I first came across Marta Rhine’s photo’s on Flickr. I cannot remember how or why, but one of her first projects that captured my attention was the topic “100 Strangers”. First I thought, “oh my, that is way out of my comfort zone”, and then “what incredible images”. Some of the photographs Marta took really resonated with me. She captured the essence of who the person was, young and old. I love graffiti and Marta seems to love it as well. I have seen numerous photos that she has taken where I keep thinking “I so want to be there”. Marta’s black and white portraits draw me into the soul of the person via the eyes. I am quickly captured. The images are mysterious and poignant. The photographs that totally “blew me away” were the dancers that she photographed in July of 2014 with the quote “They say dance is music, made visual…can you see the music?” I definitely can. To capture these kind of images is split second photography. Everything about the image is electrifying. It is just poetry in motion. So I connected with Marta, asked if I could interview her and share her story on 30 Minutes in the Life. You can find Marta at her Website and on Facebook.
Marta who is your inspiration? My inspiration are people and their stories. I love the idea of learning more about people through a thoughtfully taken photograph. This is why I admire Brandon Stanton from Humans of New York, and his entire approach to photography combined with storytelling. I also admire documentary photographers and photojournalists.
What makes you pick up your camera when you don’t feel like it? I don’t. If I’m not feeling it, it shows up in my work. So I give myself little breaks and focus on schoolwork or catching up on a show on Netflix or a good book. I also put in effort into other hobbies like biking and working out. After a short time, the inspiration returns and I feel fresh.
How did you find your style? When I look back at photographs I took back in 2011, I gasp at the difference in my work. I climbed on many bandwagons, but ultimately decided that I prefer a clean edit that can be timeless. I still need to work on a flow when photographing clients. I get nervous and rush through sometimes. I don’t think until it’s too late and then I start coming up with ideas I could have used if I would have just focused more. Ah, live and learn.
What inspired you to pick up your camera initially? Taking pictures of my oldest son, Evan, when he was born. We got some pretty good shots with our little 5 megapixel point and shoot, and I thought; “Hey, these are kind of good…this is really cool!”
What is the #1 item on your photography wish list? Right now I really need a tripod. I would also love a wide angle lens.
What is your favorite time to shoot? Golden hour, but of course.
What personal projects are you working on? I’m working on Musings of a Yogi with my friend Carolin. Each month we each interpret a quote from a Yogi Tea bag. I’m also working on some shots for the winners show (I won first place!) of the local, Files and Film photography show, and of course, I’m working on organizing the zillion (sigh) of photos in my hard drives and getting them printed.
Who is your favorite photographer, living or dead? I admire a lot of the photographers whose work I follow on Flickr or Facebook. Notably, I love Peta Mazey, Kate T. Parker, Eric Kim, Saravanan Dhandapani, Gustavo Minas…and I love the work of Richard Avedon: masterful.
What are you reading? The Giver series
How do you improve your technique? I read photography books, blogs, stay connected to other photographers through Flickr or Facebook, and I shoot.
Do you believe in “the moment”? If so, how do you find it, see it, make it happen? Oh yes. Sometimes I see it and I lose it before I can shoot. Sometimes I snap away and it pays off, and sometimes I catch it later on in a shot I got.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about editing? Less is more.
If you had all the money in the world, what would you do? TRAVEL and photograph the world!
Who is your favorite client? Mathew McConaughey haha.
In the perfect world, where does photography take you in five years, In ten? Around the world, shooting/writing for a magazine or newspaper.
Who do you want to be as a photographer? More than an observer.
Is photography still relevant in an age of iPhones and YouTube? Yes. Those other things cannot measure up to the power of a well-taken photograph.
Do you use Photoshop or Lightroom? Both.
What is your biggest strength as a photographer? Your biggest weakness? My biggest strength is probably my love for photography and my willingness to continue to learn. My weakness is self-promotion and putting my work out there. Like, submitting photos to those blogs? Yeah…I can’t keep up with all those.
Interviewed by Sharleen Stuart.