Interview

Ex-Professional

Interview with Ms.Simon
Darkness Blooming

This is Ms.Simon, who used to do professional photography around the lower New York area. I interviewed her because it is part of a project I am doing and wanted to find out how she lived while taking pictures for companies.

1. "As I heard, you love photography. What is it that you exactly do with it?

Ms. Simon talked about how she used to be a professional photographer and worked for theaters and studios. One of them were the Nanuet Theater and the Coupe Studios in Nanuet. In a Bronx school, she took pictures for a magazine and yearbook. She was involved in doing advertisements, many with underwear and learned how to do commercial photography through it. She has taken pictures from people and ads to nature, and she loved it.

2. "Why did you start teaching here at Spring Valley if you had all those opportunities?"

Photography is not a "secure" career, where you can always rely on it to provide a living. There are always worries with each job and having that wasn't a stable life. Along with that, having children added to the worries because they needed the benefits that a sturdy job provides. She found that the school was a good source of income as well as security.

3. "What experience or event got you interested or started in photography?"

Watching her father take pictures as a hobby really got her into doing that herself. She remembers how she was looking at old pictures that her father took of the family, and from that she started to take pictures herself, having him being her muse.

4. "What are some techniques you use while taking pictures? How do you 'make' a picture?"

Lighting and composition are one of the two main aspects that should be remembered in photography. Composition is used everywhere in art, helping the picture to be more creative and thought provoking. Lighting is used critically in this field where it provides great aid in the picture. It depends on how you light the image when you make that picture. You can light something one way and make it look completely different by lighting it a different way. These two techniques could either make or break the piece of work. Experience is also a great aspect because you have more knowledge and practice with the subject. As you keep practicing, the more you learn about what you are doing.

5. "What was the most interesting or "odd" experience you encountered throughout your photography career?

Ms. Simon's first photography teacher taught her the technique of black and white image taking and using natural light with no flash. Natural light had to be arranged in such a way where it wouldn't need flash and yet bring out the picture at the same time. When she was taking pictures for Coupe Studios, she only used natural light and said they were some of her best pictures she had ever done. She is proud of going through that and did learn from it. When doing ads, she learned how to use "hard light" where the front area of the object is lit with bright light and the back was lit with darkness. That created a hard edge around it, creating a stand out effect, This experience taught her how to do ads.

6. ""In your opinion, what are some of the ups and downs of photography?"

She believed that there were many "ups" in the field where you get to learn from what you do, gain experience, and improve. As you take countless numbers of pictures, you learn from what you did wrong and do better next time, therefore having almost immediate results. It is also as if you're capturing, as she said, "a moment in time". Something that was moving is now still and there forever to look at, freezing that second or so as it lived. On the down side nothing was really mentioned. Some of it would involve the pricy equipment, but it does not matter what camera you use or how good it is. It depends on the photographer holding it.

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