Interview: Photographer Stanislav Fehér (Slovakia)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am 42 years old, I live in Skalica, picturesque small town in the west of Slovakia and I am a teacher by profession. I teach at primary school and my role is to teach children how to read, write and count. I have a great family. My wife is photographer, my two clever children are inclining to art too. I like to read and go to nature. Both are then an inspiration to me
How and when did you get into photography?
If I don’t count photos from family celebrations or trips, I got to photography thanks to my wife. She is a portrait photographer, she makes a living by photographing people, families and weddings. As she changed her hardware, old cameras stayed at home laying around. I tried how it’s to make photos with better cameras and it got me. Now it is 6 years already, that I took it more seriously. At the beginning, I took pictures of everything – maybe as all of us. I tried to shoot nature, landscape, macro, architecture… I realized that those kinds of photos really don’t fulfill me, that I want to take pictures of people instead.
What does photography mean to you?
Photograph is a story to me and an escape from reality. I like, when people stop and think when looking at my photos. Maybe it is, because I like books, history and phantasy world. I try to bring it to my photos. I like to work on photos, that are dreamy, surreal and fantastic. However, I do not avoid capturing reality and current topics, but again in my own view.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Style, that I shoot, will be best classified as fineart and conceptual photography. I try to make my photos eye-catching and that they carry a notion, that people think about. I like getting feedback from people, when they write me, that my photo caught them, that it reminded them of something, inspired them. I have a feeling of fulfillment and work well done.
Where do you get inspiration from?
There is a lot of inspiration around us. Nature, unconventional places, interesting people, events, books and last but not least our dream world. Sometimes it's an ordinary tree I walked around, and the idea of incorporating it into a photo came to my mind.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
I am not one of the photographers who finds a model, takes her to the studio and "clicks". Every photo of me is well thought out and prepared. The idea comes first. I will draw it on paper. Gradually I will collect or make props and find a suitable location. Then I will contact a model who is typified in my project and only then will we go to take pictures. When taking photos, sometimes something interesting is created spontaneously on the spot, but the vast majority of my photos are thoughtful and planned.
Studio, on location or both?
I do not use the studio. I love natural light. I like to take photos outdoors, or in old abandoned buildings. Although the complete equipment for the studio is stored at home, I do not use it. Maybe sometime in the future, but now I'm completely comfortable with plein-air.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
As I wrote at the beginning, I am a teacher by profession. Photography is my hobby. I take it as relaxation, escape from reality and the opportunity to fulfill my dreams. I can't imagine having to take pictures of what I don't like because the client requires it. I like freedom and I take photos when I have an idea and a desire to create, not when I am pressed by a deadline.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Nikon and I won't let him. Gradually I tried more of them. I started with the Nikon 3200, then the Nikon D300s, I also tried the Nikon D800 and now my favorite Nikon has been D750 for a few years. The most popular lens is probably Nikkor 50mm F1.8. and Sigma 50mm f1/4 DG HSM Art Nikon.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
There were probably more like that. I like to remember taking photos in the old Franciscan monastery, where we photographed the horror scene. The models were dressed as nuns. The monastery was completely empty and a strong wind was blowing outside. When we prepared the scene, the models took their positions and I took a photo, everything fell silent and in the empty long corridors only the hum of the wind could be heard. It was suggestive, it had a really scary atmosphere. Memorable photos were probably also for several of my models, when we took photos at negative temperatures, in strong winds and snow. The girls have my admiration that they did it so perfectly. I enjoy photography, so every one has it own charm and I am very happy about every one.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
As a hobby photographer, it is difficult for me to comment on business. But still, I would have one piece of advice for a beginning photographer who wants to do business. Find your style and hone it to perfection. A style that fulfills you, that describes you and then offer it to the client. Never try to take pictures in a way that everyone likes. Be yourself - if you do your job properly, the client will find you himself.
Whatdo you think of our new magazine?
I discovered your magazine only recently, but I was very pleasantly surprised. I am very happy to be a part of it.