Monthly Photo – Simple Self-Portrait, 2016

Simple Self-portrait, 2016

So this is my very first self-portrait taken in 2016. It was only a couple of years ago but it feels much longer than that if I’m honest. 🙂

I took this self-portrait when I started experimenting with my camera the very first time. I think that was the moment when I have realized, I wanted to be a photographer. That was the moment when I felt creative the first time and saw that the possibilities are endless, I just have to be creative.

I edited the image in Photoshop and it was very first time I was completely happy with the final results.

I experienced so many firsts with this picture and it is very close to my heart as it feels like a milestone, sort of like the start of my career as an artist.

I’ve talked about this in detail in my interview with Art Reveal Magazine 2 years ago. You can read the full interview here, if you are interested.

Click here if you would like to see all my self-portraits in the gallery.
Limited edition, original fine art prints of this image can be purchase in the webshop along with prints of all my photographic work! 🙂

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with the latest news. You will also receive notifications when a new blog post is available. You will get special offers on my fine art prints, only for subscribers! AND I have a free gift for you as well! 😉

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About my Self-Portraiture

Oxygen, 2016
Oxygen, 2016

I often take self-portraits.

I have always been fascinated by the human being, and how much a portrait can say without words. I knew I wanted to express myself through portraiture but when I started photography, I was too self-conscious to ask anyone to be my model.

At the beginning photographing myself was rather for a practical reason. However it quickly became a very strong part of my work. They are like my diary where I can “write down” my feelings, my experiences, my views on certain aspects of society and the world.

Photography has always been a sort of therapy for me, a way to express my feelings in order to be able to deal with them. Most of these self-portraits were captured during one of the hardest period of my life.

Creating them helped me tremendously to overcome difficulties and to become the person and the artist I am now.

Through my images, I want to show feelings which are very hard to define. I feel like the picture can only be “real” if I am the model.

I always use a model but as I want people to be able to relate to my work, I often cover the face in some ways, indicating that the model is not as important as the message I want to convey.

Self-Portraits, 2017

Limited edition, original fine art prints can be purchase in the webshop along with prints of all my photographic work! 🙂

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with the latest news and receive notifications when a new blog post is available. You will also receive special offers on my fine art prints, only for subscribers! AND I have a free gift for you as well! 😉

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Personal Update – Working with art magazines and filming art videos

Hi There!

Today I would like to share a little personal update with you on what I was up to lately. My schedule has been so busy the past few weeks but I love every minute of being productive and creative.

So let me tell you a little bit about this.

Working with Art Magazines

A5 Magazine

I had the chance again to be featured in the March Issue of A5 Magazine. If you read my review of this magazine a couple of weeks ago, you know that I am a huge fan of this publication. My images have been featured in various issues the past 3 years. If you are an artist yourself I would definitely recommend checking them out. 🙂

Average Art Magazine

One of my images has also been selected to be featured in the April Issue of Average Art Magazine. If you are not familiar with this publication, Average Art, similarly to A5 Magazine, is an industry focused art zine published monthly. I have had the chance to be featured in this magazine as well in the past and one of my images from Lost in a Dream, 2016 was selected to be on the front cover of the August Issue in 2017. I can only repeat myself here: I cannot recommend them enough!

Peripheral ARTeries

An interview focusing mainly on my photo series, (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 will be featured in the Biennial Edition of Peripheral ARTeries. I am very grateful for the opportunity to have my interview published in this magazine the second time. I was very satisfied with my interview published in the magazine last year and the team was amazing to work with. For example every question was very carefully selected, focusing on one particular picture of mine. I feel like I was able to provide a very good insight into my work and the backstory behind my pictures.

The new Biennial Edition will be published in a few months and I cannot wait to see the finished article.

Art Reveal Magazine

Another interview focusing on my project, (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 as well will be published in the 46th issue of Art Reveal Magazine. I had an interview published in the 33rd issue in 2017 and I am delighted that I was selected again for a second interview by the magazine.

Youtube Channel and Art Videos

I have been drawing and painting since I can remember and I have picked up one of my old sketchbooks again last year. Since then I have been sketching and painting again whenever I have some free time beside photography.

