Exibart Street Contest 2018 Finalists – Interview to Farnaz Damnabi

Congratulations Farnaz! You are one of the 11 finalists of the first Exibart Street Contest.
We received thousand of images from more than 100 countries all over the world, it’s an important result!
How do you feel about it?

I’m absolutely excited to hear that and I appreciate for this great opportunity to show my photos.

Can you tell us something about yourself?

Well I am 24 and living in Teheran. I have studied graphic design in university and started photography less than 4 years. I was a chess player and used to train Karate but after years I decided to be an artist.

In addition of photography most of my time is allocated to learning language, Italian language.

What led you to begin doing street photography in the first place?

One day one of my photographer friends who worked as a professional told me: ”if I were you I would never take pictures! You are better in design than photography!” It was hard for me to ignore my interest, so from that day I decided to prove myself!

How would you define your photographic style?

It is hard for me to define my photographic style because I prefer try various moods while I am following my personal look.

I’m in love with shadow highlights and geometry I think because of my education most of my photos have a sign of graphic.

“Every successful person is inspiring. It doesn’t matter he is an artist or an athlete I try to learn from everybody. During my life I have known numerous artists but tried not to copy their way. I just want to be myself.”

What kind of equipment do you use and what role, in your opinion, does equipment have in street photography?

I have Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70 and most of time for documentary photography I use it.

But in the street I prefer my cellphone, the smaller equipment, the less attraction. As every other photographer say, the most important thing is the way you are looking not what equipment you are using.

Have you ever studied at a photography school or are you a self-taught artist?

Actually photography was a part of our curriculum in school and university, and I’ve learned the basic knowledge in there, I hope so one day I specifically study photography in university or participate in master classes.

“One day one of my photographer friends who worked as a professional told me: ”if I were you I would never take pictures! You are better in design than photography!” It was hard for me to ignore my interest, so from that day I decided to prove myself!”

How important are social media in your work? Which one do you prefer and why?

Social media plays an important role in communication and showing photos to people all over the world.

I’ve found Instagram and Facebook useful to hear about photography news, contests and also sharing my artworks with others and being in touch with professional photographers. I must admit that the level of my artworks have changed after using social media.

If you had to choose one lens that you would have to be using for the rest of your life, which one would that be and why?

The lens which I’m using now is 24-70 it provides a useful range for almost every genre, for example architecture, documentary, advertising to name a few.

If I have to use only one lens definitely my choice would be 24-70.

Analog and digital photography. Do you see these as alternatives to one another or the same thing?

In my opinion their performance is definitely as same as same each other but I cannot ignore the preview options in digital cameras.

One the other hand when you are shooting with analog have to be more conservative, due to limited chance of taking photos! It could be a great practice to be patient in the process of photography.

Black and white and color? How do you decide which one to use?

It is not a written law. After taking picture I decide which one to use. Sometimes in the photo colors play an important role, you cannot ignore it, sometimes shapes and forms are predominated so I use black and white.

Personally at first that I had started photography most of my photos were black and white but now I’m very keen of colorful pictures.

Is there a country or a city that you like to photograph more than others?

I really like to have the experience of taking picture in India and generally eastern countries. Their way of living, their culture, even their dress is brilliant.

Which differences exist between the different countries you visited?

Various cultures, various reactions, In some cities or counties people are welcoming to take picture of them in some cases no.

By the way it depends on mental situation of photographer and his effort, he always can find a way to take picture.

When you take photos, do you ever have a theme/project in mind?

It depends on when or where I’m taking photos, during my travel and when I am documenting I pay attention to my personal projects but with cellphone and street photography I take picture candidly.

However, after a period of time I can select a series even in my cellphone pictures. Sometimes I shoot in a theme unconsciously.

Are you currently working on any project?

Yes I’m working on a project about social issues.

Are there any photographers or artists who inspired you or influenced your way of creating street photography?

Every successful person is inspiring. It doesn’t matter he is an artist or an athlete I try to learn from everybody.

During my life I have known numerous artists but tried not to copy their way. I just want to be myself.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting to do street photography?

Just “Follow your dreams, they know the way”. If the whole of world are saying you cannot do what you want, show them they are wrong.

Thank you!

FARNAZ DAMNABI BIOGRAPHY

Farnaz Damnabi was born in Teheran, Iran. After graduation of ‘Graphic Design’ at University she decided to allocate more time to photography. Now, she is a freelance photographer and in her opinion photography is an opportunity to look around deeply and paying attention to what other people may do not notice.
Winner of 1st PABA international photo competition Washington DC, USA.
Honorable mention of 4th Golden Orchid international photography award. New York, USA.
Group Exhibition Trieste photo days, Trieste, Italy.
Winner of 8th Fadjr international festival of visual arts. Teheran, Iran.
And other national awards and exhibitions.

Facebook: farnaz.damnabi
Instagram: @farnazdamnabi

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