Photography can become a stiff game of always being calculated and stern. I’m a big proponent of Everyday photography, a more relaxed kind of photography. Here I send a few questions to Valquire about his Everyday photography, his approach and what it means to him.
Valquire, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Sure! I’m a Berlin based photographer and media artist. Right now I’m feeling more like a filmmaker actually since I’m working in that area these days, but it can change on weekly basis. I tried to decide to go a mono way, music, film or photography, but never could abandon one of them, they are like my children. Luckily I have the feeling that my works start to integrate into each other, the photography becomes more cinematic in terms of physical set building, the films more poetic like my photo collages and within our band we go step by step further integrating more media and media art .
You are a working photographer, your website makes that clear. But right in the middle of it all there’s one area that caught my attention “everyday photography”, what’s in this area?
“Everyday photography” is a sort of a diary, the approach is to take at least a picture a day. It’s the essence for me to try to keep the “eye of a child” alive, vibrant and going. It’s to train a different way to see and shoot, because in the case of a professional commission, it would be not appropriate.
I’m a fan of malframed, under/overexposed pictures, unsharp, ghosty imagery. It’s a bit “taking pictures without thinking”. I realized that I got by instinct the “quiet in the rush” moments on film, I bet it’s what my childish eye see’s or would like to see, and also the beauty in the obvious.
What camera do you use for you everyday photography and why?
My “everyday” photos are also the vacancies of big troublesome gear. Everyday photography means having a camera with you everyday, so it’s always small cams, point and shoot, Lomo’s, Konica pop (I love that one), everything that gathers light on film with a click. But recently I bought a Contax G1 to have a little more control over the image again. I think that whole approach drove me to use rangefinder (-style) cameras instead of (d)slr’s.
The images are very loose in their style, how do you let go of all that you think photography should be and just shoot?
It’s s a loose collection because it’s unstaged and instantly taken photography. But I think there is a line in the pictures, it often unravels after taking about 100 pictures. Then you get the topics that you actually shot instinctively. I think photography is always about training the eye and reflexes for the moment, the gear and style you choose is secondary. Analog photography is so much more “photography” in my eyes because you make the picture in your mind before you hit the release button, digital I feel is the opposite — there needs to be training with digital photography to maintain that mysticism of analog shooting.
How do you personally feel when you shoot a commercial project vs when you shoot your everyday photography?
I try to feel the same way, that’s my approach. Keep a fresh view and always do something you didn’t do before. I’m a video editor as well and heard that approach once from somebody: “Try something in your edit you never did before, it can be a little thing but brings you forward a leap”. That’s true for other creative areas as well.
What does it mean to you, to shoot the random, day to day life?
It’s actually the special, awkward, beautiful detail in the daily life that I like. The older you get, the bigger your horizon and your frontiers, a kid has much more narrow frontiers but a much more colorful and vibrant universe of reality and imagination; I like that and I find it very enriching to preserve that.
This is so true, kids are much more imaginative, unfortunately when they grow up, we start scolding them to draw within the boundaries and imagination becomes closer to reality. Any tips for doing everyday photography?
It’s wonderful to discover the world upside-down, so shoot with your camera upside-down. It looses all boundaries of conventions and techniques.
Does your inner critic ever say “don’t make the picture, it’s just a snapshot!” if so, what are your reactions?
It doesn’t tell me that but sometimes i’m too slow to take a picture. That’s always the mind of the adult thinking before hitting the button. Everyday photography for me is the holy (set apart) area of critic-free shooting, thats one of the main points of it.
Every picture in the series actually is an anecdote, i can’t pick a specific one. Sometimes I discover for myself things in the pictures I didn’t expect, e.g. when I do a cowboy style hip shot and caught something on film. I then feel like a discoverer of uncharted territory.
Any closing comments??
Because everyday picture-taking is also about taking a lot of pictures, I have a long 35mm scanning sessions in front of me! So hopefully in winter I will update with more images. I already have a lot done.
Valquire Veljkovic is a multitalented artist and photographer. Please check out his website