{the interview series} Katarina K Photography

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Hoje trago-vos um mundo de sonho... Katarina Krizanovicova pode ter um nome difícil de pronunciar, mas o seu trabalho fotográfico é capaz de emocionar qualquer um. Adoro a atmosfera calma e pacífica, a suavidade poderosa dos retratos, o styling cuidado dos instantâneos de uma inspiradora vida diária... leiam para saber mais e admirem o trabalho de Katarina!

[Este post pertence à rubrica semanal {the interview series}, onde publico uma nova entrevista todas as quartas-feiras, com artistas e bloggers inspiradores que admiro, de acordo com o espírito handmade e um estilo de vida criativo. Tornem-se fãs no facebook e não percam nada!
Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.]

Today I bring you a world of dream... Katarina Krizanovicova may have a difficult name to pronounce, but her photographic work is able to touch anyone who sees it. I love the calm and peaceful atmosphere, the powerful softness of portraits, the attention payed to the styling of inspiring everyday shots... read to know more and admire the work of Katarina!

[This post belongs to the weekly feature {the interview series} where I publish a new interview every wednesday with inspiring artists and bloggers I admire, according to the spirit of handmade and a creative lifestyle. Become a facebook fan and don't miss a bit!]

Katarina Krizanovicova | Katarina K Photography, Grain & Silk
Bratislava, Slovakia
site | blog | shop | facebook

1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Katarina Krizanovicova. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a self-taught freelance portrait photographer from Slovakia. Living in Bratislava in a small place with uncontrollable amount of books and negatives and a crazy little dog Gina. Sister, daughter & proud aunt. Sentimental romantic with punk rocker's heart.

2. You’re a young freelance photographer specialized in portraits. How and when was this creative passion born?
Definitely when my niece Emma was born, almost 12 years ago. It's fascinating to watch a person growing and documenting it. Photography became my side-job about 3 years ago, and at this time I'm making a living from running my own business.

3. Your photographs are dreamy and peaceful… I love their atmosphere! What inspires you to create those compositions? Share your creative process with us.
Maybe because I'm a calm person in general; big crowds make me nervous, so I look for the peaceful and quiet in the world, to compensate for the noisy life in the city.
It also helps to focus on my work better, and people I photograph feel more relaxed in calm surroundings. With clients, I often come to shoot in their own home, or outside in the nature. Personal projects, well those a little more messy because work always comes first :) I keep my ideas in journals, always waiting for the right person or place to photograph, to help me bring them to reality.
I also regularly have to step away from what I'm doing and distract my mind with other things and interests for a little while, to refresh and restart.

4. You love to photograph people, but you also explore nature and everyday life details. What comes first: the subject, the message, the model, the place? How do you pick the places and themes to photograph?
It's more like I come across these things/places, rather than picking them in advance.
But if there is a place I know where the light's beautiful and I find myself constantly attracted to it, then I create a still life there, or plan a portrait session.

5. What influences you the most to create? Share with us some artists that you admire.
Stories of any kind, always. From my own life or lives of others, art, places I visit, movies and books. I love the drawings of Egon Schiele, his fascination with human face and body. The quietness and subtle light in Vilhelm Hammershøi's paintings, and the works of dutch masters. The beautiful evocative poetry of Mary Oliver. Alexander McQueen's creations. I love fashion and design, studying their history is always inspiring.

6. I believe it must be very difficult to capture the personality of a person in portrait photography, but you accomplish it in such a personal way! Would you share with us the biggest challenges you face?
Thank you. It really is a challenge I face every time. It's very important to make them feel at ease and relaxed and happy in the location. That's why I like to shoot in people's own places, where they seem to be more themselves.
I always start a discussion about things they love and are passionate about and that's where they just relax and shine. We often become good friends, which is another thing I love about my job.

7. Tell us now about your love for film and its challenges. What are the main differences between film and digital photography?
There's something timeless about film. It's had the same qualities for ages, no better and more expensive version every few months. It's like an old friend whom you've known and trusted for so long. I like the grain, the density, the perfect colours, the tangibility – holding the negatives in your hand, no delete button, the element of surprise. I do realise all the advantages of digital photography of course, and I often use it for work, especially with assignments where I have to be super quick (like dance photography, for example), and take a lot more photos than I would normally do.

