have originally imagined it.

Family spontaneous photos by Alicja Brodowicz

Q: How much of your story comes to life during actual shooting, and how much during the editing?

A: It really depends on the photo. In some cases you take a photo almost unaware and realize later that it tells a story, only after you see it on your computer screen for example. Sometimes you are an observer and a story unfolds right in front of your eyes and all you have to do is to capture the right moment.

Alicja Brodowicz documenting her life in Poland

Alicja Brodowicz winner in the Fine art category at B&W CHILD 2016

Q: What are your goals you set in photography that you are yet to archive?

A: Well, right now my primary goal is to finish my photography studies. I study at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava in Czech Republic and in September I am going to defend my BA thesis. I am going to spend the rest of the summer studying history of photography for the final exam and I have to print some photos too. So these are my immediate goals.

Landscape photography by Alicja Brodowicz

You can see more of Alicja’s work on her website and Lens Culture.

 

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Istvan Kerekes is talented photographer from Hungary who has been participating in B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION in the last few years. His work was always very well noticed on our competitions and this year he won the 1st Place in the Documentary and Street Category! 

Q: Congratulations Istvan! You took 1st Place in The Documentary & Street category in The First Half of B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION! How does it feel to be a winner?

A: A very good feeling! It feels great to win category 1st prize at such a prestigious contest.

Q: What do you think of winners and finalists of The First Half of B&W CHILD 2016? Any particular photo or photographer you like this year?

A: Really unique pictures, with great impact … this year no, I’d not pick one photo or photographer …, but last year,  some photos of Chee Keong Lim from Malaysia left huge impression on me (Prying, Going home, Muddy football, Reading).

Q: Your winning photograph “Life in Balkan” is very captivating and has a lot of story in it. Can you tell us a bit more about the plot? How, when and why did you create this photograph?

A: I took the picture in June, 2015  in a former mining city in south Romania. In the communist regime, the Romanian dictator Ceausescu built here the biggest mining quarter in Romania. 26 years later, after falling of the communist regime … this is the vision I had: playful children swinging in front of an partially abandoned block of flats. A raw Balkan style playground. BUT, on the other side,  these children are very happy and feel very good. They are in the middle of the world and this is how they home look like.  Today, in this area the poverty and the unemployment  is very high. In years to come, many of these children will be beggars. Through this picture I wanted to show how life does it look like today in this area. I have a project which I started 2 years ago and  still working on it. This project is about every day life in the former mining cities in Romania.

Documentary child photography

“Life in Balkan” by Istvan Kerekes, Hungary – 1st Place in The Documentary and Street Category | B&W CHILD 2016, First Half

Q: So, how is life in Balkan?

A: I don’t know how is life in the rest of the Balkan,  I know only how is the life in the Balkan region of Romania because I spend a lot of my time taking photographs in Romania. In Romania, the opinions are divided. For me it’s a place with big impact, because in many places the poverty is high, but the soul of the simple people who live here is huge. In many places, the effects of modern wold are less present in the lives of their inhabitants.

"Life in Balkan" by Istvan Kerekes, Hungary - 2nd Place in The Documentary and Street Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

“Life in Balkan” by Istvan Kerekes, Hungary – 2nd Place in The Documentary and Street Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

Q: Can you tell us more about yourself? Who is Istvan Kerekes?

A: Istvan Kerekes is a teacher and freelance photographer who was born in 1977 in Targu Mures city, Transylvania (region of Romania). I lived in Romania for 30 years. For the last 10 years I live in Hungary.  I photograph mostly portraits, social life and nature photos.

I am proud of my achievement in the art of photography the FIAP (Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique). They gave me the EFIAP/platinum distinction. I am the first Hungarian who got this distinction (2012) and the world youngest photographer who holds the EFIAP/p. With my most valuable picture “Yelena” from 2010 February to this day I won 227 prizes in 37 countries / 5 continents – Unique record result in the life of the Hungarian photography of all time. A very very important thing: I do not have a Facebook site, and I have never had one !!! In Hungary, there is 4 photographers called Kerekes Istvan !!! They all have Facebook page. I don’t!  So, if anyone is interested to see my pictures, I have only one webpage: www.kerekesistvan.com

portrait of little girl Yelena

“Yelena” by Istvan Kerekes – Nominee at B&W CHILD 2015, First Half

Q: How did you find photography? What is that one thing that makes you fall in love with it again and again?

