PHOTOGRAPHER: DARIA AMARANTH
Who is Daria? If you can describe yourself to us with any of your photos which one would it be?
I'm a dreamer and I'm a seeker with permanent internal flow. Each of my pictures includes something of me one way or another, so I can not choose only one - I am convinced that the photographer's work reflects all the changes, all the transformations that occur in the artist and in her or his vision over time.
When did photography / art start for you?
A few years ago I suddenly realized that of all the arts that I love so much it’s exactly photography that can help me to express something internal, since then it has become my passion. I started by documenting the objects around me - on the streets and at home, I took simple portraits of my acquaintances and friends, but then I realized that fixing the visible, familiar reality is less interesting to me than visualizing imaginary worlds and creating stories filled with unreality and mystique.
How would you describe the state of photography / art in Russia?
It’s a little difficult for me to evaluate art on a national scale, since I’m not familiar to all of the genres and representatives, but I really think that there are a lot of very talented artists and creators in Russia.
How would you describe your art?
I think that the most important thing in photography is the feeling, emotion, inexplicable craving, strong attraction, intense expression and endless state of mystery - sometimes it’s quiet outside, but incredibly deep inside and breath-taking. I strive to fill my photographs with pure passion, all-consuming sense of the authenticity of what you feel. I love the surreal multilayeredness, in which the first thing a person feels is an inexplicable interest. That feeling and that state of mystery are the most important components of any kind of art to me.
Where do you draw your inspirations from?
A large layer of my inspiration is associated with the expressive spheres of art - cinema, painting, music, literature, but at the same time, I can feel something necessary to be embodied in anything - for example, in a random object that I see that impresses me with its expressiveness. A lot of inspiration lies inside my imagination and visions from unconscious sphere.
Where and how did you get your photographic education from? Did you go to school to study photography?
Mostly I am self-taught. Three years ago I took some photography classes where in the evenings we discussed masters of photography’s works and did some practical work in the studio - it was my first experiment with staged photography. Then I understood that I was eager to create new reality (to be more correct – unreality) in my works and was not interested to take documentary photographs as it is.
Give us a glimpse inside your processes. How do you usually produce / create your shoots?
More often I do not make detailed planning, I just realize the key moments - I select the model, colors, clothes, insects / animals if any, and only during the photoshooting itself the process of "drawing" begins, as if I'm swimming inside the flow of consciousness. I also think that detailed planning with strict explanations can ruin mysterious atmosphere and this necessary disturbing feeling. I control everything during shooting: the position of the model in space, the light, the atmosphere - perhaps, that's why I have not worked in the big team for the moment, because it's difficult for me to entrust some part of the tasks to other people and be sure that my idea would not be distorted. But I understand that the cooperation with the single-minded people would be of great interest to me in the future.
What is your most memorable project yet?
I remember each of my significant projects, but now one of the last came to mind - the one in which the scorpion was involved. I had planned to create a story with a scorpion for a long time and it turned out to be more calm and focused than I thought before, it is a very beautiful creature.
What do you think is your most challenging piece and why?
I think this is yet to come :)
Do you have any favorite photo from your portfolio?
I have been thinking about it several times and it’s very hard to choose only one work but I can name the photograph that seems to me to be a symbol of the new (and maybe true) beginning of my photography life – “Hidden feelings” where my favorite model Valeria is standing in front of the grey background wrapped in green fabric with her eyes closed and with her back naked.
What’s your Dream Project?
It’s a project which can be realized as a movie together with a photographic series supported by the opportunity to have enough resources to bring my idea into life.
How does fashion influence your work? Do you think it is a huge factor in your creations?
Fashion seems to me to be a conductor of many phenomena, sensations, feelings, thoughts, it's a kind of visual voice that helps to reflect an idea in a special expressive way. In my works, fashion is primarily a certain style, which is synchronized with the stories I tell and is woven into the imaginary reality of my works. I'm inspired by fashion as the art and not as the latest trend in choosing clothes.
What’s coming up for you in the next few months/years? What are your big plans?
I have different thoughts for new photography projects and I’m planning to begin working on my first small movie, at the moment these thoughts give me a lot of inspiration.
Book that you’re currently reading.
Top 3 songs on your playlist right now.
Chrysta Bell – All The Things
Cocteau Twins – Lovers Who Are Seekers
Goldfrapp – Deer Stop
If you’re going to be a book, what book will you be and why?
It’s a very good question but really difficult one because I love reading so much but I can hardly name a book I can completely associate myself with…But I can name some of my favorite writers – Franz Kafka, Daphne De Maurier, Virginia Woolf, Karin Boye, Boris Pasternak, Pablo Neruda, Milan Kundera, Garbiel Garcia Marquez, Susan Sontag…
If you’re going to have the chance to support any charity/organization/person, what/who would it be and why?
I would support an organization that helps people with complex diseases, because there are many poorly studied diseases in the world that require research. I would also support the feminist organization, because the ideas of feminism are close to me. And I would support a shelter for homeless animals, because they can only get help from a human.