Interview of Kara Souza by Sophie Pellegrini
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am 22 and was born and raised in Hawaii. Photography is one of my hobbies, but I also enjoy music and love the outdoors.
What type of music?
I sing and I play the piano. I’ll be recording in the near future!
How did you get started in photography? Did you study photography in school?
I took a film photography class in high school, but didn’t take it too seriously. After graduating I would occasionally take trips to the mountains. Nature is still one of my favorite things to photograph.
Do you still shoot in film? If so, why do you prefer it over digital?
I have shot with film for about a year now. I can get too trigger happy and careless when shooting digital. Film requires me to explore all angles before capturing, demanding a more precise vision. In the end I just enjoy film… the anticipation of your images being processed… the uncertainty… Nothing beats that feeling you have when you are proud of the prints in your hands!!
Tell us a bit about your artist work process.
Finding something that’s beautiful and exciting and capturing it in a satisfying composition.
Much of your photography is portraiture. How do you choose your models? What do you do to make them feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I like to work with people who are self-aware and enjoy being in front of the camera! If I’m working with a shy subject, I give a lot of direction. I’m very specific with what I want in a portrait, so if I don’t like a certain pose I’ll change it, I won’t shoot it. I find that the more confident I am, the more confident the subject is!
How does the experience of photographing nature differ from photographing people? I know as a photographer myself that my work process is incredibly different between the two, and I have to be in a certain mood/mindset to do each.
Photographing nature can be a more calming therapeutic process. It’s almost like taking a still whereas people are live moving feeling subjects. You could take 10 photos of a scene of nature and nearly have identical shots but 10 shots of a human subject could mean 10 entirely different photos. For me, photographing people requires more focus and spontaneity.
The fashion photography industry often portrays a very limited range of people (though this is changing a bit)–most of the women are thin and white, and fit a certain standard of beauty. Your photographs seem to portray a wider range of women, all incredibly beautiful! Is this something you do consciously? If so, why?
I do it consciously, yes, because of my overexposure to that very limited “range of women”. Yes, they are beautiful, but ALL women are beautiful, and I want to show what isn’t being shown. I focus on the female form because I want to show the innately beautiful aspects of the female body without objectifying it.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Lukasz Wierzbowski, Ren Hang, Nicola Odemann, Fabien Vilrus, and Eliska Kyselkova are just a few who inspire and awe me.
Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully surrounded by people I love in a lush green environment, with a little house and a garden.
What are you grateful for?
I am so so grateful for my time in New York! I have grown so much and owe it to this place and it’s people and energy. I am blessed to be around so many other creators.