Friday, November 20, 2015

Feature Friday with A Rock and a Soft Place!

Julia Forsman, the talent behind A Rock and a Soft Place Photography, was the winner of last week's 'autumn' challenge. Read on to find out more about this super skilled photographer!

1. Please tell us about yourself...

I am a 42 year old English woman who (mostly) lives in the centre of Istanbul with my husband (a Swedish speaking Finn), his son and our two children. My eldest son has just moved back to the UK. I have been a photography lover all my life and have much better taste than skill!  I used film until five years ago when, during a financially challenging time, my Dad gave me a digital camera. I started my photography business two years ago when my wonderful husband got me my first professional camera for my 40th birthday, and am still overwhelmed by all the wonderful doors it has opened.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?

Quiet Dark Romantic

Quiet because I think my images are often of a moment of stillness, a small reflective stop in time. I am not very good at stopping and breathing deeply but feel completely in the moment photographing others.

Dark because I usually underexpose to see the play of light and shadow on my subjects.

Romantic because, despite struggling with depression, I feel completely swept up in the love I witness and the exquisite beauty of small things.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

For seven years my first child only lived with me at weekends. I used to take pictures of him and take them to be developed so that I could, in a small way, bring his image back to me when he was away. Then, while living in York, I learnt to use a darkroom and spent a lot of time conjuring up his image. I photographed the messages written on sticks that I left in the walls of my son's village and on the hills above his home. I understand now that I used photography as a tool to bring a little order to my grief. I still use photography to make sense of my circumstances. In 2008, after a long court case, my son came to live with me full-time. 

4. What's in your camera bag right now?

My Canon 5D Mark ii and a 35mm 1.4. I rarely use anything else. I love the way prime lenses encourage you to move.

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

I love getting to know people before I photograph them. The most enjoyable thing for me is to photograph women who are confident enough to really be themselves in front of the camera so that I can photograph their emotions and moods and worry less about conventional beauty. I have nine siblings who are great subjects on the rare occasions that we are in the same country.

6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

I thought that photography would always be solitary. I had absolutely no idea that I would find incredible communities of photographers, or the extent to which they would nurture my growth. The internet changed my photography life, providing me with an abundance of inspiration and advice, and, most of all, friends who understood the challenges of the journey I was on. Now photography introduces me to wonderful new people all the time and sessions often feel like a good time spent with friends.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

My progress has been very gradual. I have watched many people speed past me but feel really content with walking pace. Your photography journey will always give you pleasure if you are focused on your own path. There are lots of practical things I could have understood sooner but what I really want to develop is a heart wide open to the beauty in the world, and that cannot be found in competition, anxiety and jealousy (all of which I have felt). I am delighted to have found a medium that encourages me to constantly seek out what makes my heart sing.

Find more of Julia's gorgeous work here:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts