Model and fashion photographer Anouska Proetta Brandon isn't shy around the camera. In fact, take a look at her simply stunning self-portraits and you'll think she's actually pretty brave. I love her careful use of lighting, tone and color.
I was able to get in touch with Anouska to ask her some questions about her work. Read that short Q&A below, after seeing some of her beautiful self-portraits.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into photography?
A: Well, I've always been surrounded by photographers in the family, all of my family is quite art-oriented in some form or another. I remember I used to love taking macro shots on my simple little point and shoot camera, and people always told me they were nice. My father then got me my first digital SLR for my 16th birthday, and from then on, my love affair with photography started!
Q: How has your modeling experience helped you in taking photos, technique etc?
A: I find that being a model, really helps with my photography. I love to photograph beautiful people, from my young cousins to my granny, to my beautiful friends/models. Since I'm a model myself I always know that when people look at a photo of themselves, no matter how well-executed the photo is, or how brilliant the lighting/composition etc is, if your subject (the model) doesn't like their face in it, then there isn't much point!
I always try my best to make the whole picture come together and look beautiful, every detail. I find that peoples natural beauty shines through once they are comfortable with the photographer, which is what I always try and do - make people feel comfortable.
I find it a huge bonus that I understand light in a photo, I know my face and body well and I know what works, simply from taking so many photos of myself! I take photos of myself whenever I am bored and at home alone for a few hours, I never really have a plan, I just do my make up (or take it all off) and start snapping wherever I see nice light coming in through the windows!
Q: How has Flickr helped you build your portfolio?
A: Flickr has been great. I started it when I was around 17, when I didn't have many contacts or many good photos, but simply browsing flickr for hours helped so much, I thought to myself ''I can better myself to be more like this person'' etc, Flickr has been a huge inspiration for alot of shots in my portfolio. I never try to copy someone elses work - I can't stand that, but I am thankful for all the amazing art people post, to help me find inspiration!
Q: Who are some other photographers you admire - on Flickr or professional?
A: Well on Flickr one of my favourite photographers would have to be Lucy Nuzum. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutr/
) I followed her work for a long time and just couldn't get over her creativity. So one day, I emailed her asking if she wanted to shoot together, and ever since then we've been good friends :) Another great up and coming photographer who I don't think gets enough credit on flickr is the wonderful Lucia O Connor McCarthy. She is another girl I met through Flickr, and has also become a good friend! I simply love how she processes her photos, its like all her photos are right out of a fairytale. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/luciaoconnormccarthy/
Q: Any tips you could give on lighting or taking portraits?
A: For taking portraits, I would always suggest you make your subject comfortable and relaxed. I know alot of people like to take photos of people on the street without them knowing, to catch their ''natural'' expressions, but I find that very hard to do. I love to be able to direct the subject to how I want to the photo to be.
A big tip is don't be afraid to ask. If the lighting isn't right but you want them to turn their head slightly to the right, or put their chin up a bit, just ask. I find models who havn't got alot of modeling experience really appreciate when you help to direct them.
Thanks for the interview, Anouska!