An interview with Iga Chatys
Meet Iga (she/her) a 17 year old photographer. She takes color-focused portraits showing her subjects in settings that to celebrate the fact that everyone has their own complicated world to focus on. She promotes self-love and self-confidence through her work. Highlighting the power of makeup and self expression.
Pictured: Iga's self portrait
How did you get into photography?
I've always been much more of a world observer. Noticing details, elements of the whole, colors, people, aesthetics, which is the main element of photography. Fortunately for me, my parents had a very good camera that really took good quality photos. So once it got into my hands, I never let go of it. Until now, it has been lying in my room and I use it whenever I can.
Your color-focused portraits are very unique, what inspired you to begin this series?
Colors can say more than a certain sentence. In part of our lives, we communicate through language. But the way we dress, the way we decorate our home, the way we react to certain aesthetics is another part of our communication with the world. I want to show it in my portraits. I want color to be my communication tool.
What do you believe makes a great photograph?
Many things. Lots of little things, details that make up the whole. That's why it's so hard to create a great photograph. However, I believe that every good photograph has a certain aesthetic that should not look too artificial but not too real at the same time. You need to create a perfect balance.
What motivates you to continue taking photos?
People. I don't think it needs explaining. I perceive every person as the work of art, that when captured by camera can show you beauty in its purest form. There are infinite interesting people, possibilities and ideas in this world, so how could I not be motivated to keep taking pictures. Beauty is infinite and so will be and I just want to observe it.
What photographers have influenced your work?
Many. Everyone at least a little? I try to soak up the knowledge, aesthetics, and way of every photographer I meet. However, if I have to give names, definitely the cinematography of Robert Yeoman with his colorful frames for Wes Anderson films. Color plays a very important role in his work, which prompted me to become interested in the theory of color and to use it in my photography.
Examples of Robert Yeoman's Cinematography in Wes Anderson films :
How do you make people feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I am trying to show that the camera is not terrible. We both (model and photographer) have complete control over what will be created thanks to it, so we can create something that fully suits us. Bad photos are part of every photo shoot, and that's normal. I want the session to be quite normal, not stressful, something like a meeting, but at the end the meeting that will create beautiful images. I also try to create ideas that make the photographed person feel empowered by what we are doing.
What do you enjoy most about the process of photography?
Every part is wonderful in some way, exciting. I love the process of choosing an idea with the person who wants to be photographed. However, the most exciting thing is when it's the end of the session and the model feels more comfortable then I start taking the most interesting photos because I feel that our time is ending and as well the session.
With today’s technology there are so many options for gear, what type of camera do you prefer to shoot with?
I take pictures with a 64 mm SLR, Canon 500D. It's still the same camera that I started taking pictures with. In addition, I take photos with the Canon 700D. These cameras suit me very well, but in the future I would like to try to take portraits with a camera with a full-size matrix, i.e. 36x24mm. I also want to try out lens filters. There are really many things that I want to choose, especially with so many options. I don't think my willingness to try out new thing ever ends, which is exciting.
Self-expression is something you value while constructing your shoots, what do you want to achieve with this?
There are so many beautiful people with the art they create on a daily basis through the clothes they wear, the aesthetics they like, and still so many beautiful people are afraid to show it, show themselves and their everyday art. That's why I want makeup and clothes to be a big part of my photography because it's just art. Self-expression is simply art. We are surrounded by it, we create it and I would like more people to understand it that way.
To our readers, what advice would you give to people striving to achieve self love or be more open with their self expression?
I don't know if I'm in a good position to advise, but I just want to say that you are all beautiful and you just keep creating because expressing yourself is beautiful.
To keep up with Iga and her work Follow her VSCO and Instagram!