Interview: Photographer Osher Partovi (Israel)
My name is Osher Partovi. I am a 42 year old photographer from Ramat Gan, Israel. During my travels to the Far East, nineteen years ago, I discovered my passion for photography with use of a tiny old film pocket camera. This passion was put on hold during my studies, but four years later, after finishing my B.A, my love for photography was re-ignited and drove me to do what I love. Since then, the camera became an inseparable part of my life. Photography is the way I choose to express myself. I present photographs that show the world as seen through my eyes. I seek to capture certain moments, whether I create them or experience them, in the most unique and different way that I can.
I seek inspiration to jump-start my creative process. This inspiration can be general, like a feeling or a sense. It could also be an image, story or a movie that can Crosse my way. Sometimes my inspiration come with in the location These locations are rich with feeling, history, colors and context, all of which help build a picture in my head. I then share it with my creative team that Together we build the frame and perfect it from the inspiration part to the final picture. This team who help me are my imaginative wife Korin, a choreographer and dance teacher, and Michael Polkanov, a talented fashion designer. Every one of us contributes a unique point of view which develops these ideas further, as well as hard work to bring these concepts to life.
Together, we think about every detail in the frame. We consider which style we’d like to use, which colors would match perfectly to the location, which kind of a dress to create, which model would suit the best, which accessories would match and many other variables. These details must all work as part of one cohesive piece to portray the concept.
When it comes time to shoot, we arrive prepared and organized with every step planned out. Despite this, we must keep an open mind for changes and inspiration, allowing for improvisations on the spot. Sometimes when the idea takes shape on location, inspiration can appear, and that is when magic happens. This leads to wonderful things that can only be thought of naturally and on the spot.
The equipment that we use to photograph is not the most important thing factor in determining our success. Until 4 years ago I used simple crop format gear without any high-end lenses. Some of my best works are still made with this very simple gear. I left my day job and decided to focus my career in photography 5 years ago, and this is when I started using more professional gear. I have a Canon 5D mark 3 accompanied by 2 main lenses that I always carry in my bag, a Canon 70-200 2.8 and a Tamron 24-70 2.8 vc G2. These lenses are great and give me a lot of flexibility, especially when teaching in my workshop classes. Despite how fantastic my equipment is and how useful I find it, I think the most valuable tool that photographer needs to learn to use is their eyes, vision and imagination. Better gear can make a photographer’s life easier, but It's not the most valuable asset needed to create a great image. Our creativity and imagination, along with technique and knowledge, are the best ‘gear’ any photographer can have. It doesn’t matter if this creativity may come at the instant of the shutter opening and closing, or whether an idea may come only during editing and post-processing.
The best advice that I can give to enthusiastic, aspiring photographers is not to shy away from trying out new things, not to fear failure. Trying and failing is part of every photographer’s journey, it is part of what builds experience and makes you better at your craft in the future. Learning new stuff by yourself or at masterclass, Experimenting and creating are the best way to get a head improve yourself and discovering your unique style which is a great experience, so don’t rush and enjoy the ride! As cliché as it sounds, stay true to yourself. Getting inspiration from the work of other is very good, but do so in your own way, doing what you want to do. Eventually, you’ll have your own signature style, making your work recognizable from miles away.