April 20, 2012

Interview: Bella Cirovic

Ah, yes. The lady behind the curtain is coming out to play at last!

I invited all of the interview guests to send me a question for this final edition of the interview series. They did not disappoint! I wanted to share part of my photography story with you before we begin year 2. I couldn't answer all of the questions that flooded my email box, so here are some chosen at random. The last interview is Me, your hostess:

If you could become a famous creative from the past for a day, who would it be and why? (Famous or not...) – Susan Tuttle

The first person I thought of was Janis Joplin. She was a beatnik poet before she rocked out onstage. Her life story intrigues me, as do her song lyrics. I wonder where she came from and what had she walked through to write and sing as passionately as she did. Her style was amazing. One day as Janis Joplin would be bad-ass.

Jen Lee by Bella Cirovic

What is the most challenging, vulnerable, or uncomfortable feeling that arises when you do a self  portrait? – Deb Taylor

I’m still not completely comfortable taking self portraits and I often wonder if that comes across in the photo to others. I use a lot of props and photo edits to give my selfies an extra punch instead of sharing the raw and real me. That’s the vulnerable part: knowing that once that photo is posted to my blog or flickr, it’s out there for people to look at. Allowing myself to be seen fully & wholly, I don’t know if I’m there yet. I’m working through this. The ultimate challenge is to just show up without all the extras. Less is more, and less says more.  But oh… does that take courage! I’m taking baby steps, but I’ll get there.

Self Portrait by Bella Cirovic

What would be your ideal photo assignment? – Elizabeth Duvivier

I really love to photograph people in motion - preferably dancers.  Years ago, I drove to NYC to watch a flamenco dance group performance.  As I sat there taking in the show, totally mesmerized by the dancers, all I could think was “I should have brought my camera.”  The angles, the positions, and the emotions that go into a dance, that’s art in motion! I’m so inexplicably drawn to dance as an art form. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to photograph street dancers and stage performers which for me, is the ultimate rush. It’s a combo of the two things I enjoy most, and to have this as an assignment?! Now that would be my ideal.

Salsa Dancer, Spanish Harlem, NYC by Bella Cirovic

Have you ever been in a photographic rut? If so, what have you done to get out of it and get inspired and productive again? – Libertad Leal

Yes, many times!  That’s the crazy, frustrating part about creative work:  the muse doesn’t always come knocking at the door.  There have been times when I’ve gone weeks without picking up my camera. For me, inspiration comes in waves and is oftentimes influenced by the weather.  I shoot less but capture more dark and dramatic shots in the winter.  Right now we’re experiencing a super mild Spring where I live, so I’m getting out more with my camera capturing nature coming back to life (lots of color!!)

Recently to help me come out of creative lulls, I’ve been creating story dream boards by cutting images out of magazines and pasting them along with quotes or random words onto sheets of cardboard. Once they dry up, I’ll use a marker to write different ideas for what I want to photograph next. Doing this has definitely got my creative juices flowing and I have so many story ideas that I want to bring to life. My best friend is always willing to play the role of model.  And when that doesn’t work, I go to places in town where I love taking photos like the farmer’s market or the coffee shop.

But then, there are times when I just have to wait it out and let it come back naturally.

Spring Petals by Bella Cirovic

If you could choose only one lens to shoot with for the rest of your life, which would it be? How about the same question but with action packs...which could you not live without? Amanda {The Habit of Being}

Since buying my first dslr camera, I’ve only used the kit lenses that come with the camera. My biggest lens purchase has been a 50mm 1.4 (I hardly use it). The kit lenses (18-55mm & 18-135) have both been great and I have gotten super photos with them, but they are not really what I would consider my favorites. I really don’t know the answer to this question yet. I’d have to try out some more lenses. I know that my next purchase will be a wide angle lens. I’m saving up for that!

As for action packs, I am a die hard fan of the good people at Get Totally Rad. I own both of their original action packs and their newest product RadLab which I adore. I use at least one of their actions or filters on all of my images.

