Hello everybody, today I’m in UK. Whom I’m chatting with?
Hello and welcome to the sunny coast of UK, in Clacton. My name is Lumi!
Hi Lumi! Can you introduce yourself to TICW readers?
I’m a 22 years old photographer from Constanta, Romania, currently living and shooting in Essex!
Did you study in any art school?
I am qualified through a Photographic Arts Diploma from a 2 years course at the Public School of Arts and Professions, Constanta, but I would love to learn more in an academic environment. On the other side, I think photography is a “job” in which a person has to be creative and passionate about rather than technical and book-wise.
Do you think your hometown is a suitable place for creatives like you?
Not really, but it’s a good place to start in, The Back Sea and the places near my hometown will always inspire me. The biggest problem that creatives will face in Constanta is the old ways people are stuck in, at least when in comes to arts.
When and how did you get passionate with photography?
My passion with photography started quite some time ago with me finding an old camera that my grandfather bought in the ’70s. The weight and feel of all the pieces made me learn more, but this was all in tune with my love of color. When I was 17 years old I got my first camera and noticed that people were my first choice when it comes to subjects. Little by little, I began searching for more and more models to takes photos of, which is a really great way to adapt to a large palette of personalities and looks.
What are your main visual influences? Do you have any favorite photographers?
My main influence is the vast visual art that surrounds us. I love traditional art, body art and fashion, finding every day something that might look good in a photo or inspire a whole shoot. As for favorite photographers, I’m not good with names, but I definitely appreciate anything that has a twist or a creative concept at its roots.
Can you tell us something about your working methods?
Usually, I do location shoots with natural light, but I would love to work in a studio, in a more controlled environment. When I plan my photo shoots, I have a few things in mind: the weather, the look and the equipment. My equipment is not the best, so I end up choosing times and replacements to have better lighting and image. Fashion and portrait photography made me buy tones of clothes and other props. I think I now have a better understanding of which colors and styles would make my model pop. And a new custom I developed is consulting weather websites because England has the most complicated weather I’ve seen. Post-processing has a very important role, as well, but I’m always trying to keep things as natural as possible. Besides digital, I enjoy using film, it’s like opening a present every time you get the processed photos.
I like this photo; how did it come up?
This photo is one of my favorites. It was made near a junkyard that took part in a national program which offered people money for old damaged cars and I thought that would be the most awesome place in which to take some retro photos.
Thinking about it, it was quite hard to work there, cause it was at noon, in an industrial area, and all the truck drivers were very active, imagine all the whistling and shouts we got; I am very happy we weren’t alone! I thank my model for being so professional about it!
Would you like to work as a pro photographer?
Anybody would love to transform their favorite activity in their day to day job! I would give anything for my own studio right now and for at least a week I would surely camp under a soft box.
What are you working on these days?
Being new around Essex, I am still trying to find locations and people to work with, so I am currently doing a lot of “trade for photos” shoots and expressing new ideas. It might sound boring to some, but it’s always nice to meet new faces and getting new directions. Since I’ve been here I had the opportunity to collaborate with a lot of lovely models, and I’m not stopping seeing I have a lot more to put in practice.
What about your plans for the future?
For the moment, my biggest wish is to gain more experience and ability, creatively and professionally. Starting to study again is another of my future plans, but on hold for now.
Thank you! Is there anything else would you like to say to our readers?
I am happy to have conversed with you today! The only thing I can add is Support your local talents! It’s amazing how many creative and interesting people pass unnoticed just because of rules and conventions.