A: When I was a child, my parents did hiking every weekend and they took me to go with them. Later on, I walked the fields and forests with my childhood friends and became very interested in the wonderful world of nature. Most of my friends are ornithologists, biologists and environmental experts. Therefore, hiking and the love for nature pervaded me in my childhood and adolescent years. I started photography to document hiking at weekends, and one or two interesting moments I’d saw in nature along the way.

In 1997, I decided I should do photography more seriously. I was eager to show the wonders of the nature I’ve seen at my weekend hikings to the people around me. Until 2000 I actually photographed only nature. But, while I was walking the nature at that time, I came across many interesting and unique social photo and portrait themes, which were worth shooting. So in the beginning of the 2000s I gradually started doing social and portrait photography as well and I became successful very soon both: at national and international level. I fell in love with social and portrait photography so much that the balance is tilted now in favor of these fields …

Interview with Hungarian photographer Istvan Kerekes

“Face” by Istvan Kerekes – Nominee in The Second Half of B&W CHILD 2015

Q: Why documentary photography?

A: Because I like to capture the human fates. I talk to people, I try to understand people’s thoughts. Human destinies are written on their faces …

Q: What are the few things you have learnt while being documentary photographer?

A: To appreciate my life … the situations … to know the really life in the different social classes.

Woodcutters home

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your workflow? 

A: Every time is different. Sometimes I am thinking and planning what I will photograph, and some other times,  the theme happens in front of me and I document it.

Documentary child photography

“Lightbar” by Istvan Kerekes

Q: What equipment do you use?

A: Camera: Nikon D3, lens: Nikkor 24-120mm and Nikkor 80-400mm

Portrait of a young girl

“Katryna” by Istvan Kerekes

Q:  Do you travel worldwide to take photographs or you are rather local photographer?

A: Majority of my social life and portrait pictures (about 90%) I take in Romania.

Q: Are you a full time photographer?

A: No, I am not a full time photographer. My official education and qualifications are in physical education, so I work as a physical education teacher. But for me, the most important think is the photography. It’s my life calling.

Social portraits by Istvan Kerekes

“Best friends” by Istvan Kerekes

Q: Can you tell us why it’s so important to take part in the quality photography contests?

A: In my opinion, a quality contest is a great challenge for every photographer. I think photography contests push us forward, inspire us to make new and unique photos, with innovative ideas … I learn very much from the contests … The most important thing for me is this: I am very determined from the very beginning not to copy others with any of my work.  I try not to create similar or the same photo that someone else did before me. I strive to develop a completely unique point of view and the world of unique images and thoughts.

So, if I feel that the theme is good for me, I send my photos in the contests. It is a real challenge.

Interview with Istvan Kerekes

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A: I have a message for those who  are starting out photography and competitions. First thing: decide what is your goal in photography and what do you want to achieve by participating in the competitions. I advice you to follow up with the state of today’s photography. For example, see what were trends in The First Half B&W CHILD 2016. Watch carefully and think about it. Observe carefully,  but never copy or do the same. Trends are here to inspire us, to make us think from a unique viewpoint, out of the box, so as a result we can create our own unique photographs. You should experiment a lot, as the persistent work will bring it’s fruit sooner or later. A few years later,  viewers will recognize the photographer’s hallmark while looking at their work.

 

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Q: Dear Linda, first of all, we want to congratulate one more time for achieving incredible success on B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2016!  You took the 1st place in the Documentary and Street Category! Did you expect this?

A: No. I didn’t…I’m very happy!

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph “Little girl in the bathroom”?  What’s the story behind this photograph?

A: I was in Mandalay, a big and important city in Myanmar. After a day in a Buddhist Monastery where I took some photographs, I was relaxing in a shop when suddenly, behind a curtain, I saw a nice girl. Everything was perfect: light, objects, her movement and her posture…..so, I asked her permission and photographed her.  It was a sudden, unexpected discovery. She was the owner’s daughter. She helped her parents in the shop after school.

Interview with Linda de'Nobili

“A little girl in the bathroom by Linda de’Nobili – 1st Place In The Documentary & Street Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Can you tell us more about you? How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

A: I’m 59 and I grew up in Rome where I also live today.

little Asian boy with his cat

“A child with his cat” by Linda de’Nobili – Nominee in The Portraitt Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: We assume you love travel since you are doing mostly documentary photography? What’s your favorite place?

A: I love Africa but I’m discovering other countries.

