Sunday, 15 July 2012

Regina LeMaire Costa

Paris, France

You study filmmaking and directing. How does photography fit in between these subjects?

I think that partly I am self-educated by watching and dealing with motion pictures! Film is a big deal to me. The real difference between filmmaking to photographing is that photography is a one man's job, so I'm my own director and cinematographer when I shoot. The images are all about specific memories and stories, so they have to feel nostalgic. And this is where directing and different techniques come in. They're essential for what I do.

Do you ever find yourself 'directing' the people/models you photograph?

Yes, I always ‘direct’ when I work on a photo shoot, but I try to do it as little as possible when I'm photographing to document something. I wouldn't want to "stage" genuine moments. 

What do you find most appealing about visual arts?

It's a powerful art form. People literally see it, so you get to convey ideas in the most direct way. Photography, for instance, is often wrongly seen as an "easy art" because we all have access to it. But then, on the contrary, it gets really difficult to stand out. It motivates you greatly to outdo yourself.

What kind of movies or film genres are you interested in personally?

I think all genres are valuable as long as the movie is good. I'm not big on horror, but if it's a good movie, I might watch it. I have a soft spot for classic movies from Hollywood's Golden Age. Crazy, devastating love stories are my favourite ones. I also keep an eye on cinematographic work. Aestetics of the 60s and 70s are appealing to me, because everything feels different and has that unique colouring... It’s odd, but that makes me nostalgic. 

Do you think that photography helps you to sharpen your vision for setting up and/or capturing certain imagery?

You learn a lot from practicing so it's helped me to improve my skills, to know what I like and to build my own style. But I'm still learning. 

What makes you feel that a day of shooting was 'successful' at the end of it?

I shoot analogue almost exclusively, so usually I'm only completely happy the next day, after the images are developed and everything is there. There have been times where nothing came out off the negatives. These mark the less successful days. A good shooting day would be one on which models were open to listen and would even improvise. I’d also see it as a good day, when the weather plays along.

What did you want to capture with your project "young experts"?

It's mostly about freedom. These young people I shot, each one of them are working to do something in this world. Most of all, they are able to do so, which cannot be said about every kid everywhere. I wish to capture as much young professionals as I can. A side note: I'm Free by the Rolling Stones was part of my inspiration.

You're currently working on another series called "Godots". Can you tell us more about it?

A friend from Brazil asked me to collaborate with her team on this project. It resembles one I did myself called Waiting lessonsThe series was inspired by Beckett's famous play Waiting for Godot. I can't say much about it until it's out, but basically it'll be about waiting and expecting, a lot like Waiting lessons, but based on a different rule: all subjects will be photographed with their backs turned to the camera.

From your point of view, how do collaborations with other artists help you in your development as an artist?

This will be my first collaboration so I don't know much about that yet. I guess it teaches you about teamwork and how to build your ideas around established limits, so that's challenging. It's inspiring to engage on a themed project because you get to explore an idea to the core. 

Is the glass half full or half empty?

What's in the glass?

Directing is half the job it seems. Take a look at her work!

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