10 Questions: Yasmina Cowan

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Photography, to Washington DC-based artist Yasmina Cowan, tells a story with images – a story just as literary as any using language. And we agree! Photos like these are all about love. Her work documents family life in a way that is really breathtaking. It doesn’t get better than this.

1. What do making images mean to you?

To me, imagery is photographic storytelling. I love that an image can tell a person’s story, often, in such a more impactful way than words ever could. Every time I pick up my camera, I try to ask myself, “what’s the story here?” It’s a great starting point for any image. 

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2. What is life to you? What it should be?

Life to me is about family, friends and love. I’m a firm believer that all the money in the world can’t make you happy. Cherish the people around you and do what you love. It’s what brought me to this career and I couldn’t be happier. 

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3. How much is your family an influence on the way you view life, see things?

My family is a huge influence on the way I view life.  They keep me motivated, they keep me inspired and they give me something to always fight for. My love for photography took a dramatic turn when my daughter was born because it became so much more personal for me. I wanted to document her childhood in an authentic and simple way. 

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4. Do you have a “second profession” or passion? 

I think my brain has always been creatively wired. I love interior design, graphic design, anything that serves as an outlet for expressing myself. 

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5. What movie did you love recently?

I don’t often take the time to watch movies but I really enjoyed “Boyhood”. I loved the concept behind it and the passion it must have taken to see a project through for 10 years and come out with such a beautiful result. I think anyone could relate to so many of the themes and I love that it didn’t romanticize some of the everyday joys and sorrows that we all face on a daily basis. 

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6. Is/Are there any project(s) you wish you could do – or might do?

I’d love to work more with couples. In my professional and personal work I’ve always focused on children and families but I’d love to document love stories from different generations and cultures through images and words. 

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7. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?

My right eye. 

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8. Are there any unseen experimental images in your attic you’d like to show us now?

I don’t think so! 

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9. Who do you respect – in photography or elsewhere?

I really respect Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York as a force to be reckoned with in this industry. I think he does an incredible job of humanizing people from all walks of life and shining a light on a perspective we may not have considered otherwise.  

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10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?

I would probably take more time to enjoy and learn photography as a hobbyist before diving into the client world. I love to shoot clients but hate the paper pushing business side of what I do. To me it’s a necessary evil. That said, I think all of my experiences and mistakes, good and bad have helped to shape and define my style so I don’t think I’d necessarily erase them. 


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