Cristina Venedict’s fine art captured our eyes - it not only showcases her skills as a photographer, but her imagination and creativity. Her work is painterly, poetic and romantic. Based in Botosani, Romania, Cristina’s childhood plays an important part in influencing the way she sees, and the way she creates her photographs. Her aim with her work is to invoke emotions and self discovery. And I think she has succeeded in communicating that.
Cristina has won many awards for her fine art work and is an exhibiting and well published photographer.
1. What do making images mean to you?
What I’ve noticed about me is that I like photographs that say something. At first I was making photographs just for stock, so I could use them to create the images I wanted, in a way to express myself through them. For 5 years I used my camera only on auto. Being surrounded by things that inspired and helped me create my own world was the only thing that interested me. But when my son was born, the camera itself started to catch my attention more and more. I wanted to let go of my imaginary world and spend more time with my camera and take wonderful shots without too much intervention afterwards. Now, the most important thing is for my photographs to make you feel something when you look at it. I think is wonderful to capture chapters of life through the camera.
2. What is life to you? What it should be?
Life means love!
3. Where did you grow up and how did that play a part in your photography?
I grew up in a city from Romania called Botosani. It is the city I moved in after I graduated from university and the city I live in now. I had a beautiful childhood; I played a lot, I was surrounded by beautiful people and was taught by my parents to see the beauty in everything. I have a lot of beautiful memories from my childhood. My imagination and I didn’t have limits and I think this helped me a lot.
4. There are a lot of professions out there - why be a photographer?
I never dreamed nor thought I would be a photographer. I graduated from an art school and I studied psychology at University. But all my life I was fascinated by people. I love people and I could spend hours looking at them and observing their gestures, things that only they have. I even make up my own impression about them just for the fun of it.
After I graduated from university I practiced for a while as a psychologist. During that time I was very upset because I felt I was not doing something that represents me. I felt I wasn’t true to myself. I know that during that time, all I wanted was to do something I loved. And when you want something from the bottom of your heart, the Universe will show you a way. I remember one day I was chatting online with a friend and she showed me a picture taken by her brother. When I saw it I smiled and thought to myself that I could do better and I felt that that was what I want to do: photography.
Then I started to create my own world and express myself through the images I created. It was like I was making for myself a universe made of dreams. It was a new wonderful feeling, I felt at peace with myself, I felt happy. With the help of my camera I went from the surreal area to the real (and real stories) one.
5. What is your favourite non-photography pass time?
To hang out with my friends, listen to music, play with Sasha, my little boy. But, still, everything gravitates around photography.
7. Are you working on any projects at the moment you can tell us about?
Where I live in Botosani city, there is a Community of Lipovan Russians - Christians of ancient rite. I visit their church and document their rituals. It is an ongoing project that I’m working on at the moment.
More of Cristina's Lipovan project can be seen on her facebook.
To maintain my passion I like to use different styles. I don’t settle down with one specific style. I have periods when I shoot only portraits, other times I love couple or family sessions and sometimes I like to escape in a world of dream and create something magical. I like this about me (that I don’t have a specific style), this makes me happy and keeps my passion for photography alive and growing. Even I don’t know what to expect from me. I want to work on projects that represent me and make me discover parts of me that are hidden. I want to surprise myself!
8. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
With my left eye :)
9. Who do you respect - in photography or elsewhere?
My parents and my husband. Because they encourage me to do anything with passion and follow my dreams. I think it’s important to have passion in whatever you do; it fills those around you.
I respect passion - for everything. When you put passion in what you do, everybody can feel it.
10. Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?
I hope that in 10 years I can speak about photography with the same passion I do now. I hope I’ll still be able to see around me images that fascinate me and say: It’s so wonderful that I can see this and I can share it with everybody through photographs. Magical moments!
Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?
Yes. I mostly use digital camera. But I play a lot with the lens. I like the atmosphere of Lensbaby or Helios, the atmosphere is unique. But still the most important thing is to make photo with passion to convey some of you through it.