Q: How do you finance your travels?

A: By myself.

orphan in Asia

“A little orphan” by Linda de’Nobili – Nominee in The Portrait Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Do you sell fine art prints or digital files? Where?

A: I sell my digital files to magazines, but it’snot easy.

Portrait of African tribe

Q:Who are some photographers that you admire?

A: Marc Asnin, Anders Petersen, Mary Ellen Mark, Jim Goldberg, Nan Goldin etc.

Q: What inspires you?

A: It depends…..I’m mainly inspired by stories, but also by lights, colours, places.

African people washing their hands in the rain

 

Q: Where did you learn photography? Do you have a formal education in photography?

A: I learned photography in various schools; actually I’m with Lina Pallotta. There’s always something to learn. I started late as a professional photographer.

Q: How long have you been a photographer?

A: For 12, 13 years.

Massses of people laying on the beach

 

Q: What equipment do you use?

A: I use Nikon Df, lens 35mm and Olympus E MD1, lens 12/40

Q: What’s your favorite lens?

A: 35mm.

Documentary photography

 

Q: What kind of tools do you use for post processing? Can you explain your work flow?

A: I use Photoshop to correct lights, shadows, sharpness, etc…but I’m not particularly good with it and so I often have this job done by a trusted person.

Interview with Italian photographer LindaLinda de'Nobili

Q: How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

A: Through a lot of practice and the study of my and other photographers’s work.

African rituals

Q: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

A: To know good teachers.

Interview with Linda de'Nobili

Q: How do you know you made a good photograph? Do you ever get any inner sensation and simply know “this is it”?

A: Not usually, but it has happened. Sometimes, on the contrary, I like very much a photo that it’s not appreciated, and vice versa.

Interview with Italian documentary photographer Linda de'Nobili

Q: In your opinion, why is so important for photographers to enter quality photography competitions?

A: It is important to measure one selves with other photographers’s work, and naturally to be known….but it’s also important to get involved.

Interview with Linda de'Nobili

Q: What do you think about entries and in The Second Half of B&W CHILD , Second Half you also took part in it?

A: I saw great photos.

Linda de'Nobili Photography

Q: Your favorite photography quote?

A: If your photographs aren’t good enough, you are not close enough.

Doll vs doll

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A: It’s very important to study and to understand what we want to communicate to the others.

 

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Q: Dear Assaf, first of all we want to congratulate one more time for achieving incredible success on B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2016!  You won the 1st place in the Conceptual and Photo Manipulation Category and 2nd Place in The Fine Art Category! Your  work was well noticed on this competition. Did you expect this?

A: Thanks, I was really honored and thrilled, and no, I have to say that I didn’t see it coming.

Q: W are so happy to have you here and find out more about you and your work. Can you tell us more about you? How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

A: I am 32 years old, born in Israel, living and working in Paris for the past 8 years.

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph “L’Enfant Terrible”?  What’s the story behind this photograph?

A: the picture is a part of a series called “Modern fairy tales” that feature different scenes from modern realty, a mix of personnelexperience and observation.

L’Enfant terrible is my favorite picture from the series (and one of my favorite pictures on general) as I think that I find my childhood in this picture, a bit naive, a bit disappointed, at the corner misunderstood.

Interview with Assaf Matarasso

“L’Enfant Terrible” by Assaf Matarasso – 1st Place in The Conceptual and Photo Manipulation Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Your work is quite diverse, from fashion photography to still life. What do you like to photograph the most?

A: The things I like to photograph the most are emotions, and especially the darker spectrum of them, the subjects can be divers but I am always looking after the same row emotions. In the past few years I am focusing my work on portraits, I am searching after the “micro expressions” of a person, a small story in the eyes or lips that give deepness to a portrait.

conceptual portrait of a young woman

From the Series Scars by Assaf Matarasso

 

Q: What kind of music do you enjoy the most?

A: I am a huge music fan, and I am trying to explore new genres all the time. On my playlist you can find a diversity of jazz from Israel, psychedelic folk from Iceland, Brazilian Bossa Nova and 60s-70s funk. But I have one record that I am putting on almost every time when I shoot, Ardour by Teebs, I find that the emotional ambience of this record is exactly what I am looking for when I work.

creative conceptual male portrait

From the Series Scars by Assaf Matarasso

 

Q: Do you like to travel? What’s your favorite place?

