What to say about Olivia? Here’s what I learned from her testimonials:
“Olivia’s photography is filled with the fun and adventuresome nature that drew me into photography in the first place.” sinuhe xavier
“I admire the way you think, and write, and what you find fascinating.
You capture things that people would ignore, or never notice. You see things differently than most.” Angela Lewis
“Her photos are alive, just bursting with energy, whether it’s her composed shots or her on-the-go photography, you can tell she’s someone who is love with Photography, gives it the consideration and thought it deserves.” Lou O’ Bedlam
1. Olivia, we know it’s a tough question, but if you had to pick just one camera to shoot with from now until the end of time, what would that be?
Olivia: I think about this question all the time because I enjoy traveling and am also planning a year world bound trip next year and I don’t want to have to load multiple heavy cameras. So therefore I’ve been musing on what camera I would take on an extended trip.
At home, I use whatever camera I feel fits my mood of the day. I use all types of cameras from digital and medium format to Lomo and Leica Minilux. Some days I adore the texture of film and other days I crave the immediate and flexible nature of digital. Lately, I have been enjoying the texture of my Mamiya 645 but the Canon 5D always seems to be my most varied and flexible choice. In the end it is all about creativity, concept, and imagination.
2. A (possibly) tough question… Tell us your favourite photos on Flickr, and why you like them. First, a favourite from your photostream?
Olivia: One of my favorite photos might have to be Insomniatic Technicolor Dream. For me, photography is a therapeutic process. Being able to visualize and realize my mental thought processes and emotions has allowed me to understand my emotional state and then reframe it in a productive way. I have always been attracted to documentary photography and still feel the strongest pull towards the realities of that worldview but exploring the more surrealistic depths of my brain has also permitted me to create metaphors about my private inner world. This picture explains my half asleep and dreaming creative process.
And from another Flickr member?
Olivia: I had a very emotional reaction to Linus Lohoff when I first saw his work. This is not my favorite photo on Flickr but it is very representative of the subtle nature of his work as a whole. It has this texture and beauty that I don’t always convey but I wish to. It goes beyond the high stylized or conceptual realm and influences an emotional state.
3. What’s one tip that you would share with someone who’s just picking up a camera?
Olivia: Momentum. I spend days thinking about photoshoots and nights and weekends working on them. At times I feel insanely obsessive but it is really the only thing I can imagine doing. When I first began shooting I would shoot every single day, just to satisfy that desire for momentum.
Lately, I’ve begun to reflect on what I am shooting more and have started to shoot less (using more film also motivates me to shoot less but better quality). Basically the best advice I have is to stop being lazy, stop making excuses, and go on an adventure (mentally or physically). You generally end up meeting more people and doing exciting things for the sake of taking a good photo. But on a side note, I do think that the people or experience should always take precedence over the photo.
4. When we interview peeps for employment here at Team Flickr, we always ask: “Kittens, babies, sunsets or flowers? Pick one.”
Olivia: Ahhhhhh the dreaded Explore Page ;). I fear all of them including and especially the bumblebee landing on the flower species or the very delicate drop of water sliding off the petal/leaf variety. I have to say I am partial to Lomokev’s previous description of the “baby firing the kitten out of a cannon into the sun” but just to be creative I might rearrange that to be a kitten birthing a baby in a field of flowers back-dropped by a killer sunset (please no HDR, ok fine maybe HDR just to make sure it gets a lot of views) I also might have to add a partially nude self portrait in the background.
5. Which Flickr member should we ask these 5 questions of next?
Olivia: The reason I have become so obsessively attached to Flickr is because I am a bit of a voyeur. Flickr allows me to view the world from a million people’s eyes on an intimate level. I really enjoy Sgoralnick and Lomokev‘s photos because it permits me to see their private worlds, half way across the country and around the world, from their perspectives. But since my two favorite photographers on Flickr have already been chosen I decided to choose someone else that really represents why I love Flickr so much.
Eric Lafforgue is an amazing photographer that reveals a world completely foreign and absolutely amazing to me, it is a world I would likely have no access to, and he is able to portray it on an in-depth and profound level.
His recent photo set in North Korea are stimulating in the way that the whole time I am thinking “How the hell did he get access to that”. He conveys the humanity, culture, the protected cult of personality, and the mass/mob communist nature of North Korea and of every place he goes. His photographs are historical and live documents of the cultures and people around the world.
In the end, Flickr is really a way to create bonds and understanding worldwide, by allowing people to self represent themselves and their culture and daily lives. It also permits people to share their own dialogue with the places they visit and then showcase it in commune with the world.
Heather: Thank you, Olivia. 5 Questions will return early next week when we interview Eric Lafforgue. Have a wonderful weekend!