Presenting again before you another street photographer, Violet Kashi from Israel. Violet isn’t just a street photographer; she’s been shooting all sorts of images from macros to landscapes but her street work is engaging and amusing with a lot of fun and occasional pathos. Once in a while we like to see colour street images that are shot with a lot of passion and zeal, therefore, we decided to feature some of it with words from the photographer herself who tells us how it feels like being a woman photographer on street and why there are so many cats and dogs in her work:
Hello Violet, please tell us about yourself:
I was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel and currently reside with my husband and two kids in a small city east of Tel Aviv called Givatayim. I’m also a painter and graphic designer and believe these visual arts led me towards my deep interest in photography.
Tell us about your relationship with photography:
I began taking pictures at the age of 17 with my Pentax 35mm SLR. During the summer vacation of that year, I studied at the ‘Camera Obscura School of Art’ in Tel Aviv. It was there that I had my first experience with the darkroom where I learnt to develop and print the film by myself. The following year (in 1987), I was conscripted to the army and hence abandoned the photography affair, returning only many years later.
In the summer of 2009 I received a Nikon D90 DSLR for my birthday. Following a brief brush with landscapes, sunsets and macros like any other fresh photographer, I felt a need to leverage my photography style and was eager to use it for more creative and challenging purposes. As an urban girl, it was a smooth and natural passage to the street photography genre.
So, when did you start to explore streets and how often do you shoot?
Street photography became my passion in mid-2012. I use my camera almost every day and shoot about 200-300 pictures a week. At first, I was insecure in taking pictures of total strangers and, therefore, focused mostly on hip shooting and back shots. However, as I gradually gained more confidence, my shots advanced to complex compositions and snapping frontal images without any fear.
I strive to capture storytelling-images as well as insightful, emotion provoking yet, realistic sort of frames. I really want people to be able to sense the feelings in my pictures.
Tell us about the camera and lenses you use:
My street shots are taken mostly with my retro looking mirrorless Fujifilm x100 camera, fitted with a 23mm lens (35mm equivalent) which in my opinion is perfect for an urban shooter. Its weight and size are comfortable and it feels as though I am shooting with a camera phone, yet, without sacrificing on controls or quality. Its small size and quiet shutter are less intimidating and the 35mm equivalent lens allows my feet to become the zoom. With this, I pay closer attention to what’s included in the frame and more importantly, what I deliberately leave out in order to create a stronger image.
There’s brilliant use of light and shadows in your photography and most of your images show a lot of activity. What is your method of shooting on street?
I love the late afternoon vibe where light is subtle and shadows are long. However, I take photos all the time and keep my eyes open for opportunities whenever and wherever they appear.
I’m drawn to capturing the narrative with all the whimsical and touching moment’s life provides. Therefore, my compact and silent camera allows me to get amongst it all and react to situations faster in order to catch fraction of a second scenes.
For complicated and compound compositions, I stake out promising locations, which include populated areas with a constant stream of people. There are times I also search for quieter scenes and less crowded areas in hope of finding surreal and mysterious moments. To get a decent shot, it requires a lot of patience, experience and mostly luck!
What are the pros and cons of being a female street photographer?
I feel people are less threatened by me as a female photographer, compared to male photographers I know in this genre. However, it might be due to my fearless attitude and the confidence I convey while shooting. What’s more, sometimes people think I’m a photojournalist - I get asked to send people their images and also if they might find their image in a newspaper. The combination of these creates a mostly fun environment for me. Nonetheless, at other times, I shoot and run away 🙂
Why are there so many cats and dogs in your photostream? Seems like you are fond of shooting them:
That’s true. They’re featured in numerous photos as our area is awash in stray cats. Many are well-fed and clean and almost all are affectionate and good models, the same thing about dogs. Even more, as an animal lover, I’ll always value a bit of humour and give recognition to our furry friends.
Tell us about your favourite image, if you have one:
Like many photographers, it’s hard to pinpoint a specific favourite, and if I do, it’s often inconsistent. Although, if I must choose, I will say my “Infinity” shot (see below).
I took it on the way from Nevada towards California. My family and I were in the middle of nowhere with nothing around us and not a soul to be seen. With the Sierra Nevada Mountains ahead of us, I noticed this lonesome infinity-shaped cloud in the middle of the clear blue sky. It was a perfect image to what seemed as an endless path we all must take in life.
Like all things, street photography is also undergoing many changes. What do you think about its future?
The street is a living, unpredictable, dynamic and vibrant place. Street photography requires vigilance and alertness, it sharpens our senses and challenges us, and therefore, it can’t get old. The street is constantly developing and changing with new trends, world actions and reactions. With such vibrations, we can always find something new within the old. Even more, I am attentive to the older generation and to the rustic side of the street.
But life and trends move in a circular way, and street photography falls into both, though it will never really go away, it will fizzle out and reignite sometime in the future. This is also a reason I don’t only focus on street photography, rather I branch out to other genres within photography and arts as a whole.
Tell us what inspires/motivates you most and who are your favourite photographers etc:
I find inspiration in the everyday. I am fascinated by relationships of all types: happy ones, complicated ones, unusual ones. I enjoy the challenge of communicating our everyday experiences and bringing those unique moments to life through photographs. The experience of really noticing the world around me and within me is the greatest inspiration of all.
Some of my favourite photographers springing to mind are André Kertész, Joel Meyerowitz, William Eggleston, Diane Arbus, Elliott Erwitt, Irina Werning, Alex Webb and Robert Doisneau.
Nowadays I like to read Blake Andrews’ wonderful blog and upload my photos on Flickr, where I find a great community of SP’ers and friends to keep me motivated.
Finally, some words to our young readers:
I’d say- take photos of what you like and what is meaningful to you. Concentrate on the work and on making the story-telling image better. Practice is everything. Try to shoot as much as you can and enjoy every minute of it!
All photos © Violet Kashi : Website | Flickr
There is one comment
Nice read and amazing photos Violet! Thanks Nishant for this article! Nice works.