Interview: Photographer Viktor Tatran ( Los Angeles)
Interviews / Stories
How and when did you get into photography and what does photography mean to you?
As far as I can remember, I've always loved photography, pictures, the event stopped. Some are crazy about cinema. Personally, it is the magic of these images initiators of dreams. Watch a picture, is to dive into the heart of a mystery that everyone's mind will shape as he wishes, to capture a world and offer it to his imagination.
What is important is not the man holding the camera but the photographer's vision. If the images do not speak to you, surely he is of little interest. Images should tell you a story, give rise to desires, to make laughing, to make suffering, in a word, to create a reaction.
My first camera was plastic. No cell, or focus. No lens changing. No, nothing. Just a trigger to take with you the vision of a moment.
Some photographers want to be witness of their time. They want to testify what they saw, "let the world know". This has never been my approach. Even when at the heart of the war, I saw the destructive madness of men, it was not the type of images that interested me. I just wanted my thoughts projected on paper. I wanted to open to whoever would look at the picture, an endless book in which he can think, understand a situation. My images had no blood.
In Afghanistan, I have seen children dying, looking at me. I have seen women, men, shredded. I did not take pictures. The film was my heart where their eyes are engraved forever. My photos show life.
Photography really came to me at the end of the teen time. At the time where life take sense. Where you feel you could tell things with something stronger than words. Actually, when I was taking pictures, I tried to read the soul of my models. I wanted them to tell me the truth about them, offer me their secret garden. I started very early to do art nude pictures. Because nude, there is no more social difference. When you accept to uncover yourself, you become true. I am a big fan of Helmut Newton and Jean-Francois Jonvelle. And my work is very inspired by them. But I do not know to do snapshot. I need to prepare my photoshoot session. I need to imagine my model, to create a specific staging. Everything has already been done in photography. But I believe my imagination is wider and can find new creation spot. By preparing the shooting, I allow my mind to develop fantasy, dreams, where my models will take place.
Studio, on location or both?
I like shooting in the comfort of a photo studio to start with a new model. But quickly, I enjoy to go on diverse locations. I already rented a lot of crazy places, as a gym club, a huge sauna/hammam, a castle or even a theater, just for the pleasure to continue the fantasy with a model. Sometimes, a precise location needs a precise model. And I am always happy to request a model to travel just for a photo session. Because she is the one perfect for that place and the type of pictures I have in my mind.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
This is the same when it comes to choose the right camera to use. I do fashion, beauty, art nude, and portrait pictures. Best brand, for it, is Canon. I like the delicacy and the accuracy of their CMOS and lenses. Portraits particularly request softness, but without any losses of accuracy. My favorite lens is a 200mm F1.8, even if it is difficult to bring it all around the world!!! But this lens nears perfection.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Beginners must think before to buy a camera and a lens, the type of pictures they will do. And never hesitate to rent before buying. Check if you get the results hoped, and if you feel comfortable with your camera.
After so many years taking pictures all around the world, the voice of Gunnar Larsen (fabulous visionary Danish photographer) still resonate into my head with his simple wise advice: “A good picture is a picture sold. Take the pictures you like, but if no one want to buy them, ask yourself the right questions. And do not forget: If you think cheap, you will be cheap”.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I do not have a lot of stuff on my Facebook page, but since I have discovered “Modellen Land Magazine”, I let all the publications on my page. There is a lot of pseudo 'Models Magazine' on the web and particularly on Facebook. But rare are those like this one, really dedicated to quality, to professional pictures (even done by amateur), to models, to make-up artists, to photographers. It is interesting, knowledgeable and I like to read the opinion of all these people from everywhere in the world. There is a lot to learn here. I am very proud to have been asked to participate to this magazine, to be within all these people and to bring my little brick to the wall.