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Interviews  / Stories

Interview: Photographer Pini Hamou (Israël)

Tell us something about yourself

I am 48, I was born in Israel and I live in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. I love art from an early age, I started painting, and then I studied graphic design and photography.

I combine my art with my work. I teach Photography and Art history.


How and when did you get into photography?

Visual Arts has always attracted me. Ever since I was a little kid I was drawing. When I was 15 I bought my first camera, it was a simple Agfa Film Camera.

When I had to choose a profession, I chose to study Graphic Design, and a few years later I also began to study photography.

I own a Photography and Design studio in Tel Aviv. I take many photo shoots at work, but I also have the opportunity to shoot art and documentaryprojects and not just commercialphotos.


What does photography mean to you?

Photography for me is a continuation of my painting. I feel like I'm painting with a camera.

I love the immediacy of photography. Photography is instantaneous, it happens at the touch of a button on the camera, and you can immediately see the results on the camera's monitor, unlike painting, that can take many months.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I try to inspire, to tell a story and idea in my photos. The atmosphere and the feelings are very important to complete the story. My photography is often as a single scene from a movie. A short scene that gives you a little story, leaving the viewer with questions and curiosity.

The aesthetics of photography is important but more important is the idea behind the image.

Photography, painting, film and story - there is a strong connection between them. In my photographs I try blurring the lines between these art forms. In my photography I bring my imagination and show it to the audience.


Where do you get inspiration from?

All my photography starts with an idea, many ideas come from my background in painting and art.

Before shooting I prepare a sketch or drawing and plan how to process it: what will be the most suitable location and who will be the best model to convey my ideas.


You think in advance what you want in the picture?

I try to plan ahead the photo that I take, and put in the frame exactly what I want.

In art photography - I take my ideas and my fantasies so I have lots of freedom during shooting and processing, I make arrangements adapted to any image, I plan in  advance the  photo shoot and I know what I can make, while shooting and what I will have to work on later with the computer.


Studio, on location or both?

On location. It gives me more interesting atmosphere than in the studio. Because I prefer to shoot in natural light – I choose the perfect time light photography. Usually I take shoots in the afternoon, when the sun is soft, and has good color and shadows.


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I consider myself as a professional paid photographer.


What has been your most memorable session and why?

I had the idea to photograph a model born as a baby bird - from egg in the nest. It took me a year and a half to make the picture. I had to spend a lot of time planning; I had to sculpt the egg for four months and then find the suitable time, location, and take the picture.


Nikon or Canon?Favorite lens?


I shoot with Canon camera. Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III.

The Lenses I use the most are the Canon 50 mm 1.4 and the Canon 2.8 24-70. The 50 mm is my preferred choice, it is very easy and has a very open restrictor that helps in poor lighting conditions and allows me to shoot photos with shallow depth of field.


What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

The advice I can give photographers is to enjoy photography, the process and the results of their photos. Share, and accept criticism and continue to get better all the time.


What do you think of our new magazine?

The magazine looks great!!! A pleasure to see and read it, this is an excellent opportunity to see the works of very talented photographers and models.

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