Snowstorm by Bella Cirovic. Processed using RadLab, recipe here.

Has there ever been a time when an image you took revealed to you a truth you either had not realized or that you had been resisting? If so, what was that truth and what was that image? – Michelle Ensminger

Truth: In simplicity lies beauty. That is a lesson that plays on repeat in my life. It shows up in my photos, my writing, and my conversations. Keep it simple, a concept I would always resist, but now embrace. (see photo above and below)

A Solemn Winter Story by Bella Cirovic

Do you collect things? If so, what is your biggest/most frequently added to collection? – Leonie Wise

Yes! I mostly collect cameras, handbags, sea glass, sea shells, and bottles of ocean / sea water.  The sea shells & glass are the biggest of my collections and most frequently added to because they’re free :)  The handbags would be my smallest collection only because the good ones cost so much! I like Luis Vuitton bags (I covet the luggage as well!) The camera collection is mediocre in size. I’ve given away almost all of my Polaroid cameras, leaving me with only a Spectra & an sx-70 that I never use (not a fan). I own many LOMO cameras (Supersampler, Fisheye, Lubitel, Diana mini, Holga) that I use here and there on random days, as well as a small collection of old film cameras. But no collection could match my sea treasures.

Treasures by Bella Cirovic

What inspired you to start the 52 Photos Project? – Ninotchka Beavers

I’m so happy this question came up!! It was a combination of events that got this project started.  I was trying (really hard!) to join in with a couple of different online photo communities and projects, but it just wasn’t happening.  With no replies and a few rejection emails, I started to wonder about and question my skills. Then I saw this video by Liz Lamoreux and I decided that very same day that “yes” I am good enough – and “yes” I will get to work on creating my own photo project, one that would have a unique look and feel to it.  Feeling like I was a part of something creative was the inspiration. The message in that video gave me the courage to create this space.  It took me about a month from start to finish to get everything in order and push the publish button on my first post. 

Lesson learned? You can do anything. 
Things you've never dreamed possible - yes you can do it! 
Start dreaming, and then begin.

Bella Cirovic ~ I am mother to a beautiful girl & soul mates with the man of my dreams. A photographer. A girl who used to try and hold it all together, but now lets the pieces fall where they were meant to land. I spend my days in an office, my nights with my family, and I always have a camera in my bag. I document slices of my life everyday and share those stories on my blog: She Told Stories. I am the hostess here at 52 Photos Project and I would love for you to join us as we begin a second year together next week! Also? I am so excited to be launching my very first creative photography e-Course Visual Storytellers this July. Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Instagram.

Photo of Bella in Central Park by: Jen Lee
Photo of Bella drinking coffee by: Thea Coughlin


Deborah said...

Fantastic Bella . . . great "interview" and I truly enjoyed reading and knowing more about you.

Claire said...

That was fun! So glad you started 52 Photos :)

amanda {the habit of being} said...

love that you wrapped it up by posting your own interview!!!

michelle gd said...

so enjoyed this interview. a fabulous idea to end with *you*!!! you are lovely and creative and so wonderful to share your gifts with this online community. so happy you're continuing with a second year. yippee!!!
and a day as janis joplin...agreed...*total* bad-ass!

mandy l. smith said...

Bella, you are amazing! Thank you for creating 52 photos project. It has been a fabulous year of challenging myself with the photo prompts. But, the best thing has been the community and getting to know so many other amazing people out there. I am so glad that we have another year ahead of us! <3

urban muser said...

beautiful interview bella! looking forward to starting year two with you.

leonie wise said...

I love this interview. Such a perfect way to end your first year here.
Some great questions and fabulous answers :)

I collect sea treasures too - and my wedding/engagement ring is shaped like a shell. I've got a jar of sand from NZ on a shelf in our lounge and can never return from a visit to the sea without something in my pocket!

Kindreds. I knew it before and I know it even more now