This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Kapica, owner of Joanna's FOTO, and oh, what a delight! Her photography is so captivating, you can't help wanting to know more about who's behind such artistry.
Joanna currently resides and works in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a wife, photographer, knitter and book reader. Growing up on a tiny farm her parents owned, she was always close to nature, and always curious about it. This was the beginning of her way of seeing beauty in flowers and plants, that she is now capturing through the photographic process.
Most of her work consists of fine art pieces featuring the nature of North Carolina as well as some industrial pieces shot at local junk yards. The Hennen’s Observer - a local journal -recently featured her work and the Visual Art Exchange gallery in Downtown Raleigh displayed one of her pieces as part of their Imagine exhibition.
Now, let's find out more about Joanna!
1). Tell us one thing about you readers might be surprised to know.
When I was a small child, 2 or maybe 3 years old, I panicked when anyone pointed a camera in my direction. It wasn't for fear of not looking good on the picture, but somehow- the camera itself seemed to me very very scary. It is a good thing I somehow overcame that fear!
2). When did you take your 1st picture and did you immediately fall in love?
I have to admit I don’t remember the first picture I took. My parents had a very basic film camera that jammed film way too often to enjoy using it. And so I wasn’t really playing with it too much. After I got my first digital camera, I seemed to discover much more about how amazing photography can be. And this is when I started taking more and more photos.
3). What inspired you to pursue this for more than just a hobby?
My friend was my main inspiration. He encouraged me to do more, to not be afraid to go public with my work. And so soon after that I had set up my etsy store.
4). What sources of inspiration do you draw on for your work?
For me inspiration is easily found in objects around me. I tend to take many of my flora shots while walking through a park or garden. I am attracted by shapes and forms found in nature as well as in human-made items. Even though most of my work is set on photographing flowers and plants I also find pleasure in capturing pieces of scrap metal or old mechanic parts- that’s my Industrial Series. To me it seems that everyone has different way of seeing things and even though you will see plenty of photographs of roses for example, every photographer will try to capture a little bit different angle.
5). I noticed many of your photographs are close-ups, how do you achieve such beautiful close-in shots?
My main and favorite lens is my macro lens. Allowing me to get really close to the subject and reproducing it with beautiful sharpness, at the same time leaving the background soft. I use a few other lenses and accessories, which let me control the depth of field, control the focus by allowing me to point it to the specific area I want to show in my work.
6). Any tips for aspiring photogs?
Shoot, shoot, shoot and don’t be afraid to play with your camera. I think it’s really hard to learn photography by only reading instructions. I think this is the type of knowledge, where you have to know your equipment; it should be like the extension of your eye and hand. And as you are doing that, definitely don’t stop learning, don’t stop challenging yourself and discovering different techniques.
7). Are there any upcoming venues where our readers can experience your work up close and personal?
The closest event I am planning to take part in is the Durham Art Walk, April 17th-18th, 2010. For anything else I would like you to visit my blog and check the Events section- that’s where I post all current and future events.
Joanna's main portfolio is located on the web. All pieces are available for purchase through this site listed or through her etsy store.
You can also find Joanna on twitter and Facebook.