I have also ordered loads of new art supplies I cannot wait to finally try out.

Creating art videos to record my process has been something I wanted to try for a very long time. Having the necessary art supplies, my camera and the space to film makes it the perfect time to start now.

Sketches
Sketches

At the moment I am very busy with preparing all the materials for the above publications. However I am planning on posting art videos and creating a Youtube channel very soon so stay tuned. 🙂

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Monthly Photo – Above the Clouds, 2016

Relationship between reality and imagination is basically the base of my art practice.

I have always loved fantasy books. Where the writer has the possibility to create a whole new world without the limitations of reality. The endless possibilities and the mystical, mostly dark atmosphere in these books have always amazed me. Mainly because behind the magic and wonders these stories are so real. We just have to look at them from a different point of view to learn so much about our lives, about ourselves.

When we open a book we are able to step into a different world and this is truly magical. This is exactly what I want to achieve with my art. I hope when you look at my images you can see both the truth and the magic behind them. If you are then I have already achieved my goal. 🙂

Photography gives me the possibility to “become a writer” and capture my own fantasy world without having to say or write a word.

This shot was inspired by the beautiful landscape of Wexford, Ireland. Although when I took the shot of the background of the final image I wasn’t sure how I want the finished piece to look like.

I found the landscape so beautiful, like something out of a fairy tale. I knew I wanted to create something “fantastic” to suit the beauty of it.

Above the Clouds is a representation of the connection between Human and Nature.

It was also inspired by the story of Cinderella, which was one of my favourite books growing up. Specifically the scene when she is running home at midnight. In the movement of my model I wanted to capture lightness, elegance but also dynamism.

Above the Clouds, 2016 limited edition, original fine art prints can be purchase in the webshop along with prints of all my photographic work! 🙂

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with the latest news and receive notifications when a new blog post is available. You will also receive special offers on my fine art prints, only for subscribers! AND I have a free gift for you as well! 😉

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Studio Session – Self-Portrait Shooting

I was shooting my next project in the studio today and I decided to bring you a little “behind the scenes” post. 😀

As I have mentioned before in my Studio Tour post, having my own home studio is just amazing. I feel like I am much more productive than ever before.

Okay, let’s get started!

Let me show you very quickly how a typical shooting session goes when I am my own model. 🙂

As always I used my stand and backdrop (white this time), two softboxes, a tripod, a stool, my camera and my little remote.

Nikkor 24-70 mm lens
Nikkor 24-70 mm lens

The lens I used was a 24-70 mm Nikkor lens. To be honest with you, I have bought this baby last year and I haven’t used anything else since. It’s just perfect for the type of photography I do and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Snazaroo face paint
Face pain

I also used some face paint for this particular image. I have been planning this picture for a while and I am happy with how the raw images turned out. Of course, I will show you the finished piece here, on the blog and the print will be available in the webshop soon.

A little bit about my setup.

Editing in Photoshop

I don’t need much space when I’m shooting my self-portraits (which is great because I don’t have a huge space to work with 🙂 ) as I usually take head shots.

Typically, I position my tripod around 1 meter from the backdrop. I use two soft boxes for most of my portraits (unless I want dramatic shadows on one side) and I position them on both sides of the tripod and in line with it and use 50 mm focal length.

I set the camera to auto focus and use a handheld remote to take the pictures.

Taking my self-portraits usually takes up to 3-4 hours when it is only one piece and not a series.

Now I just have to edit the raw image. 🙂

Editing
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Art Magazine Review – A5 Zine Portfolio Magazine

A5 Magazine issue

Hi There! This is the first post in a new section on the blog I have been thinking about starting for a while. Being featured in art magazines is such a great opportunity for artists to grow and get the exposure their work deserves so I decided to start the “Art Magazine Review” topic.

The first magazine I would like to talk about here is the A5 Zine Portfolio Magazine.

First, let me tell you why I think it is extremely important to share your work on these platform.

My images in A5 Magazine

So here is the deal.

Having a website and social media sites dedicated to your art is a great start. However it is likely that the right people won’t see your artwork.

