Interview: Photographer Elian Coman (Romania)
Can you tell us a little about you?
Hi, my name is Elian Coman, I am an enthusiast photographer located in Brasov being probably one of the most beautiful places in Transylvania - Romania. I am 45 years old, I have three kids and a beautiful wife Diana who is also my assistant and greatly supporting me across our photographic projects. As main profession, I am a Program Manager.
How and when did you get into photography?
My relationship with photography is rather old and it used to be rather inconsistent for many years. As a child I fantasized a lot about having my own camera and being able to develop my pictures by myself but unfortunately my parents were never able to bear the cost including the associated education. Later in my early 20’s my first paid job was a cruise ship photographer which was not much photography I must say but helped me to laid the foundation, knowledge
wise. After that I have persuaded a very different career path and continued doing photography as a hobby with certain up’s and down’s. A major turning point occurred 3 years ago when I almost accidentally got exposed to what they call fine art portrait photography: I totally and irremediable fell in love with it. Here I am now, lucky guy, doing what I love most.
What does photography mean to you?
Family aside, photography is pretty much everything to me. It allows me to engage my
creativity and convey to the outer world the best I am capable of, to the maximum of my
potential. Photography enables me to create and shape stories about the beauty of the human
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
My keen interest is to imagine and bring to life stories through fine art photography. I create
portraits and nude with a certain painterly look in our home based studio.
Where do you get inspiration from?
My main source of inspiration for what I create is art in general and baroque painting in
particular - by all means and including lighting patterns and visual styling. I love the Dutch
Golden Age and the exquisite creations of the Old Masters.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
I always prepare for what I intend to create. Posing the model, symbols to engage, props and
accessories etc. – all the little things and details contribute dearly to the story I dream to convey. Preparation and attention to details are key to my work.
Studio, on location or both?
My area of expertise is studio photography as I choose to fully control the light in my work,
being able to place it and shape it as per my artistic choices.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I strive to get to the point I can call myself a true professional. Since I tend to be harsh and keep an eye on my shortcomings, the journey continues and will probably never end. Having a different day to day job to support myself and my family brings in some flexibility and allows me to pursue my path (almost) free from constraints and compromises.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Recreating Caravaggio’s Saint Catherine of Alexandria. It took a lot of beautiful effort to plan, shoot and edit – and it was extremely rewarding to enjoy the final outcome.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start
their own business?
Photography is vast so be ready to explore and experience new things. Once you find your true love, stick to it. Don’t hesitate to do what you love – this is your best chance to achieve
extraordinary things and become the best. Keep your path, don’t do things just because they
seem to be in fashion and Customers seem to request it. Be persistent and build your portfolio of Customers.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Nikon. I tend to use most 85mm and 50mm. One of the perks of doing studio portrait
photography is that top notch fast lenses are not really required in my opinion.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I am always in search for high quality trustworthy professional sources of inspiration and
education in a world where quantity beats quality I fear. MODELLENLAND is a beautiful
surprise and a great personal finding, I appreciate the hard work of the editors and the sheer
passion to have this non profit magazine up and running to the benefit of the photographic
community. Many thanks for having me and facilitating this interview, much appreciated! Keep up the great work