Photographically born in 2008, Diana Debord has certainly made a name for herself through her style and approach to photography. Her elegant pictures using models and a few of her favourite felines, combines the Italian style with fairytalesque ideas so beautifully. With Diana being self-taught, much like the other photographers we have interviewed, it’s wonderful to see so much diversity in Diana’s style, which will certainly be a platform for many photographers around the world. Diana has also begun working on a project to photograph cats called ” Cat Familiars”. Below, we talk with Diana about how she fell in love with photography, and how she creates the intrinsic images that she does.
Hi Diana how are you?
Hi, I’m fine and very happy to be featured on your magazine.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I was born in a beautiful city in the north of Italy, Novara. I live here with my fiancé and two cats, Luna and Iside.
Do you think living where you are has influenced your photographic style?
Yes, I definitely think that coming from a city where most of the artists are in their seventies and takepictures of rice fields, can influence your works! Novara is not the kind of city you hear in the news because of its thrilling artistic scene… there’s not much exchange of ideas and inspirations among photographers, so you have to find your own space. I have always wanted to get away from where I came from. That’s probably why my photos look so ethereal, and out of space.
How did you fall in love with photography?
I am a self-taught photographer, photographically born in 2008. I have always been really creative, and started drawing and painting very early. I used to play guitar, writing lyrics and music in a punk band for some years, and at the moment I work as a web designer, which is a very creative job. I need to be continually inspired and create new things. Photography allows me to create new visions, new dreams, it’s the best way to describe my concepts.
What type of camera do you use?
I have used many different cameras to improve my skills: instant, 35mm and 6×6, but at the moment film is really expensive and even difficult to be properly developed! I mainly use a digital Canon 550d now, especially for my fine art photography.
What’s one or two of your favourite images you’ve created?
I always tend to say that my favourite one is the last one I’ve created, because I’m an enthusiast! I consider each photo a challenge, and try to surpass the latest one with better concept, better production. One of my favourite photos, however, is certainly “Out of the Darkness”: I think it sums up my photographic style and vocation. There is the nature, the bright colours which are a key part in my works, an ethereal woman, the magic… Another image I really like is “Nous qui désirons sans fin”, because it’s one of my first images and the one that made me realize how much I liked photography. It’s also one of my most popular photos and in a way I think it brings me luck!
What sort of head space are you in when you’re photographing subjects?
I always work with natural light and setting so I try to immerse myself in nature, following the colours and shapes it offers.
How long does a photo (on average) take to edit?
It really depends on what I want to achieve, the idea I have in my mind. Sometimes it can take just a while, because I’m only adding a dreamlike atmosphere with the use of textures or only adjusting contrast and balancing the colours. When I want to merge different images, as in my photos “Paper boats” or achieve a particular result as in “The Black Cat I”, it can take longer.
Some of your images are about ‘dreams’, do you find that dreams are an excellent source of inspiration for photography?
I am suspected of suffering from narcolepsy and often right after my awakening I have strange visions, or remember vivid scenes of my dreams. I wanted to recreate the same feelings in those who look at my photos, as if they were snapshots of dreamscapes. Sometimes dreams look like fairytales, sometimes they are as gloomy as a nightmare, but they are always connected to our inner self through symbols.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have always been really eclectic, so I have different interests that reflect on my personality, I think. I really like nature, and enjoy walking in the woods or in the parks, I also like vintage and antique things, so I regularly visit flea markets and collect daguerreotypes.
Any advice for someone who wants to begin photographing models?
When I started with photography I didn’t have any models, that’s why so many of my early works are self-portraits! I still like self-portraiture, and these are usually the more intimate and deep photos I take, as in the photo “Lifeblood”. I think knowing the person you are photographing is important, and helps you understand what to show in the photo. Everyone can be a perfect model, because everyone is unique and has its own characterists.
What has been one of the best experiences you’ve had on a photo shoot?
I enjoy working in the nature, as in one of the last photo shoots for my “Visions of Poe” series. We were in a city park but the colour and scent of the flowers were so pleasant it really inspired me and it was the perfect setting for my “Eleonora I” photo.
Do you photograph any other subjects besides models?
I like animals so I’m also doing pet photography at the moment. I like taking pictures of cats and even started a project called “Cat Familiars”. It shows women with their cats, to put the emphasis on their relationship and tell their stories. My aim is to have enough photos and stories to write a book whose proceeds will go to a local cat shelter.
What are 5 things you wish you had been told before beginning photography?
How galleries work
If someone sees you picking up ivy in the park, they may think you are crazy.
Just because someone doesn’t like your work, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
Trends change, your passion must remain.
Not all laboratories print well.
In five worlds or less, please sum up what your entire collection of work is about…