Photography is the art, application, and practice of creating durable images by recording light, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. This description is by wikipedia and it’s totaly accurate, but we think, there is much more to photography than just technical terms and the science behind it. We think it can translate, express or create emotion, events, memories and so much more.

Sari comes from Bratislava / Slovakia. She is a dear friend of ours. We have been working together or cooperating on several project over the years and we are very found of her artistic development. Even though she is not identifying herself as photographer, the way she captures photos is very inspiring and worth taking your time to know her.

1. What makes a picture stand out from the average? 

I always admired people that can capture a photo that tells a story. Take me somewhere. Explain to me something. Make me care or make me want to learn more about what I am looking at. And that makes even a photo taken with a potato stand out. At the same time, things can just be beautiful for the sake of being beautiful. Not everything has to be meaningful, and capturing something “lovable” and not making it “kitchy” is an art in itself.

2. What details do you believe make the best photographs?

Light. Colour. Composition. Moment.

3. Whose work has influenced you most?

I was 17 when I gifted myself a camera after the school-leaving exams. Igor Smitka took me for a walk around Bratislava and explained to me the basics. After I thought we were done, the magic started… he downloaded photoshop to my computer and showed me what was possible in post-production. He might not even know it, but to this day, I am forever grateful that I was introduced to photography by him. I also got to see his approach to work at the very beginning of his career.

Besides that, my learning process in everything I do is looking for the best of the best and deconstructing their work. New, old or inter-disciplinary… This means I have various influencers (I think that is the word’s true meaning!). Here are some that come to mind for those that want some inspiration: Arnold Newman, Mary Elen Mark, Fred Herzog, William Eggleston, Richard Avedon, Saul Leiter, Gueorgui Pinkhassov… I also studied the work of cinematographers like Roger Deakins, Gordon Willis, Robert David Yeoman or Robert Richardson.

Instagram plays a huge role as I follow many creators and see their work daily. I do not study them, but I am sure subconsciously, people like Sarah Bah Bah, Dina Litovsky, Chris Parsons influence what I do.

AND! Of course, painters. The way that Rembrandt uses light and leading lines to navigate the eye, Turner‘s choice of colour to invoke a feeling, Italian masters and the importance of composition. If this interests you, I would suggest starting with researching “Chiaroscuro“.

4. What is your favorite subject to photograph?

Environmental portraits and street photography.

5. What is the most difficult part of being a photographer for you?

Since I don’t do photography full-time (and don’t identify as a photographer), I haven’t experienced the usual struggles like communicating with clients, getting inadequate pay or hustling to find work. Thus so far, I love everything about photography because it is only fun for me. A challenging part is developing my voice as an artist. Which is a difficult task in any creative work. Especially when caring too much about what other people think combined with an Imposter Syndrome. But that comes with time, so I am not really worried about all that.

6. What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?

I was going to say – When I can capture how I see people and they have a new perspective of looking at themselves or when I get to create a memory that becomes significant in someone’s life… but honestly, it is mostly about being able to run around cities, staring at buildings and capturing everything I enjoy doing.

7. What kind of gear do you use?

Sony Alpha A7III with FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM.

8. Where can people see you work? 

I have a blog where I randomly share photo essays and my thoughts. However, you will see my work more frequently on my Instagram, where people can also connect with me. And please do, I love geeking about these things.


Environmental portraits and street photography by Sari Weiss