Five minutes with Saman Deilamani

Saman Deilamani_Headshot
Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a photographer from Toronto, Canada. I was born in Iran, with a background in architectural sciences. I was an amateur photographer for a while before becoming serious about it three years ago.

How did you get interested in photography?

I got interested in photography in my late teens. I started playing around with my parents point-and-shoot. I stopped taking pictures for few years and picked it up again when I was studying architecture. At that time, I would use my camera as a tool to record buildings and architectural features in the city. But gradually it turned into a full-time obsession and I wanted to say more than just documentation.

Do you artist/photographer inspired your art?

Recently, I have been inspired by Willian Eggleston, Thomas Struth, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.

Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?

I usually work with one camera and one lens. I use different cameras depending on what I want to do or what I have available. My favorites are Hasselblad 500CM, Nikon FE and Holga; which are all analogue. I shoot both colour and black & white and try to use the darkroom whenever I can. But a lot of times, I scan the negs and work on them on photoshop.

Describe your ideal photographic situation

A new place or a new person. I love to walk around and discover the oddities of a new place, or chat with someone in the studio and photographing them.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?

I sometimes sketch things out, or try test shots. Most of the time, when thinking of a project, I am constantly thinking about it, so I take note of points that come to my mind. However, as much as I like to think of everything before hand, once I start shooting I change my mind a lot as I go.

What’s your useable-to-unusable ratio when you review images from a shoot?

It is tough to say. It varies from session to session. I sometimes completely change my mind about something after I finish the shoot.

What quick advice do you have for someone who wants to improve his or her photography skills?

Study the work of masters and keep shooting.

From time to time many photographers find themselves in a creative rut or uninspired to shoot. Does this ever happen to you and if so how do you overcome these phases?

It does. It happens when you least expect it. The important thing is to get to work and test out ideas until something works out. Another way that helps me resolve it is to stand back and forget all about it. I focus on other things, take a long walk, clean my workspace, watch movies or read a book. It is easier said than done, but they help.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I have few project that I like to develop next year. Last winter, I got the opportunity to travel and photograph the landscape in Northern Ontario which I am working on right now. I like to finish the first batch of those photos before the year ends and maybe travel again this winter to get more raw material. [Official Website][dodho magazine]

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