Today on Artist Strong we welcome photography Viktoria Haack, a photographer that hails from British Columbia, Canada. Assignments for Viktoria include international charities such as the National Trust (the largest conservation charity in the UK) and the BCSPCA. Viktoria produced work for leading architectural firms and was published by both British and Canadian media including the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).
Carrie: When did you first realize your love of photography?
I was given an SLR camera for my 18th birthday and have played around with photography ever since but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that my nephew introduced me to photography networking sites on the internet that I really began to be more creative.
Carrie: What projects are you working on at the moment?
This is a fairly quiet time of the year for me. I am currently having a website built specifically for weddings so that’s taking up quite a bit of time. I use the winter to be creative with landscape shots and am about to process some images from Wells Grey National Park taken earlier this week. I have a maternity shoot following it fairly quickly. The winter is very much my time for gathering thoughts and ideas and for having a little time for myself. Once spring hits I don’t really get a chance to raise my head much before Christmas.
Carrie: When you go out and take photographs, do you already know what work you plan to create or is the process more give and take? (How much preparation and planning go into your photo shoots?)
I usually have an idea of what I’m looking to create but the natural environment and the mood/personality of my subjects (when photographing people) play a major part in forming the end result of an image.
Carrie: When you process an image, how do you know when it is “finished?”
It can be really hard to know when to stop sometimes. I usually send the image to a couple of trusted friends when I feel it’s finished and they give me honest feedback so that I know whether I’ve missed or over-done something.
It is most often a great help: working with other photographers can help throw new ideas into the mix, they may choose different angles or notice different things that help to expand my own creativity. Also working with clothing designers, etc. has been useful as they have their own ideas of how they think things can be portrayed. I don’t always follow everything I see and hear around me but I don’t like to close out other people’s ideas either as I can take and develop them in my own way.
Carrie: How do your interests outside of art fuel your artwork?
I have fairly broad interests and everything that happens in my life plays a part in the images I create to some degree. I love nature so shooting landscapes is a natural development of that. I try to capture not just what I visually see but the mood I feel also, and how the place or moment makes me feel. I studied fine art, art history and anthropology of all of them play a huge part in how I create things.
Carrie: What strategies do you use to help yourself when you feel “stuck?”
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
At present 500px.com. It’s a photographic community that is extremely inspiring!
Carrie: What advice do you have for anyone interested in photography, as both hobby and/or profession?
Look at the work of other artists and photographers and look beyond your own community for inspiration. See what photographers in Russia, Turkey, etc. are creating. Try to find something interesting in your own environment to photograph though. It’s often working to make something out of what might seem like nothing that will help you to produce your most creative work.
I find it hard not to work many more hours than I should. I attempt to structure my day around my family as much as I can. I try to work when my daughter is at school to allow myself free time to spend with her and my husband when they are home. This very often doesn’t work though and I find myself working late into the evening and night as I can often be most creative when the house is silent and its dark.
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
My environment and my mood inspire me more than anything.
Carrie: How do you define Creativity?
Anything that is not bound by convention and allows us to express ourselves and be original.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: As a photographer, a community can inspire you, engage you, and set yourself a standard of achievement. Consider joining a group like 500px to be inspired and to grow.
Many thanks to Viktoria for sharing her images and inspiration with us!