Diana Debord is a self-taught fine art photographer born in 1984 and based in Novara, Italy. She likes to create images merging decadent romanticism with dreamlike atmospheres, and consider colors and composition as amazing creative tools. Diana wants her colors to be a rebellion towards the greyness and alienation of modern life: her aim is to capture the magic of everyday life, giving reality a dreamlike touch. It was a real pleasure for us to take an interview with Diana Debord and learn some interesting facts of her biography. Enjoy reading the interview and viewing Diana Debord photography.
AP: Diana, thank you very much for finding the time to give us an interview. It’s a great honor for us. We’ve prepared some questions for you for today and hope you’ll like them. So what got you started?
Diana: I started out 4 years ago, during the most difficult time of my life – I had to start so many things again and there were times when I just couldn’t see a gleam of light. Photography helped me to get through all of this, I think.
My first photos were self-portraits: I had many ideas but still felt unsure to ask someone to model for me, so I just learned how to set the remote control! I’ve never really liked myself as well and self-portraits allowed me to have a different point of view.
AP: That’s good that photography helped you to break through. Do you have any formal education in photography or were you self-taught?
Diana: I’m self-taught, and I think you never finish studying photography; it’s something you learn day by day, achieving different tasks and trying new techniques. I started with film photography, and I think it really helped me to learn the basic of it: exposure, ISO, working with light in general and always double think before shooting – the opposite you tend to do with digital! I got several manuals and books and took as many photos as possible; and looked at great photographers’ works.
AP: I also think that practice is our best teacher! Diana, what genre are your photos?
Diana: I think you have to try out different techniques in order to understand what you like the most. I got started with photography because I wanted my ideas to take shape, so I’ve always considered it as something that could describe your inner world, and the genre that fitted this perfectly is fine art.
I often get asked what “fine art” means, and I usually describe it as the opposite to commercial photography. Fine art is above all personal and even when your shoots are commissioned, you work on it from the very beginning until they’re finished.
AP: I absolutely agree with you. Passion and love is the best motivation source. How would you describe your photography? Do you find your pictures unique or unusual?
Diana: I don’t know whether my works are unique or not, but I think they are quite recognizable: people often tell me I have my own style and I’m really proud of this. Some artists are obsessed with originality and sometimes I get stuck in this too, but I don’t think it’s the most important aspect of photography.
I would describe my works as obscure and decadent: I think these words can summarize quite well what I do.
AP: Thank you for your detailed explanation. What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to take your pictures?
Diana: I use a Canon 550D with 50mm lens most of the time. As for self-portraiture I use a tripod and a remote control and use Photoshop to edit my pictures. I only work with natural light, I find it more challenging and spontaneous, and sometimes I also use a reflector panel.
AP: Which artists do you use for references?
Diana: Most of my favorite artists are painters, rather than photographers, being the latter an inspiration more in terms of technique than ideas. Some of my biggest references are the Pre-Raphaelites such as Millais, Waterhouse, Burne-Jones, Hunt; Surrealists and Symbolists. I love the vivid colors and dreamscapes created by the Pre-Raphaelites, and try to reproduce that charm in my works.
AP: That’s wonderful that those creative and talented artists inspire you. Do you have any dream project in photography? What is it?
Diana: I’m working on a project called “Cat Familiars” which I really would like to become an exhibition and a book to help a local cat rescue center, when finished. I take portraits of women along with their cats, collecting their stories and sharing them on my blog.
AP: What an amazing project! We wish your dream to definitely come true. What is the formula for success in your activity?
Diana: I have a list of goals in photography, and try my best to achieve them. I wanted to be represented by a fine art agency but the first time I sent them my portfolio, they rejected it. I worked a lot on my portfolio for one year, to send it again, and I was really happy to know this time my photos were suitable for what they do! You really have to struggle on your goals and results will come.
AP: We are very happy for you! Who is one person you would like to see interviewed on AstrumPeople?
Diana: Pauline-Greefhorst or Niki Aguirre!
AP: We will do our best to get in touch and take an interview with them. Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
Diana: My partner is really supportive and I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for his help. My friends are also important and it’s great to know people I don’t know well support me just because they like my works. I’ve met many incredible people just because of photography and this is just one of the presents it gave me.
AP: Tell us three lessons you believe are really important for every photographer?
- Participate in exhibitions, contests and projects not to compete, but to confront your works and ideas with other artists. There’s always something you can learn, even from beginners.
- Take pictures of everything. Don’t discard something just because it’s different to what you like, but take it as a challenge and learn from it.
- If you want to become a fine art photographer, you have to be inspired to take photos, so surround yourself with things and people that help you being inspired.
Diana, thank you so much for sharing such wonderful story on photography. We are really grateful to you for your inspiring thoughts and ideas. I am sure your readers will find them useful. We wish you great success, brilliant ideas and continued inspiration. To learn more about Diana Debord photography, please visit her personal website.
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