Let's warmly welcome...
How did you get into photography?
I've always been fascinated by photography since I was a child. I remember playing with my father's old Nikon and looking at my parents' wedding album over and over again, hyptonized by those pictures and the meaning behind them. Growing up I enjoyed so much working with my own Olympus compact film camera and taking shots of my trips around the world and not to mention how much I loved using the Polaroid; but it was when I first got the chance to buy my first digital camera almost 10 years ago, that I discovered, by accident, my passion for macro photography, during one of the most difficult time I've been through. A simple feather and some coloured reflections did the trick
and my first DSLR, a Nikon D70s and above all my new macro lens made it happen.
Which piece from your gallery are you most proud of, and why?
This is really a difficult question to answer for me, because being a perfectionist myself, I'm always very critical about my works, I'm rarely satisfied and I always strive to grow as an artist learning and sometimes even redefining my personal tastes from time to time, that is why when I look at some of my old shots, well, I tend to be very harsh about them. In any case, If I had to choose a photo I'd go for "Linear Space", a capture a bit different among the water series I was working on at the time, but I guess it sums up my style pretty well.
Have you ever achieved any awards for your photography? (Daily Deviation, winning a contest, etc.)
Here on DA I got a DD with "Falling Down", it happens to be one of my most appreciated photo. Among other communities, Elite Artist title on one of the art communities I'm most fond of, a featured portfolio, just to name a few.
How long have you been on deviantART? Do you think being here has helped you improve your skill? Have you been motivated?
I have been on DA since late 2012, unfortunately I couldn't have managed to be more active on the community because of everyday life last year, the community has always been one of the first sources of inspiration, and it has indeed proved to be very useful when it comes to refine my skills.
Are you self-taught or do you have an education in photography?
I'm mostly self-taught. The only photography course I took was while I was studying computer graphics, but it was very generic, nothing specific. Everything I've learned is thanks to Internet, the many beautiful photography communities and the many guides on the web, and thanks to the passion of many photographers willing to share their experience and techniques with other fellow artists. I think the first rule in being a self-taught artist is always to keep "experimenting" and having fun while growing both as a person and an artist.
Who or what inspires you?
Without any doubt the first name that comes to my mind is the one of an amazing photographer based in Canada, Ursula Abresch, she's always been my muse and first source of inspiration when I first discovered macro photography, and helped me a lot with some great advice. Usually, I try to draw inspiration from small things, looking for hidden, invisible and unseen beauty where no one would expect it, one of the positive aspects of being a macro photographer is that you can shoot almost everywhere, exploring and getting lost with tiny and invisible details. I love to build the setup that will make that hidden beauty and those little details the so called...art, from my personal point of view of course.
How would you describe your style of photography? Do you think you're unique?
I usually describe my photography as "macro-abstract", loving shallow depth of field I always try to achieve softness and an abstract feeling, playing a lot with bokeh and colors in the background, and sometimes even out of focus in the foreground. Many of my photography friends tell me that my style is highly recognizable, and I'm really glad to hear that, actually I think it's not my job to tell if I'm unique or not, but I admit that being unique is something I really appreciate and admire, generally speaking, in photography as well as in life. Originality and creativity are definitely a goal to aim for in my opinion.
What are your favourite styles and subjects to work with?
Being mostly a macro photographer my favourites subjects are usually water, flowers and vegetal in general. I've got a passion for clovers, droplets, dandelions, poppies, feathers as well as ladybugs, dragonflies even though I'm not normally so much into the bugs world. In addition I guess being a graphic designer helped me to develop my style somehow, and that is why what inspires me the most is usually anything related to geometry and abstractions as well, I love lines, shapes, curves, spheres, textures, colours, mixing them all to create something new visually and hopefully pleasant.
What tips would you give someone brand new to photography?
Firstly, I would recommend to figure out what's the favourite genre of photography of course, and purchasing the gear accordingly, not necessarily a DSLR camera even if it's recommendable though, nowadays there are many good DSLR with a fair price, it would be a good start. Once figured everything out, begin by learning the basics of photography such as exposure, shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, ISO, composition, rules of third and so on. There are some useful guides on the web that will help a lot of many brand new enthusiasts. And then begin to shoot, trying to follow your inwards feeelings as the basics of your own source of inspiration, being able to recognize beauty in the favourite subject you chose. I think trying to build your own path is the key for a great personal photography experience, and above all do it for yourself and yourself only, not to prove to someone else your worth. Being popular might be tempting, but I think it's not the real purpose of photography, I've always considered art as a tool for sensitive people, to express your own inner world, through images in this case, so follow your feelings, your perceptions, your insights to develop your world through this amazing form of art; learning, experimenting, always keep trying to become a better artist, even if at first it might be frustrating, listening to honest critiques is always helpful, sometimes discouraging, but helpful at last. Looking for inspiration in the works of other people is fine, but try not to exceed with it, too many informations might be kind of counter-productive. Never lose confidence if something doesn't come up as planned, it will, eventually. And above all...have fun along the journey!
Do you have any future aspirations for photography?
Photography has always been my constant passion over time and, even though I made different choices regarding my education, I've called them into question in the last few years, and then I guess it's time for a change, that's why I'm focusing my efforts toward my real passion and it would be really amazing to turn it into a full-time job, even though I'm well aware it's not as easy as it seems, especially nowadays.
What equipment do you use?
At the moment I'm working with a Nikon D300 and 2 of my trusted macro lenses, a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 and a Nikon 60mm f/2.8, but I'm planning to upgrade to a D810 as soon as it will become available in my country, and the purchase of a new macro flash is already planned. Manfrotto tripod, even if I usually tend to shoot handheld.
Once again, let's thank Dax for her time!
Here's a few of her photographs that are situated in her gallery. Take a moment to look through all of her amazing work!
We will be back with more interviews within another month. Keep your eye out for more!