A: I love traveling, When I was younger I have spent half year in Africa and one year in Asia, it was my love for traveling that had lead me at the end to Paris and that opened my mind and inspired me at the beginning of my career. I can’t say that I have a specific favorite place as what I love the most is the sensation of being away.

conceptual approach in child photography

“Provide” by Assaf Matarasso – 2nd Place in The Fine Art Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q:  Who are some photographers that you admire?

A: There’s a lot.. But I think that the ones that remark me the most are Erwin Olaf, EugenioRecuenco, Sarah Moon, Antoine d’Agata and Julia Hetta.

Assaf Matarasso photography

“Adult entertainment” from the series Modern Fairy Tales

Q: What inspires you?

A: I am inspired a lot by literature and cinema, but what is inspiring and intriguing my the most are stories of people I don’t know, I just love walking and watching the small mimics of people around and imagining there life.

Conceptual photography by Assaf Matarasso

“l’intellectuel” from the series Modern Fairy Tales

 

Q: Where did you learn photography? Do you have a formal education in photography?

A: I have started my way in photography when I was 14 years old with a film camera, so without any formal guidance, at that time I did mostly photo journalism and I could spend hours in a place waiting for the right person or light to get in to my frame, with time I understood that I would be able to express myself better if I would just create my scenes, and so I have done a bachelor degree in photography here in Paris to master better creating and lighting a seance.

Conceptual child photography by Assaf Matarasso

“Les enfants à clés” from the series Modern Fairy Tales

 

Q: What equipment do you use?

A: I am shooting with canon 5D mark 2 and all must all of my lightning is done with Hensel studio strobes.

Conceptual and child photography by Assaf Matarasso

From the series Provide

Q: What’s your favorite lens?

A: the 24-70 2.8 from Canon, it was my first professional lens and till today it is still the lens I use the most.

Assaf Matarasso photography

From the Series Provide

Q: What kind of tools do you use for post processing? Can you explain your work flow?

A: I am using Bridge for the editing part (that sometime is the most complicated) and then I am doing all the work on Photoshop. I almost never look at the pictures on the same day of the shooting as I believe that it is really important to take same distance and get detached from the emotions that came up during the shooting. Then I am spending a lot of time looking at the image and trying to analyze what will make it better and what is just unnecessary.

Assaf Matarasso Photography

“Miroir” by Assaf Matarasso

Q: How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

A: usually I am really hard on myself, and almost all the time once a shooting is over I am asking myself if I really went till the end with my abilities and idea.

fine art photography of a fish

“99 Room, The Kitchen” by Assaf Matarasso

 

Q: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

A:I wish that I have had more knowledge about artificial lights.

fine art portrait of two sisters

From The Series Two Sisters

 

Q: Do you sell fine art prints?

A: Yes, I am selling numbered signed prints in exhibitions and directly to art collectors.

Fine art photograph of a woman

From The Series Honesty

 

Q: You do a lot of photography exhibitions. What do they mean to you? How did you enter this market? Do you have any advice for photographer how to be more present in galleries?

A: Exhibiting once work is one of the most rewarding and difficult moment for me at the same time, it is then when your soul is exposed to the big public, for their appreciation and criticism. I am fascinated by the way that my work can (or cannot) make others feel. And it’s always interesting to discover people opinion and interpretation regarding your work.

I have entered this market pretty match by chance. Once I showed some prints to some friends in a café in Paris when a friend of a friend passed by and offered me to do an exhibition, and since then it just kept rolling.

The biggest advice I can give to a photographer who is interested in fine art is to be unique and to find his proper visual signature. Fine art photography is becoming more and more present in galleries and there is a place for all styles and formats, and in now days when we are overflowed with images people are looking for a unique and honest voice.

young man standing in the forest

“A new king is born” by Assaf Matarasso

Q: How do you know you made a good photograph? Do you ever get any inner sensation and simply know “This is it”?

A: Yes, but it is rare, usually It takes me a few days to appreciate my own work.

Conceptual photography by Assaf Matarasso

From The Series Kids

Q: In your opinion, why is so important for photographers to enter quality photography competitions?

A: When you are working in the creative field, you are nurtured from the people around you, there’s nothing more important than having your work out there for the eyes of others, a quality photo competition can do exactly that.

adult children series

From The Series Kids

 

Q: What do you think about entries and in The Second Half of B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half that you took part in it?

A: I found that the quality of the images is extremely high, and I am more than honored that two of my pictures are shown side by side with such a remarkable selection.