8. Would you share some useful tips with us, non-professional photographers, who would like to learn a bit more and make the most of our cameras while traveling or working?
Learn to use the manual mode. Play with aperture and shutter speeds, increase ISO sensitivity instead of using flash. Try different angles. Pay attention to composition, look for nice light and interesting moments. Focus on the storytelling aspect rather than simple snapping. You can for example think about a little book you create afterwards, and take it as a little concept.

9. You say that you love traveling – when you travel your photos become more personal or you can’t let go that professional attitude while behind the camera? Tell us about some places you loved most visiting.
I always take pictures of things I know I will miss most when I come home, sceneries and situations that leave me speechless. I love the South and the sea, my friends there and their way of living, the breeze and sunshine; but a piece of my heart will be always drawn to the Northwest, to the ever-green English fields, cloudy skies, woods and lakes, the slate walls and narrow streets of little towns in Yorkshire.

10. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
Like I said, it's a small place, I work from home. It's just one room plus kitchen and bathroom, but a nice large balcony where I practically live in the summer.
I work at my desk in the quiet, often with my feet in Gina's basket, but when there's a bigger project or a session going on, it turns into a post-apocalyptic scene that usually takes a day or two to put back into normal state. I also love my inspiration board that changes along with the seasons.

11. Besides photographing, what do you love most doing in your everyday life?
I like my me-space, the fact that I have to go outside several times a day because Gina has needs too – otherwise I would lose control of time and probably spend the whole day working or just faffing about. Chats with friends and family, time out, reading, watching films... the usual stuff :)

12. You live in Bratislava, the beautiful capital of Slovakia – tell us about your favorite places in the city! Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
The city is not too big – the old town is very small, but it also feels more cosy that way, if I go out I always meet someone I know. I prefer the less crowded spaces though, so I usually end up in a small cafe (like this French bistro I discovered recently and I'm in love with it), or in one of my friends' places.
I like the older parts of the city, the historical buildings and small squares.
But I get away as often I can...to the nearby lakes and woods, or little villages.
I've started driving recently and it feels great to have the freedom to take my dog and camera and to go wherever I want, when I have the time.

13. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be? Why?
Probably 20's, 30's somewhere in Paris or Prague, enjoying life & photographing everything – but I'd like to have the chance to go back to my time whenever I want, please :)

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become a photographers.
If you are truly passionate about it, then it's a great thing. But be prepared to learn a lot about marketing and the accounting aspect of the whole thing – it's a huge part of this job. Find the thing you're best at and work on that, don't try to be a bit of everything or even worse - someone else, it's good to have that unique “something” only you can offer, and everyone has that, just spend a lot of time shooting and experimenting and you will find what it is very soon.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
I'd like to do a bit more travelling, set up a small studio space one day, publish a book with my photos. Learn to play the piano (that's probably the unrealistic one).

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: Hemingway's Moveable Feast; Baricco's Silk
music: Florence & The Machine
movie: Into The Wild; Three Colours: Blue
personality/artist: Mary Oliver
color: turquoise, blue-grey, lilac
object: book
animal: dog
drink: coffee
food: chicken soup
season of the year: spring, autumn
travel destination: mountains, sea
piece of clothing: slouchy tops :)
secret: ... (this is what it looks like, but I can't tell you what it is)

Thank you for sharing your dreamy world with us Katarina!


  1. Great interview! Love Katarina's photographs...

  2. indeed a lovely interview
    and great photgraphs!

  3. your photography is beautiful! I love your light and colors!

  4. There is a lovely "other-worldly" quality to Katarina's photos. Her portraits are exquisite - each one is so unique.

  5. adorei a entrevista!!! por incrível que pareça, descobri esta fotógrafa há dois dias no etsy e fiquei logo fã do trabalho dela... as imagens são de uma sensibilidade e beleza fora do comum! e quando fui procurar mais, qual não foi o meu espanto saber que tinha estado aqui! :) fizeste um óptimo trabalho!!! claudia


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