Besides posting your work online on your own sites, I would strongly recommend submitting them to open calls of various art magazines.

Be careful!

There are many scams out there! They usually find artists on social media and email them with publication opportunities. Always do your research before you say yes to any of them! Especially because for the chance to be featured in these magazines you have to pay. A lot.

So let’s see why I recommend A5 Magazine to you. 🙂

A5 Magazine

A5 Magazine is a monthly publication. As they explain on their website, A5 Magazine is an industry focused art zine. Our goal is to draw attention to self representing artists. 

They have an open call every month for the next issue. Visit their submission page to find out all the information you need on how to make a submission.

Submissions are 100% FREE! You only have to pay for the magazine itself if they select your work. (And only if you would like to own your own copy of course. 🙂 )

My images from (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 in A5 Magazine.

So here is a few info on the magazine itself: the size of every issue is A5 (obviously…) and the pages have a matte finish. Given that it is a portfolio magazine, they only publish full-page images with the name and contact information of each artist.

A5 Magazine featured my photographs multiple times and I can’t recommend them enough. 🙂 You can check my biography to find these publications.

The submission process always goes very smoothly. I always get an email to confirm that my submission was successful. Similarly, they notify me straight away if they select my submitted work for publication in the next issue. This email contains a link where I can pre-order the magazine. I never had any problem with my orders. They always arrive almost on the official publication date in perfect condition (thanks to the do not bend sticker they use 😉 ).

Another advantage is that the magazine regularly post images of featured artists on social media which is a great way to get noticed also.

I think A5 Magazine is one of the best platforms for my photographs. Most of my images are very “painterly”. There are no real blacks or whites, the mid-tones are very dominant. So the matte finish of the pages of the magazine suits my images perfectly.

Make sure you follow A5 Magazine on Instagram and Twitter also!

I hope you enjoyed the first article in the “Art Magazine Review”. Let me know about your experiences if you’ve ever worked with this magazine.

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Monthly Photo – (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 series

My art is often associated with death and sadness, because of my style of photography. I certainly want to create a sense of loneliness and darkness thorough my images. Because I want to make people think about the story behind the image in front of them.

However I also want to show that bad experiences and feelings are unavoidable and necessary to develop, grow and shape as a human being. Even though looking at my images could give the impression of sadness, the message I want to convey is positive.

(Pl)aesthetic, Pink, 2018

In 2018 I started the project, (Pl)aesthetic which was inspired by these comments and feedback about my images being very dark. It is true that using vivid, intense colours is very unusual in my work. I decided to create something different from my “usual” art, focusing only on the aesthetic. Giving meaning to the images by having no meaning, showing that an image can be “pretty” and pleasing to the eye with no meaning behind it.

I am very happy with the finished images because I do love colours. Having said that, I feel like most of the time I simply can’t use vivid colours in my photographic work. Due to the themes I like to explore, I use darker and less saturated colours to achieve that “dreamy” look.

Click here if you would like to see all the images from (Pl)aesthetic, 2018 series.
(Pl)aesthetic, 2018 limited edition, original fine art prints can be purchase in the webshop along with prints of all my photographic work! 🙂

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with the latest news. You will also receive notifications when a new blog post is available. You will get special offers on my fine art prints, only for subscribers! AND I have a free gift for you as well! 😉

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(Temporary) studio tour

Today I would like to show you my new home studio and do a little studio tour. 🙂 I am very happy that I finally have enough room to create a space where I can “hide” and focus on my art.

My home studio

Having my own space makes such a huge difference. I feel so much more productive than ever before.

My favourite art supplies.

I spend hours in my little hideaway every day and it feels amazing having a real art studio. I had been living with other people and shared a house for years. Not having my own space made it incredibly hard to work on my art.

