Interview with Adelīna Darviņa



Adelīna Darviņa is in Riga, Latvia based photographer, passionate traveler and foreign culture explorer. She started her photo career as a wedding and commercial photographer for Latvian market gaining over six years of experience in both wedding and commercial photography. She has graduated Rīga Stradiņš university and holds B.Soc.Sc in communication science with specialization in photography. During her studies, she has acquired passion for visual anthropology that she tries to implicate in her work. For the past years she has been passionate about exploring American culture and has dedicated her past two years for the American Dream project.[Official Website] [Print Version] [Digital Version]

Can you tell a little about yourself?

I`m in Riga, Latvia based photographer. For the past years I was in commercial photography, more specifically in wedding photography. After several years in commercial photography I decided to devote myself only to photography that is meaningful to me – contemporary photography.

How did you get interested in photography?

I got interested in photography only by accident. At the age of 12, I think, I received a small Nikon camera as a gift. I started taking photos almost every day and so photography became a hobby for me that later grew into professional work and now in a form of art.

What i nspired you take your American Dream series?

Some of years ago I met couple of American Latvians. And it caught my attention how differently two persons from the same generation with similar education, living conditions etc. can have very different way of perceiving life. I started digging deeper in to the American culture subject. The more deeper I dug the more questions appeared to which I needed to find answers.

American Dream | Adelīna Darviņa

How would you define your general style photography?

I would say it`s a mix of documentary photography with a pinch of visual anthropology in it. Before starting a bigger project, I always prepare myself, like with American Dream in this case, which also resulted in an academical paper. I t`s always important for me to be able to reveal something new about a cultural or a phenomenon and to be able to explain to myself what I`m seeing and experiencing. To be able to have that explorer feeling and that you are always revealing something new and if not for a broader part of society then at least to yourself.

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

Technically I always shoot from the waist without looking in the viewfinder, so I always have to know my camera well. Besides that if I`m somewhere i n the streets, I`m looking in the face of my subject. By doing that I`m trying to transfer that mood and the feeling of t he subject in my shot. Because of that, crowded places can really wear me out mentally.

In your opinion,what makes a good documentary Photography

In my opinion a good documentary photography speaks for it selve. It`s boh contemporary and represents a specific period at the same time. It`s ageless.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photography?

I think the technical preparation vs theoretical preparation time i s 5% for technical and 95% of time for the theoretical and analytical part. So  echnically I don`t spend a lot of t time thinking how I will take the shot. Taking a shot should be like an instinct that is based on the experience.

What do you think makes a memorable project?

I think a project becomes memorable if it`s presented in the right time and in the right place, in the right media. A project should always be relevant to something – social, political, ethnographical processes in the society, country, region or world and i t should be presented to the right audience. Of course, I`m talking about projects that are published and presented to public, not about private ones. Those belong to artist only.

How do you know you got the shot you wanted?

Because most of the time I shoot from the waist and I do not look in the viewfinder, after taking the right shot I just have a very specific feeling. During the process of seeing the subject, the composition and pressing the shutter, sometimes I get t hat feeling that everything just fell into the right place.

Your idea of the perfect composition?

Thankfully we live in a time where art is not measured as much technically but how it`s represented. Otherwise I would fail as an artist.

American Dream | Adelīna Darviņa

What would i`ll find  in your camera Bag?

I like to follow the concept of keeping it simple. For my photo projects I don`t use anything more than my camera with a fixed lens and some good walking shoes.

How important is an awesome website for your business and how has social media played a role in your photography?

I would say t hat a well thought out website for commercial photography is very important, because you are selling the impression of your photography and your experience. In contemporary photography those rules aren`t that important. But in general It hink a good website will always be a plus rather than a minus for self representation.

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

Currently I`m waiting for a group project to be published. The main theme in the project is Latvian diaspore in Iceland. It`s part academical project and part artistic project. It was developed together with artists and researchers from Rīga Stradiņš university in Latvia. In long term I`ll keep working on the I mazighen project about the Berber people in Morocco. I`ll be heading to Morcco again in the upcoming January.

Finally, one last question. What opinion do you have of our print edition?

I think it`s a great platform for young artists to rise higher in their career and get recognition from other institutions. Thank you for the given opportunity!

American Dream | Adelīna Darviņa
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