Interview with Zsuzsa Darab

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Part 2 of SnappedAway In Depth Series with Zsuzsa Darab. We talk about schools, getting inspired by masters and style evolution.

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your photography style to our readers?
My name is Zsuzsa Darab, I come from Hungary. I just graduated from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, in MA photography this year, and now I am studying in design and visual art teacher MA programme at MOME, Budapest.

My works are usually personal, conceptual, staged and also experimental. My main focus is on holding cohesion, memories, emotions, and the soul. I am very curious about everything related to people. I am also an observer, who sees the world through the human beings. I am interested in human relationships and behaviours, and the connections between them, too. In addition, the feelings are very important in my projects.

How did you get interested in photography? And why did you pick photography as a medium and a form of expression?
In high school, I was a student at the special art class. We had high amount of drawing classes besides other courses, also in the afternoons. In the 10th grade, we started to learn photography, it was a totally new world, and I fell in love. I started to use a camera as a new mean of expression more and more, but I was still too young. I was interested in everything related to art, and I wanted to learn everything about it, so it was really difficult to choose from all the mediums. Getting closer to the end of the high school, I needed to decide about my future. But during the years, it was pretty clear that photography will be the best way of expression for myself. So I applied to photography at the university. That was my dream, to learn what I love most.

How did you learn how to shoot? And what did you find the most helpful source of information along this way?
I didn’t get into the university for the first time, but I wasn’t disappointed, because I knew I was not good enough, yet. I needed to learn more specifically from photographers. So, I went to a photography school, which was not a university, but it trained me to get in there. I learned every kind of photo skills in that school. I am really thankful to István Halas, who was my mentor that time. He taught me a lot about thinking about photography and doing it.

How about your photography style? Can you describe your journey to where you are right now?
I think my photography style has changed a lot over the years, and it is still changing. I like to experiment, and I like to find new ways of doing things. The last two years, most of my work was very personal. It was a very new dimension for me, a long therapy session, which helped me a lot to understand my situation. I was my own psychoanalyst. I feel, I am the end of something, and something new is coming. But, I don’t really know when and what, and I think it is okay.

Do you remember your first most inspiring photographer/ photo book/ exhibition in your life? And how about other photography masters? How do they inspire you and how do they influence your photography style?
I don’t remember who my first favourite photographer was, but my latest one is Nadia Sablin. She is a documentary photographer working with people. I just love her pictures; it would be great to have her Aunties book, I just found out it is available to buy online. One of my other favourite photographers is Sári Ember, who is working with personal subjects, she has very sensitive eyes. All of her projects are beautifully made, and have a deep meaning. Larry Sultan is also one of the greatest ones; his series about his parents really touched me. Julie Blackmon, Sarah Small, Tierney Gearon, Hellen van Meene are also those inspiring photographers, who intrigue me in a lot of ways. They have something I want to have, too.

What is your favourite or memorable project/ photo you have worked on? Why? And also what is the project you will share with us?
The Into the forest book was one of my most memorable projects. I made it during a workshop in Finland. I spent 4 days in Seitseminen National Park, with a bunch of photography students. It was such a wonderland. I felt peace and freedom. It was a short time, but I had a clear project plan in mind, and I had 2 days for shooting. I took 14 portraits during those 2 days, based on their writing about their feelings of the forest. Also a self-portrait. It was such a challenge, I loved it.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a person starting as a photographer?
“If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” /from Back to the Future ;)/ Seriously, I really believe in this.


If you enjoyed reading this post stay with us for more of Zsuzsa Darab’s photography. Also you might want to check her website to find out more about her work.

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