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Interview of Marta Golova by Sophie Pellegrini // My experience of growing up as an immigrant has really shaped the understanding I have about self expression and self identity, this is something I hope to explore further with my work.

Interview of Marta Golova by Sophie Pellegrini

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Marta Golova, I am 21 years old, and I live in Toronto, Canada. My pronouns are she/her.

How did you get started in photography? What drew you to the medium?

I’ve been taking photographs ever since I can remember. In elementary school, I got my first point-and-shoot camera and would document everything. I think what drew me in initially was being able to document what was happening right there in the moment. I remained active in my photography in high school, although I never took it seriously, as a career in this field seemed unrealistic for me at that point. It was only in university that I started realizing that this was really what I am meant to be doing with my life– if there’s a space for photographers in this world, why can’t I be one to occupy that space?

What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

My favorite subject to photograph are people my age. I think we all have this really shared experience of growing up in a time where we were only introduced to social media in middle school/high school and now we’re all coming into adulthood. I think that makes us very open and understanding when it comes to topics like mental health, gender identity, and climate change that the generations before us didn’t have the same exposure to.

Tell us a little about your artistic work process.

I’ve noticed that my artistic process has always varied greatly based on what era or stage I am in my life. For a while, I focused solely on self portraits and people in my life who I was close with, mostly because I was just trying to understand myself. Lately, I’ve been really exploring the idea of cultural diaspora and how my experience of being an immigrant has shaped my understanding of myself as well as my family. I get inspiration from every form of media.

What have been some highlights of your creative journey so far?

Some of the highlights of my creative journey so far have to do with how much gratitude I feel each time I sit down with someone and photograph them. It’s such a special moment to feel like this person is allowing you into their own life for a small moment in time. It’s such a beautiful form of vulnerability that gives me a reason for what I do.

Who are the models in your photograph? How do you choose the people you photograph?

I really gravitate towards people who are my age that live in my town. It’s how I started this journey that I’m still on today. Lately I’ve been meeting a lot of people through social media platforms like Instagram. It’s a great way to connect with people.

What are some of the key influences on your work? 

My identity plays a large role in my photography. Being a female photographer is something that gives me a unique way of connecting to other women through portraiture. In addition to this, my experience of growing up as an immigrant has really shaped the understanding I have about self expression and self identity, this is something I hope to explore further with my work.

When you aren’t taking photographs, how do you spend your time?

I love listening to podcasts and music, and spending time eating together with those close to me. Inspiration can be found anywhere; I think it’s a really healthy thing to take a break from photography and take up a completely different hobby. At the moment I’ve spent a lot of time journaling trying to get back into the habit of reading.

Tell us 5 things you’re grateful for.

I’m grateful to be alive, I’m grateful for time (trying to slow down and appreciate this time in my life), I’m grateful for strong support systems in family and friends, I’m grateful for the inherent good in others, and I’m grateful for my dog. 🙂

How can we keep up with your work?

You can keep up to date on my work through my Instagram @martagolova <3

Sophie Pellegrini

Sophie Pellegrini is the Co-Founder of Ramona and previous Artistic & Creative Director. She is a photographer and therapist based in St. Louis, Missouri. Follow Sophie on her website and on Instagram.

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