A Conversation With Photographer Krista Svalbonas

A Conversation With Photographer Krista Svalbonas

Krista2The competitive world of photography is no match for the passion that comes thru Krista Svalbonas images. Growing up surrounded by natures beauty in a small town in Pennsylvania, Krista explored her artistic desires and followed her dreams all the way to New York City.

Below I interview this interesting and talented young lady. Enjoy!

[Maddy] You have a very specific style of shooting, what inspires you?

[Krista] That’s a difficult question. A lot of things inspire me: people, photographers, fine artists. I think because of my Fine Art background, I have both a BFA and MFA in Photography; I am really influenced by Fine Art. I really think about form, light, color and texture, just like a painter or sculptor.

[Maddy] Have you always shot plus models? If not, what made you decide to begin shooting plus models?

[Krista] No I began shooting straight size models in college. I don’t think I ever really conformed to the “mainstream” idea of beauty though. I photographed people whose personalities and features I found to be compelling. I started shooting plus actively when I began shooting for a swimsuit client. I really enjoyed it. I have to admit that I have a lot of fun shooting plus, which I think comes out in my photography. Plus is a relatively uncharted area, in terms of photographic experimentation and creativity. I like being experimental and I like incorporating the edginess of straight size fashion into the plus size market. I think this sort of experimentation is important and vital in terms of fashion photography. It’s important to realize that beauty comes in all forms and in turn all photographic forms of expression. We should not be limited to only one style or one way of shooting.

[Maddy] How does shooting plus models differ from straight models?

[Krista] For me it doesn’t differ. I approach each shoot with the same ideas: form, light, color, texture etc. I strongly believe there should not be a defining way to approach plus or straight size models. I think once you start limiting yourself in that manner you impose unnecessary limitations on your self-expression. It’s important to let mistakes happen and to experiment with new ways of shooting. I think saying we have to shoot plus this way or we have to approach straight size this way confines us too much and we start losing the ability to create something new, fresh and exciting.

[Maddy] What makes a good model? (from a photographers point of view)

[Krista] I believe a good model is one who works with the photographer, client, make-up artist, and stylist to create a beautiful and compelling image. This is always a team effort and it’s important to communicate and take suggestions from all sides. I think this can be said of photographers as well.

[Maddy] I learned that you teach photography classes; tell me about your decision to teach photography.

[Krista] I decided to teach photography when I became jaded with the New York advertising market. I had been working as an art director and I simply got tired with the lack of creative freedom I had. Teaching allowed me the freedom to be creative again. Not only could I freelance more easily, I could now be a part of an environment that was overflowing with new and exciting creative ideas. I get a lot of enjoyment out of teaching my students, they are eager and excited to learn and often inspire and surprise me with their art. Most of all I think I give my students the abilities to realize their dreams and their ideas to their fullest potential.

[Maddy] Can you give us an idea of what a student would experience in your class?

[Krista] A project I often do with one of my students is a self-portrait, but I put a little spin on it. It’s not a self-portrait in terms of simply taking pictures of yourself it’s a project meant to tell us about you. One of my students decided to take nude photos of herself; very tasteful and respectful nudes. She had always had a hard time with self-image and was always concerned about her weight and feeling unattractive. Walking her through the project was an amazing experience. At the end of it she had to present her project to the class. She said that she felt she had become a stronger person, that in the process of creating these images she had somehow come to terms with herself and her weight. So not only had she learned how to take beautiful portraits but she had also learned something about herself in the process. Its things like that that really makes teaching for me an unbelievable experience.