Q: Your favorite photography quote?

A: “Photography is a kind of virtual reality, and it helps if you can create the illusion of being in an interesting world.”  Steven Pinker

From The Series Scars

From The Series Scars

 

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A: Search for your unique voice, do it emotionally,not intellectually.

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Her work is raw, honest and emotive. Meet Niki Boon, a former pediatric physiotherapist and currently one of the world’s best child photographers! Niki took The 1st Place in The Lifestyle Category and 1st Place in the Silhouette Category. On top of that, she received numerous honourable mentions in the Second Half of B&W Child Photo Competition 2015. All the results of The Second Half of B&W CHILD 2015 can be seen here.

Q: Dear Niki, first of all we want to congratulate one more time for achieving incredible success on B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015!  You won the 1st place in The Lifestyle Category, the 1st place in The Silhouette Category and numerous honourable mentions. In one word, your work was truly noticed by our judging panel. Did you expect this?

A: Ummm….no definitely not. I have followed your website, blog and Facebook Page for many months now and have admired and been inspired by the incredible art that is on display …. To think that my pictures would be recognized in amongst this enormous amount of talent is an incredible honour!

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph  in the Lifestyle Category “Sisters”?  What’s the story behind this photograph?

A: The picture is of my two girls who have the most wonderful close relationship. We were swimming in the river down the road from us. My youngest was having trouble getting back across the slippery stones and my eldest went back to help her out, I just love the way my little one wraps herself around her older siblings when they help her , and I wanted to record that.

Winning photograph in the Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2015

“Sisters” by Niki Boon – 1st Place in The Lifestyle Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Your photograph “Run” took the first place in the Silhouette Category. Can you tell us more about this photograph?

A: This was my youngest son , with our dog on a wintery day just after a storm. Both my son and our dog love to run , a lot and I happened to grab this shot as they ran along the stop bank beside our local river.

Winner in the Silhouette Category at B&W CHILD 2015 Photo Competition

“Run” by Niki Boon – 1st Place in The Silhouette Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Can you tell us more about you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

A: I am a New Zealander born and bred and grew up in the north island on a large farm with my extended family. We had a wonderful childhood filled with countryside adventures. Now I live in the south island with my own family. We have a 10 acre lifestyle block with a selection of animals and small vineyard , it is here that I work to replicate a childhood with the freedoms that I was lucky to experience as a child.

Little girl with chicken pet animal

portrait of a girl with chicken

Q: You are a former pediatric physiotherapist. Can you tell us when and how it happened this shift in a career?

A: After my second child was born, it became very difficult to juggle both parents working and two children, in the end I felt that neither my clients at work or my children at home were getting the best of me, something had to give and my children were priority. The photography really became important to me with our decision to educate our children alternatively, it was and still is an interesting journey for us and the photography helps me to reflect on our life decision.

father and daughter

“In her father’s hands” by Niki Boon – Honorable Mention in The Lifestyle Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: You are homeschooling 4 kids. How do you handle all this? Do you photograph every day?

A:Some days are certainly more challenging than others. We tend to take more of an unschooling approach to our children’s learning where they are largely self directed with what they choose to focus on, which works well for us. My camera sits close by at all times, and whilst not quite everyday , it is used certainly most days.

Brother and sister in old wheels

Q: How do your kids react when you photograph them? Are they used to be photographed by you?

A: My children are so used to having the camera around now, that they react very little to it. Occasionally I might ask if they can “do that again” or similar , and sometimes they react to that… but mostly it is just part of their life. They know that the photographs are ultimately theirs, and although shared with others are primarily taken for their record books.

kids eating ice cream

“Summer” by Niki Boon – Honorable Mention in The Documentary & Street Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Do you like to travel? What’s your favorite place?

A: I LOVE to travel. When I was in my early 20’s I spent 4 years overseas working and travelled as much as I could in that time. It is challenging to travel anywhere from New Zealand as we are so far away from the rest of the world and it is expensive to fly anywhere , especially with a family of 6. But I have a huge world map on our living room wall, and countless cultural books in our house and I encourage my kids to travel one day.

little girl under transparent umbrella

“Trapped” by Niki Boon – Nominee in The Documentary & Street Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: What kind of music do you enjoy the most?

A:I love a lot of New Zealand musicians, also am a big fam of 70’s music.

boy and leaf

“Leaf” by Niki Boon – Nominee in The Portrait Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q:  Who are some photographers that you admire?

