Hello Felicia Simion ! We are honored to be able to interview you for our Featured Photographer format on www.streetviewphotography.net!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself to begin with. (How old are you, Where were you born and where do you live now, What is your profession and do you have other besides photography?
I am a 19-year-old child born in Craiova, Romania. I’m currently in the first year of college studying in Bucharest. Photography is not a profession to me, but an endlessly growing passion stuck inside my chest.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
Well I’ve always enjoyed painting, singing, dancing and even writing.However, I’ve been practicing these more rarely since I started taking photos.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
Creativity usually comes spontaneously to me, but I guess it’s a collection of all my childhood memories, dreams and artistic encounters that I’ve gathered in my imagination.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in street photography?
I’ve been observing people and situations on the street since forever it seems, despite having a camera around my neck. So when I actually had one with me, I started not only to see the world with my own eyes, but to capture it from behind the lens. And this happened about 5 years ago.
How did you learn about Street View Photography?
I was looking for a page which contained street photos, and SVP was the first one to 100% satisfy my eyes, as I loved each and every post. I thought I should give it a try with posting, as well, why not?
What equipment are you using now and with what did you get started? what is your favorite lens for Street Photography?
I started out with a Canon 400D and the 18-55mm lens, but it wasn’t long until I needed a new one. Over the years, I used various zoom lenses (35-135mm, 28-135mm). Now I have a Canon 7D and, because street photography is not quite predictable, I use any lens I’ve got with me (17-35mm, 70-200mm are my favorites for it).
Can you tell us about your work flow from the point you first step onto the street until you showcase the developed picture?
When I go to explore the streets, I like to hide in some corner and observe the world from there. It’s simple – I see things that ignite my creativity, I point the camera towards them and press the button. Most of my street photos are later turned into B&W, because it is how I initially picture them.
Do you like to shoot in a groups or are you rather out alone?
I like shooting alone, but I wouldn’t mind being in a group, as well, because that would make me less noticeable and more courageous.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other street photographers?
I tend to have a rather personal experience with the people and places I take photos of, even though they’re strangers to me. I hope it shows in my pictures, because I put a lot of soul in trying to capture the unseen.
Many professional photographers still dream about the achievments you already have (several pictures at PhotoVogue and expositions). How do you explain your success ?
I believe that success is the result of the effort put along the years. I always work hard and try to create as much as I can, sacrificing other activities. Dedication and passion for what you do will eventually pay off.
Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
There are definitely changes from the beginnings of my photography to what I do now, but I like to believe that these are good changes, which contribute to a certain progress that we’re all looking for.
Your photographs are very artistic, they way you compose with different colors, with dust, make-up or masks is very remarkable. Did you inspired yourself in an other photographer’s work ?
My inspiration may come from all the photographs I’ve ever seen, but I cannot name just one or two photographers who inspired me the most. Ideas always seem to be a part of my consciousness and, from time to time, I apply them in my photo-shoots.
Do you often interact with your subjects?
I guess some of my subjects saw me taking their photos, stared for about 10 seconds, but then kept on following their road. There are some situations when I talked to the strangers and asked to take their photos and it went well. I always take care of whom I take photos of, and I wouldn’t want to put anyone in an embarrassing situation.
For the observer it’s sky-blue clear that your pictures transmit particular feelings. Do you feel that way when taking those pictures ?
Particularly with street photos, I feel strange, but great emotions when I take them. It may be because they’re so unexpected, and when I get them right, it sure makes me happy.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
I can’t pick just one at all! I like various photos from various genres: a silhouette from here,a portrait from there, some of my street pictures… Way too difficult to tell!
Did you ever take photograph which compromised your emotional balance in a deep and profound way?
I once took some photos in the village where my grandparents live, and among them, there was a woman who was unable to walk. I photographed her feet on the bed where she would lay every day. That memory still haunts me sometimes.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward street photography story.
I found it funny when I was having lunch in the center of Vienna, together with my parents and my boyfriend. Dad, who is a very serious man (or at least when you get to meet him for the first time), told me that there was something cute going on on the street. So I looked across and saw this little girl with her feeding bottle and a tiny luggage walking alone from left to right, right to left and so on. Everyone was smiling and stopping to look at her. She was one fair lady.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from shooting on the streets?
My biggest mistake is being afraid to press the button. But from this, I’m still trying to learn…
What would you tell a newcomer who asks for your advice on how to start?
I’d tell him to just stop walking from time to time. To find a bench, look around and for sure there will be something worthy of photographing.
You said in the book ‘ Why Photography?’ that photography means for you making the time vulnerable. What do you think about street photography?
The reason why I’m in love with street photography is that it turns moments which last for a few seconds into photographs which will live forever.
You are painting with light using a small instrument. Can you tell us how do you ‘paint’ your emotions through your images?
Conveying my emotions through photos is something involuntary, but it happens all the time. I believe it’s the joy of living I have inside of me that makes my pictures communicate my feelings.
You are making a new world through your images. Are you trying to escape from present?
No, not at all. I’m just taking a chance on immortality.
What do you choose between observational and abstract?
I choose observational, because it’s more challenging to me. You never know what you’re gonna get.
When you are in street, what are are you trying to say with you subjects?
I hope to tell stories that were never told before. Or at least, not in the way I do it.
Thank you very much Felicia Simion for this interview! Thank you, it’s been an honor! Take a look at Felicia Simion’s
See more of Felicia’s work here.
This content was created by the Street View Photography community – for the community of Street Photographers.