Becky is an artisan, photographer and an inspiration. Being a self taught photographer we were blown away by her skill and knew we wanted to showcase her work on BigPictureStuff. This year, she has continually fed her creative passions through numerous personal projects, demonstrating her sheer disciple by undertaking the challenge of organising a shoot each week with amazing results. Here we talk about her personal photography journey, what photography means to her and she shares tips on how to organise your own photoshoot.
1. We discovered your work online and it truly blew us away, can you tell as a little bit about your creative journey?
First of all Thank you! To hear those words mean a lot because I am forever challenging myself and I am my harshest critic! My creative journey started a few years ago, when I fell in love with photography right about the same time I fell in love with travelling. There is a beautiful quote about travelling which goes; “Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself”. I really believe that through travel and looking at life behind a lens I have “found myself”. I discovered what I was truly passionate about.
Travel gives me the ability to appreciate different cultures, to explore, to challenge myself and to open up my eyes to see things from a new light. Photography then allows me to pause, take in the moment and capture it the way I truly see it. Which to me, in this fast paced life we live, is something I treasure.
Initially, my photography naturally was geared towards travel documentary style, which I will always absolutely love, however more recently I have been challenging myself further. This year, I set myself a goal to do a shoot per week. To think of a concept that relates to a feeling, a moment, or has a whimsical story to it. I source the model, the props and work with a team whenever I can. It takes a lot of work and time to plan a shoot per week but I’m determined to do it!
2. So, how long have you been taking photos and what role does it play in your life right now?
I picked up a camera 5 years ago and haven’t looked back. Back then I started a 365 day challenge where I would put up a photo a day on Facebook. I remember being petrified the first time I posted my first photo. At the time it was just a hobby, but I slowly started seeing the reaction of friends and family and they would share their thoughts and feedback. It helped give me the confidence to keep going.
Last year however, I made a conscious decision to take it seriously and to truly give time and effort to my passion. So I can say that I have been working seriously in the space for the last 2 years.
Photography plays a huge role in my life right now. Generally if I’m not out on a shoot, I’m scouting my next location, dreaming up my next idea, reading about creative techniques in photography, or staying up to the late hours of the evening editing. I wish I had more time to dedicate to photography, but you must learn to walk before you run. I have the tendencies to want to start running, and have about 20 projects in my head that I want to do, but sometimes I need to learn to slow down. One step at a time. One project at a time. This is the exciting part!
3. We heard from our friend Nadia, who models quite regularly in your shoots, that you organise shoots in your spare time! That’s incredible! What motivates you to create these stunning pictures? Especially in your spare time!
Yes, I do. In my non photography life I work as Head of Digital at a great agency called Balance, which I love. Outside of work I’m planning my photography. Most people tell me I’m crazy, and that I take on too much (they are probably right) but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Nothing makes me more excited right now than seeing an idea that I had in my head, or a sketch that I drew (usually a terrible one as I’m very bad at drawing)come to life in a photo I am proud of. I get great joy out of waking up early in the morning to catch sunrise, or watching a sunset, capturing moments, bringing stories to life, meeting new people and constantly challenging my creative spirit.
I’m not sure how it happened, but I don’t plan on stopping my passion any time soon. I’m hoping to fuel it further!
4. All your photos are incredible and look like they require a lot of planning and work. Do they? And what type of process do you go through when creating these photos?
Thank you! It means a lot to hear that, as I still feel that I am at the very beginning.Most of them do require a lot of planning. I think the more effort you put into a shoot the more positive and great the outcome. Generally I take a simple 3 step process to keep things simple.
Firstly, I will sit in a quiet space, or listen to music, write whatever comes to my head. I try and think about what I would like to shoot and why I would like to shoot that over anything else. Usually the list is long, so I then have to prioritise.
Secondly I start scouting, location, props, the right model, MUA, styling etc and work out timings. This is probably the hardest part for me as I am very time poor. Also if the location I want to shoot at is far, it can get a bit challenging getting the model and the team to want to travel the distance to execute your idea. Once I have that all mapped out and everyone is on board, I always explain to everyone the idea I have and how I want to deliver on it. I think it’s really important that everyone has the clear goal in mind so that everyone is happy with the final outcome.
Thirdly, is the actual shooting. I usually don’t like to spend ages in this part, I like to set it up right and get the shot I have in mind in the first half hour. It doesn’t always go to plan but most times it does. I love the spontaneity too and sometimes I’ll come up with ideas on the spot.
5. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get inspiration internally and externally.
Firstly I try and find inspiration from within myself. This has been quite a big challenge for me as I’m only slowly discovering how to tap that‘creative voice’ within. Externally, I draw inspiration from books, quotes, poems, and sometimes even movies. I also look for inspiration when I decide on the model I am going to shoot and what unique qualities she can bring to a shoot. Furthermore, I follow a number of photographers on Flickr, Instagram, 500px and Facebook. I am a member of many creative networks online and try my best to share and discuss and join people on group shoots. I think there is a lot of value in working as a team and learning from others.
6. Do you have any creative fears? And how do you deal with them?
Yes, many. Many a time I will be driving to a shoot and I look at the roundabout and think, shall I drive back home? Can I do this? I am always doubting myself, wondering will I ever be good enough? Creative enough? Wondering if the photo is emotive enough? I find comfort in crushing those thoughts and trying to face my fears head on. I also find comfort in knowing that every creative person out there feels the above or has felt it at some point in their career. At the end of the day, if you are not afraid, then you are probably not challenging yourself hard enough. You have to feel the fear, and do it anyway!
7. Are you creatively satisfied?
Hmm good question! Half of me thinks, yes, because I am following my passion and bringing it to life. The other half thinks, no, in that I am constantly hungry to learn and know more and don’t have enough time to do so, which I often find frustrating to deal with.
8. Finally what three tips do you have for people who wish to start creating beauty but are too afraid to try.
- Start. Don’t be afraid of the “what if’s”. Instead of thinking what is the worst that can happen, think what is the best that can happen?
- Network. This year I have joined a lot of creative networks and it has been a great help and push to make things happen. Also if you are really afraid, try assisting first. I have learnt a great deal from being an assistant.
- Do what you love, and follow your passion. The rest will follow.
For more incredible and beautiful images, visit her website for more of her fabulous work.
Becky Kamsky Photography
Rebekah Kamsky is a fine art, portrait and street photographer who now lives somewhere between Melbourne and Malta, both places of which she calls home.She picked up a camera only a few years ago, fell in love and has never looked back. Starting as a documentary photographer she has learned everything she knows by going out there and trying.