A:So many , it is hard to list. There are a lot of incredible artists that I have ‘met’ through the internet whose work is constantly moving me deeply. I also love the work of photojournalists such as Ernesto Bazan, Dorothy Lange, Eugene Richards. I often look at photographs from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

girl holding a scull

“Skull” by Niki Boon – Honorable Mention in The Fine Art Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Where did you learn photography?

A: I have never had any ‘formal’ learning, but I have been incredibly inspired by a few online courses that I have taken.

Little girl hiding behind the bush

“Hide” by Niki Boon – Nominee in The Portrait Category | B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: What equipment do you use?

A: I have a Canon 5d mk III and shoot primarily with a 35mm lens.

little girl's back

“Untitled” by Niki Boon – Honorable Mention in The Lifestyle Category |B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Do you edit your photographs in Photoshop or Lightroom?

A: Lightroom. I am trying to challenge myself to learn more photoshop, but for now almost all of my processing is done in lightroom.

little girl tearing apart her doll

 

Q: You are working with clients as well, yet you are one of the rare photographers who didn’t make compromise and started doing posed family portraits once you started charging for your work. Can you tell us more about  this? Is it hard for you to educate clients why you believe in documenting more than staged portraits?

A: I have done some client work, but right now I am focusing more on my personal work. The client work I do take on is documentary style. I make sure this is clear to my clients first, mostly through the images I show them, but I also explain this to them in an email and often backed up with a phone call also.

black and white photography by Niki Boon

Q: Do you sell photography prints to your clients or digital files?

A:Because my business is small and only in its beginning stages, I currently sell only digital files, but it is my goal to sell prints, and albums.

Niki Boon Photography

Q: Your work has a fine art quality. That being said, it’s not surprising we see your success in photography competitions like B&W CHILD. Do you also showcase your work in art galleries?

A: I recently applied for a group exhibition in a small gallery in America and had 5 images selected , which was a huge honour, and I am very excited about the idea of having my pictures viewed in print.

Niki Boon Photography

Q: What inspires you?

A:I am inspired by wide open spaces, windswept beaches, warm windy days, my kids running barefoot and free, good novels and character based plays….

12540784_1054897974573483_6460055340405209086_n

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A: Shoot , shoot , shoot … for me is was how I learnt so much about photography, about what I love and how I work.

Niki Boon Website | Niki Boon Facebook Page

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Marina Kazakova was one of those photographers in the Second Half of B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015 who left a huge impression with her submissions. She is a fresh, talented, emerging photographer with an old soul. Meet Marina Kozakova, The Winner of The Portrait Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half!

 

Q: Dear Marina, first of all we want to congratulate one more time for achieving incredible success on B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015!  You won the 1st place in our most popular category on the competition: Portrait Photography ! Did you expect this?

A: Thank you for your compliments, I really appreciate it. I didn’t know what to expect, but I can’t hide I strongly hoped I would win.

 

Q: We are so happy to have you here and find out more about you and your work. How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

A: I was born in Soviet Union 48 years ago. I spent all of my life moving from one place to another: Soviet Union, East Germany, Kazakhstan. In the last few years I lived in Moscow and from 2011 I have been living in Italy with my family. I’ve studied journalism and I used to work in Moscow Jazz Ambient. In fact, for the most part of my life my soul was touched by listening, but from the moment I’ve taken a camera in my hands, three years ago, I’ve started to use also my sight. I have four babies of different age and I’m already a grandmother. All of my kids are a huge inspiration to me.

 

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph “Buona Sera”?  What’s the story behind this photograph?

A: We came back tired from the beach, the sunset in the sky was amazing with a very beautiful light. I asked to my son to be my model for a shoot. He was so tired that he sat down as you can see in the picture. They’re so used to be in a photo shooting that they feel free behind the lens, living their lives without any posing.

"Buona Sera" by Marina Kozakova

“Buona Sera” by Marina Kozakova | 1st Place in The Portrait Category – B&W Child 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Do you like to travel? What’s your favorite place?

A: I always say that I live my travels three times: when I dream and plan it, when I’m really there and when I live it again through my photos. I adore Tuscany, especially Casentino, I consider it as one of the most beautiful places, but I know that there are so many other destinations to see in the world and I’d like to do that with my children. For this reason I can say that my favorite place is where I haven’t been yet.

Interview with Marina Kozakova, winner in the B&W Child Photo Competition

“liya and Yuriy” by Marina Kazakova | Honorable Mention in The Fine Art Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: What kind of music do you enjoy the most?

