In this interview we talk to Brenda Waworga, a fashion photographer from Manado, Indonesia. First picking up a camera in 2009 Brenda has experimented with various styles of photography, ranging from portrait, to landscapes and to photographing nature.
Originally purchasing her camera to capture some shots on a family vacation, her love for photography eventually transpired into a collection of fashion shoots and editorials that are photographed in various places around the tropical landscape of Indonesia.
Being mostly self-taught, attending one or two workshops earlier on in her career, Brenda hopes to one day travel around the world photographing people and have her work featured in magazine editorials. Below is our interview with Brenda.
So first of all, how did you find yourself with a camera in your hand?
It was back at the end of 2009 when myself and my family planned a vacation. I thought to myself at the time, ‘I want to have good photos from the vacation.’ Good photos meant having a good/big camera (laughs) so I purchased my 1st DSLR which was a Canon 1000D. Of course I needed to know how to work with the camera so I started to browse a lot on internet; learn about what ISO was and the speed and the aperture. So, that led me to start photographing flowers and nature near my home. Ever since I purchased that camera, I fell in love with photography. I can’t stop capturing and creating my vision through it.
Tell us a little about yourself…
There’s not really much to say about me (laughs) but I was born in a small family, I’m the oldest and have a younger brother who is also a photographer, but he’s not as addicted as I am, (haha). I grew up in this small town name Manado, surround by the ocean, mountains and rivers. The town is surely little but it has so many beautiful landscapes. My parents have always supported us doing what we love, my father especially.
Who is an inspiration to you in the photography world?
I believe that life itself and fashion are my biggest inspirations, I don’t think I have any particular photographers that I aspire to.
What does an average day on a shoot look like for you?
Well in terms of weather my average day on a shoot is usually sunny and quite bright (it’s really not that hard to have sunny day in tropical country like Indonesia), plus I love photographing models with available light.
In terms of preparation, most of the time I prepare the concept, wardrobes and talk with my models and creative people before the photoshoot. We usually start photographing around 3pm and continue on until the sun goes down. I always have an adventure on every set of my photoshoots, every set is so special and they have sweet memories.
You’re an aspiring fashion photographer who has an eclectic portfolio that includes fine art images and fashion editorials. Where do you hope to go in the future? Do you have your work in a gallery?
I hope someday I can travel around the world to photograph and meet new people. I’d also like to work with creative people and magazines. I have participated in around 3 exhibitions before but they were all collaborative pieces with some photographers, but I hope someday soon I will have my own solo gallery.
What camera and lens do you shoot with and do you deviate between any others?
Currently I use a Canon 5dmarkII with 3 lenses: Canon 135mm f.2, 50mm f1.8 and 17-40mm f.4. I mostly use my 135mm f.2 because I love outdoor shoots with natural light and bokeh, and that lens definitely gives me everything that I need.
Tell us a little about your idea behind “Roses and Milk”, what a beautiful image.
I always love flowers and the idea behind the shoot actually came from a Coco Rocha photoshoot for a perfume campaign.
How did you go about composing that image and did you have any trouble with the rose petals not sitting the right way?
Oh yes it was pretty hard about composing cause it was such a small room. The model worked pretty hard too to fit with the bathtub with all the thick milk and roses, it was a struggle but we totally love the finished result.
What was your idea behind river v2?
That one was quite a spontaneous shoot, the idea that just popped up on the day. I wanted it to be in the river to start with, and my friend had some smokebombs with them, so I thought, ‘Why not use them on the water?’ Apparently it turned out to look quite mystical and dark which was a bonus I thought.
How does your photography work? Are they all paid models or are they clients of yours?
I do photography as my part-time job but I took a break for almost a year now to do paid job due personal reasons, as I lost my father last year and I was pretty much devastated and still needed to find myself again with life. I didn’t want that to affect my clients, so I decided to stop and just do fun photoshoots for my portfolio and magazine publications. But these past couple of weeks I have been starting to accept some new photoshoot projects, mostly for boutique and online shops. Most of the models are my friends, which is quite cool.
Your editing style is somewhat fantasy like, creating images omniscient of dreams. What is your usual editing process and could you share with us the before and after of one of your images?
There isn’t much I do, I edit all my photos based on my mood and the photos mood. I love experimenting with colour tones on photos, I think adding some colour tones can bring out a little more of a narrative element to them.
You also photograph Danbo’s which are so unbelievably cute!
Aw thank you! Yes Danbo is one of my favourite models, I currently own 2 Danbos and they are such a great model to work with when I have free time and just want to photograph something different than I usually do.
If you could photograph in any place in the world, where would it be and why?
I have always wanted to visit New Zealand, it has so many beautiful views and locations, plus I am a big fan of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films, which were filmed there. It would be super awesome to travel there and see it.
You can see the rest of Brenda’s work on her website at: www.brendawaworga.com, or visit her Facebook and DeviantART. All images in this interview excluding the sidebar are subject to Copyright 2014 – Brenda Waworga.