My photography equipment

I had to compromise a lot during these years. I had to cram all my art equipment into tiny spaces simply because I had no choice if I wanted to photograph or paint. These equipment are quite heavy and big and, as I didn’t have a room for years, I had to keep packing and unpacking my stuff. Especially my backdrop and light boxes are a nightmare to setup and pack into boxes again. It is a huge advantage that I can just leave them in the studio and use them straight away when I’m shooting without having to set them up every time. 🙂

Home Studio

However I am delighted with my little studio and making it more and more me every day this is only temporary. I have always wanted an attic room. It has been my dream since forever and it is now a possibility. Of course it is way down the line and not going to happen for a while. But it will happen one day and I will document it here on the blog so stay tuned! 😉

My sketchbook and art supplies
Sketchbook and art supplies
Photography equipment

If you would like to know more about my background you can read my artist statement and my biography.

Leave a comment below or send me a message and let me know what you think about the website. I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this studio tour and I will see you next Monday! 🙂


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10 Most common photography mistakes and how to avoid them

In this post I collected the, in my opinion, 10 most commonly made mistakes by beginner photographers and I will show you how to avoid them.

Photography mistakes and how to avoid them

Did you just buy a fancy camera and took some awesome pictures? Great! Have you already created a few social media sites dedicated to your art but you can’t get people to look at your work? Did you put loads of time an effort into your photography but it’s not paying off? Don’t worry, we can fix this! 🙂


1.) Quantity over quality

I have seen so many photographers on various social media platforms posting literally hundreds of pictures of the same thing or from the same event. Hundreds! Looking at their portfolio it’s evident that they didn’t go through the images before posting all of them straight from the camera as I often see many blurry pictures among these as well. Auch!

How to avoid it: Only post your best work!

When you finish a project have a selecting and editing process in place. It is crucial to only post your best work so all the images on your portfolio are outstanding. This way I guarantee you your visitors will stay on your page and even come back for more. :

2.) Inconsistent portfolio

Consistency is key no matter what platform you are on and what type of art you do. Having an inconsistent portfolio can be very confusing to people who don’t know you and looking at you profile the very first time.

You might be a great street photographer but at the same time you do wedding shots and food photography as well. That’s great! But just imagine that someone finds one of your wedding pictures so they click on your profile to see more of these images. And what they find there is all sort of pictures from all sort of different genres. Chances are they just going to leave your profile and find another wedding photographer.

How to avoid it: Be consistent!

What I would recommend you to do is having multiple accounts on the same platform for your different type of photography so you can have a clean, consistent portfolio on each of them.

3.) Lack of “personality”

It is very hard to find your own voice no matter what kind of art or business you want to start. For example: I like the art of Brooke Shaden and I really enjoy her motivation training videos. She also have videos of her editing process and I think it’s awesome that she wants to help artists to learn how to achieve a certain look, but… I have seen many photographers’ portfolios where Brooke’s style is so recognizable, I had to check the artist who created the picture to make sure it is not one of hers.

How to avoid it: Find your “voice”!

Take your time! Actively work on finding your personal style. What I mean by that is experiment with different type of photography, take hundreds of different type of pictures if you want, then think about what type of photography you enjoy the most. After that you can move into that direction.

Finding inspiration in other artists’ portfolios is great. however, make sure you don’t copy someone’s work step by step. Nothing is better than being original, right?

4.) Too much Photoshop

And I mean waaay too much! I don’t think I have to explain this, we’re all know what I’m talking about… It happened to me loads when I was editing an image in Photoshop for hours and then went back to the picture the next day and realized that I’ve overdone it and it doesn’t look good at all. Using an editing software for hours can make you “blind” and you can ruin your picture without realizing it.

How to avoid it: Remember: Less is more!

Take a break! Go back to the image a few hours later or even the next day with a fresh eye.

5.) Not knowing how to advertise the right way

I’ve seen it many times on different social media platforms that people post hundreds of pictures in a group at the same time just to get other users’ attention. I think we are all familiar with the “follow me and I will follow you back” concept as well.

How to avoid it: Find what works for you!

My main advise is: find the audience who are actually interested in your art and not only following you just because they want followers back. To achieve that you will need to advertise the right way on the right platform, but more about this in the next blogpost. 🙂

6.) Focusing on the wrong things

How many social media and portfolio sites do you have? Are you sure you have time to look after all of them? Many new artists make the mistake of having too many sites where they showcase their portfolio so they cannot focus on either properly. The idea behind it is that if you are on 50 online platform instead of 5 your chances to be discovered are much higher, right? Not entirely true. Just because you are on these websites that doesn’t mean people will click on your profile. You need to engage with other people and drive traffic to you profile. You need to make sure you post regularly and I don’t just mean throwing something on to it every now and then. Your posts need to be engaging and interesting.