A: I love Jazz, Funk and Rhythm & Blues.

kids hiding under the bed

 

Q:  Who are some photographers that you admire?

A: My beloved photographer is certainly Evgeny Mokhorev, his black and white photos often portray naked subjects in artistic poses. Even in this way photos can have a social subtext.

Another grate photographer is Joel Peter Witkin, from his works I managed to understand that terrible things can be truly beautiful.

Last but not least I want to mention Anders Petersen, he has always showed in his work that love doesn’t have social borders.

Marina Kozakova self portrait with her child

 

Q: What inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by emotions, either good or bad.

fine art portrait of a curled hair boy

 

Q: Where did you learn photography? Do you have a formal education in photography?

A: If you have the will you can do that. I apply it as a philosophy of life. In that case, your age or lack of formal education do not mean a thing. That’s what happened to me, I’m self taught photographer pushed from his passion to learn and study this wonderful form of art.

Black and white portrait of a young boy

 

Q: What equipment do you use?

A: Nikon D750 with Nikkor 50mm f/1,8 and 24/-120mm f4g

Interview with Marina Kozakova

 

Q: Do you edit your photographs in Photoshop or Lightroom?

A:I’m used to editing my photos by Lightroom, I find it powerful and easy.

Running boy

 

Q: Do you work with clients too? Did you enter the business side of photography?

A: I’m not in a business side but I’m thinking about it.

Photography by Marina Kozakova

 

Q: Do you sell fine art prints?

A: I’ve printed it for the portfolio reviews but never for sale.

Mother and photographer Marina Kozakova

 

Q: Your work has a fine art quality. That being said, it’s not surprising we see your success in photography competitions like B&W CHILD. Do you also showcase your work in art galleries?

A: Not yet because I’m waiting for the right moment. I’m growing up, time after time improving my technique and defining my style.

two young boys laying in the bed

Q: How do you know you made a good photograph? Do you ever get any inner sensation and simply know “this is it”?

A: Sometimes it’s like a puzzle: the place, the lights, the emotions of the moment and that’s it! Other times I come back on a photo after months and I’m surprised and I think: “Why I didn’t see these photos before?”

Fine Art child portrature

 

Q: What’s the photography market like in Italy?

A: From my point of view, main themes in the Italian market are: fashion, architecture and landscape. There’re plenty of art galleries and photo exhibitions, even in small towns.

little boy leaning on a tree

 

Q: In your opinion, why is so important for photographers to enter quality photography competitions?

A: A competition is always a chance to grow up and to understand more about yourself and your work. New eyes, new point of view and the chance to measure the impact of your work among many others. The quality of the competition is really important to guarantee the accuracy of your measurement.

Q: Your favorite photography quote?

A: Your first 10.000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Fine art black and white child photography

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A: Never stop studying and using another famous quote: “Stay hungry, stay foolish!” – The Whole Earth Catalog & Steve Jobs.

Marina’s work in B&W CHILD 2015 Winner’s Gallery

B&W CHILD 2016 – 3rd Annual International Photo Contest in B&W Child Photography is open for submissions. ENTER HERE.

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Uliana Kharinova was one of those photographers in the Second Half of B&W CHILD 2015 Photo Competition whose work left in awe our judges. She won the 1st Place in The Fine Art Category and $100 Cash Award, plus 3 honorable mentions in the most popular category: portrait photography. This is interview with Uliana Kharinova, emerging and highly talented Russian photographer!

winner in the fine art category at B&W Child Photo competition 2015

“Rose” by Uliana Kharinova | 1st Place in The Fine Art Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Q: Dear Uliana, first of all we want to congratulate one more time for achieving incredible success on B&W CHILD PHOTO COMPETITION 2015!  In the Second Half of The Contest, you won the 1st place in The Fine Art Category and numerous honorable mentions. In one word, your work was truly noticed by our judging panel. Did you expect this?

A: Hello!  I didn’t expect to be a winner, but to be listed among the finalists – yes!

Q: We are so happy to have you here and find out more about you and your work. Can you tell us more about you? How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

A: I am also very happy! I’m 29, almost 30 years old. I was born and raised in Russia, in the small town of Kirov. I am married, I have three children – two girls and a boy. By the way, my main model and muse is my oldest daughter Diana. When inspiration hits, primarily she is the one who suffers from my ideas 🙂 I Photograph from 2012, that’s when I took my first SLR camera and took my first photographs. Nobody is fond of photography in my family, I do not even know how to develop film in the red room. I hope to try it soon!

