1. Welcome Elena to The Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
First of all I want to thank you for this opportunity, I am honoured to present my work at Influx Gallery.
I am from Romania and I live with my family in Constanta, a city on the shore of the Black Sea. For many years I have been working as a nurse at the Constanta Emergency Hospital.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
I've been surrounded by books for as long as I can remember but as a child I didn't have much contact with photography. I discovered photography later, after a lot of research, so I can say that the decision to follow this path was mine alone.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
From the time I discovered my passion for photography until now I have faced all sorts of challenges and gone through stages, some easy, some not. It was a natural process, I was patient and confident, I followed my path, step by step. My opinion is that it is essential for a creator to be in a continuous search and that perseverance must be his companion.
4. Did your schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
Being self-taught at the beginning, I attended a school of Art Photography in 2019. The following May I took the online course "Seeing Through Photographs" taught by Sarah Meister, curator at MoMA, New York, which took me to the beginnings of street and documentary photography. The school may not have had a direct influence on my creative development, but it did teach me to be more organized and awakened my desire to experiment with other photographic themes and techniques.
5. When did you first discover photography?
I can’t say exactly how and when it happened, but in one of my trips to Italy, in 2013, on a rainy morning, among the columns of the church of San Francesco di Paola in Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, I took my first photo to which I am dearly attached. At that time I had a compact camera from Nikon. From that moment on, a part of me lives, breathes through photography.
For me, photography is definitely a way of life and I think a part of me is in each picture I take.
6. Are you very hands on with the processing of digital files?
Yes, I think I can say I'm doing pretty well now.
7. Your photography is beautiful and poetically inspiring. Do you use literature, film or poetry as an influence?
Thank you for your appreciation. Perhaps, instinctively, I am inspired all together. I am passionate about old black and white movies and have been surrounded by books for as long as I can remember. Otherwise, life, every place I discover inspires me, sometimes my compositions resemble the human condition where light and darkness live together.
I like human presence, ordinary moments, from everyday life, minimalist frames that I then expose in a black and white vision. Solitary in the depths of my soul, I find myself in this atmosphere, forever searching for light.
8. Could you give us a little teaser as to the process that helps you create such fabulous artworks?
I like to travel and take photos, documenting every place I pass through. I could say I can't visit a place unless I can photograph it.
In my street and documentary images the post-processing is minimal.
In my fine art works the workflow can take some time. I primarily edit in Photoshop and then I use the Nik Collection and / or Exposure software, as per my intuition.
9. Where do you get your inspiration and influences from?
In my journeys, inspiration comes with the atmosphere of a place. Challenges come from approaching the unknown, a corner, a silhouette, a cone of shadow, a glimmer of light.
Otherwise, my passion is so great that I breathe photography every day and I have a strong desire to learn something new every day.
10. Do you have any tips for any inspiring photographer who is using software, or picking up a camera for the first time?
Nine years ago I discovered photography and since then I have taught myself almost everything I know today. That's why I believe that perseverance and creative exuberance are what can inspire a photographer or a creator at the beginning of his journey.
11. Your mastery of black and white photography is unique and extremely visually arresting. Is your methodology whilst creating this fantastic art?
I start with selecting the photos and depending on inspiration I choose the images from one location or another. I never follow an order, a plan, but only a thought and my inspiration, because at that moment I know what I want to convey through my work. I primarily edit in Photoshop and then I use the Nik Collection and / or Exposure software, as per my intuition. I have my own base of textures and backgrounds, elements of which I use sometimes in my compositions. Usually I have several alternatives of the same compositions and then I choose one of them. Sometimes I leave different versions that I approach after a while.
I believe that everything starts from the message, from the feeling...I want to convey through my images the emotion of discovering the perspective of a moment, of a story without words.
12. Thanks a lot for your valuable time and interest. You can include any other details you want to talk about here?
I want to thank Influx Gallery for the trust and interest in my work, it is a real honour for me to be part of your gallery alongside many great artists. Thank you so much!