I feel like I need to mention gaining followers as well again because if your main goal is to have hundreds of followers, than you are doing it completely wrong. People often put loads of time and effort into gaining followers, spending hours on Instagram to get other people to look at their profile.

How to avoid it: Focus on your art!

Engaging with others is very important, but don’t let this take the time away from actually creating. Nothing draws attention to you and your art more than good content!
Be active on social media. It is a great tool and you can reach a huge audience but pick a few platforms and focus on these!

7.) Expecting overnight success

I think this is a mistake EVERYONE made at some point.

You created some awesome artwork. Uploaded them onto your social media accounts. Maybe created a website. So exciting, right? But it’s just not working out the way you imagined it. Even though you are happy with the quality of your work you can’t get the attention you deserve!

How to avoid it: Be patient!

Believe me, we’ve all been there! I mean everyone has been there! Okay, maybe not everyone. Maybe you were at the right place at the right time and your career took off straight away. 🙂

It is more likely that you will be disappointed and frustrated at first and have to work very hard to achieve your goals. It is hard work! But it’s so worth it at the end.

8.) Mixing personal and professional platforms

Some people simply don’t feel the need to create multiple accounts. So they post their artwork and personal photos on the same platform. There is nothing wrong with this if you are a hobby artist, only doing art for your own enjoyment and not planning on making a living out of it.

How to avoid it: Separate your private and business accounts!

If you are planning on becoming a full time artist it is crucial to have a professional “business” account. This should be where you showcase your amazing pieces of art and everything that relates to your business. When you approach galleries, art magazines etc. this is the account that you would ask them check out. You don’t want the pictures from that party on Saturday night to be available on this account do you? No, it’s not too professional…

9.) Not having a blog/vlog

This is one of the biggest mistakes photographers make nowadays. I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to have a blog if you are a photographer. I heard this advise so many times and I was kind of like… yeah, yeah sure…

How to avoid it: Start a blog today!

A blog is a great tool and it can build a relationship between you and your audience. Having a blog allows people to get to know you and your story. And it’s fun as well! You don’t have to be a writer to start a blog. Keep a conversational tone and post regularly about what you do and what project you are working on.

I also share the story behind each of my photographs and series in the Monthly Photo series.

10.) Giving up

All the above mistakes can result in frustration and disappointment. People also make the mistake of not learning enough before they start this journey OR waiting for the right moment. Of course, the right moment never comes…

How to avoid it: Don’t give up! (You didn’t see this coming, did you?)

You can do this! Probably nothing will go as planned but that is part of the gig! Keep doing what you love and the rest will follow! 😉

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Monthly Photo – Lost in a Dream, 2016 series

Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’

Carroll L. (1998) Alice’s adventures in Wonderland
Lost in a Dream, 2016

When I was a little girl, my mam read “Alice in Wonderland” for me and it absolutely freaked me out. Falling into another, strange world not knowing anyone, not even knowing where Alice is, terrified me.

Since then I have re-read the story and a part of me, that little girl inside, still finds it scary. My memories, more like feelings, came back reading the story many years later. It was so inspiring, I wanted to embrace and express these feelings and visualise this strange world the way I imagined it.

Lost in a Dream, 2016

I created powerful images by putting the focus on my model, using simple costumes and effects during the editing process. Through my images I show the story from a completely different point of view: What would it be like to be lost in a dream? Is it real or is it just in your head?

In “My Wonderland” Alice is my sister. She is a grown up woman now, but she will always be my little sister and represents the innocence in this world.

Click here if you would like to see all the images from Lost in the Dream, 2016 series.
Lost in a Dream, 2016 limited edition, original fine art prints can be purchase in the webshop along with prints of all my photographic work! 🙂

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with the latest news and receive notifications when a new blog post is available. You will also receive special offers on my fine art prints, only for subscribers! AND I have a free gift for you as well! 😉

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