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph “Rose”? What’s the story behind this photograph?

A: I wanted to express something unusual, something about children and flowers. Once again, victim of my inspiration once again was my oldest daughter Diana. I wanted to show the beauty of flowers and children.

 

honorable mention in the portrait category at B&W CHILD 2015 Photo Contest

“Diana” by Uliana Kharinova | Honorable Mention in The Portrait Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

girl with the sunglases

“Glasis” by Uliana Kharinova | Honorable Mention in The Portrait Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

fine art child portrature

“Hat” by Uliana Kharinova | Honorable Mention in The Portrait Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

 

Double exposure fine art child photography

“Reflection” by Uliana Kharinova | Nominee in The Conceptual and Photo Manipulation Category – B&W CHILD 2015, Second Half

Q: Do you like to travel? What’s your favorite place?

A: Unfortunately, a lot of traveling is not obtained for a variety of reasons. But we often go out to the countryside, 50-100 km away from our home. We explore and enjoy corners of nature, away from people where is so peaceful and quiet. It’s very inspiring!

Photograph of a little girl in the nature

 

Q: What kind of music do you enjoy the most?

A: I like different styles of music: classical, jazz, Club House, Deep House. It all depends on mood! I have a musical education in piano. For a while, I haven’t play any instrument,  but i listen to music a lot!

fine art child photography

Q: Who are some photographers that you admire?

A: I really like the work of Russian photographer Elena Gromova-Kal`minskaya, she also participated in your competition B&W CHILD 2015. I love Portraits and Fine Art by photographer Paul Apalkina and Elliott Erwitt, of course. I love Victoria Ivanova still life photographs.  I am inspired with photographs of different authors who re specialized in different fields.

fine art child portrait

 

Q: What inspires you?

A: Children, nature, music, attitude, movie – life!

Fine art portrait of a young girl

Q: Where did you learn photography? Do you have a formal education in photography?

A: I started studying at one of the online photography school in Russia, but passed only 1 homework. After that I started studying on my own: I watched and studied countless photographs, I photographed a lot and I discarded over 1000 photographs, I read a lot about photography. I probably read and watched about photography everything that is available on Internet. I like to look at photograph for a long time and disassemble, analyze the work I like. As they say, I got hooked! This turned out to be my  “formal photographic education”. But I’m always open for development, improvement. This summer I attended the creative workshop  summer studying at the creative workshop  (Marusina Workshop) and it was great!

Photograph of a girl with the cat

Q: What equipment do you use?

A: I photograph with Canon 5D Mark II and I use lenses: Canon 85 1.2 A and 1.4 A Canon 35. There is an old Soviet Helios 44 2-M, but I took it off not long time ago.

Frozen, ice cold child portrait

 

Q: Do you edit your photographs in Photoshop or Lightroom?

A: I convert my photos into Ligntroom and final color correction or transfer to black and white variants I do in Photoshop.

Fine art portrait f a boy

Q: Do you work with clients too? Did you enter the business side of photography?

A: Yes, I am shooting for clients too. This is my small income.

portrait of siblings

Q: Your work has a fine art quality. That being said, it’s not surprising we see your success in photography competitions like B&W CHILD. Do you also showcase your work in art galleries?

A: So far I showcased my work on the online fine art platforms like: 1X.com and Photo Vogue.

Cold Russian winters

 

Q: What’s the photography market like in Russsia?

A: I’d say that photography market in Russia is still very young and in a making.

Portrait of a cute little girl

Q: In your opinion, why is so important for photographers to enter quality photography competitions?

A: In my opinion, photo competitions are pushing for development and self-improvement! And if you do not have in the portfolio of work you would like to submit, it’s an additional incentive to create it and make a step forward in your work.

portrait of a serious young girl

Q: What would be your message to other photographers?

A: I wish you creative flight, the wildest imagination and inspiration. Shoot what you love. Believe in yourself!

portrait of a young smiling girl

Uliana’s work in B&W CHILD 2015 Winner’s Gallery | Uliana’s portfolio on Photo Vogue | Uliana’s portfolio on 1x.com

B&W CHILD 2016 – 3rd Annual International Photo Contest in B&W Child Photography is open for submissions. ENTER HERE.

 

 

in Blog, Interviews