This Focal Point Q3.16 features photographers Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Ole Marius Joergensen, and Nashalina Schrape. It's a pleasure to share a small chat with these talented artists about the driving forces behind the alluring imagery that is their photographic work.

Ole Marius Joergensen, Stormy Night, from the series Behind the Curtains

Ole Marius Joergensen, Stormy Night, from the series Behind the Curtains

Do you find that in the construction of your images that you are having to balance the roles of both director and photographer?
Ole: My background is from both film and photo. The way I work is very much like an director. I feel that my camera is just a tool I use to get out my ideas..if i was good with words I would probably be an writer..the same goes for painting. I love making stories so I look at myself as more of a story creator.
Jennifer: Yes, I do and I think both are required and equally important in my work.
There is the creation of a mood in order to tell a story and then there is the moment itself, which is more about being receptive to what is happening between myself and who or what I am photographing.
 

Jennifer Garza-Cuen, from the series Wandering in Place

Jennifer Garza-Cuen, from the series Wandering in Place

What amount of planning and preparation goes into making one of your photographs? Do you find that you work more intuitively?
Ole: My work flow is very much the same as movie making. It all starts with an idea, then location/set building, finding models ,shooting, post production. Everything has to be planned..but lately I have tried shooting without any preparation and it was quite liberating.
Nashalina: I start with a concept in my mind but rely on what an object, person, landscape, and/or light bring to the particular moment. This requires me to be very present and open to the process and final product.

Do you find your images to be autobiographical or fictional? To what degree does the use of symbolism and/or metaphor play a role in your work?
Jennifer: My work is based on my own set of experiences, and from memories that are shared culturally. Historic and cinematic memory as well as the personal play a roll in what I am looking for but I also find and create my images based on the places I am documenting. Strictly speaking, my images are fictionalized in that there is often a staging element but I see them more as reenactments.
Ole: My work is all fictional. I don't like to tell much about myself but my personality is present in the images together with things I like. I love mysteries and things that doesn’t have any answers. Love the feeling of not knowing and that is something I try to make my viewer feel
too. So my stories comes without a beginning and end. Hitchcock had a thing for what different colors meant and I adapted that into my images. I also use different props to amplify my characters
Nashalina: My images run a fine line between autobiographical and fictional in their
mood and tone. The symbolism and the metaphor lie in the lighting, the objects and composition. I crave a certain mystery and elusiveness in my images which allows the viewer to fill in some of their own story.

Nashalina Schrape, My mother's hands from berries that are used to make jelly. My mother continues to carry on the traditions of living close to the land, from the series Whispers in East Berlin

Nashalina Schrape, My mother's hands from berries that are used to make jelly. My mother continues to carry on the traditions of living close to the land, from the series Whispers in East Berlin

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