Updated: Apr 20
Through our forums I get to familiarize myself with a lot of work and in a recent deep dive into the photography world I was fortunate enough to find the work of Olivia Cara in our forums. Cara works primarily with models in her photography but not a traditional way, you’ll find that they blend in and work with the scenery to create a full set piece rather than just a good looking person with a nice looking background. Everything comes together, especially in terms of color, nothing stands out too much, everything is cohesive and it allows your eyes to gently work their way through the scenes without constantly being drawn to one place. Another thing I love about Cara’s photo work is the emotion, everything is raw, you’re inserted right into the scene and you’re overcome by the melancholia or sadness in the scene. These photos have a darkness in them, and not in a cheesy way that just feels like dark for darks sake or some sad shock value, a darkness that tells a story and that gives more to the viewer than just a picture. Even her brightest shoots seem to have a weight to them, like there’s more to tell, an emotion that contrasts her more “happy” colored sets. I could rant and rave about these photos more, but fortunately I had the pleasure of talking to Cara and getting to ask her some questions about her work, so I’ll let her take over!
1. So, first things first, what got you into working in art? What lead you into
photography? Talk about what got you to become the artist that you are?
I come from an extremely artistic family therefore I kind of didn’t have much of a
choice as a kid. My grandparents were both famous composers from Ukraine,
and my great Aunt was a painter, so art always surrounded me. My older brother
who I look up to a lot actually got into photography before me and eventually
passed down ones of his cameras, I was instantly hooked!
What really allowed me to transform my photography into art was my battle with
depression and an eating disorder. I turned my photography into a coping
mechanism to translate all my thoughts and feelings as well as release my inner
2. You use models a lot in your photography, but not exactly conventionally, they
seem to be very much a part of the scenery. What got you into this, using models
as a prop to add into the scenery? What’s your process like with that?
I really honestly just use my friends or myself. Sometimes I will be with people and
simply feel the need to take photos so whip out my camera. Other times I am alone and
do the same thing. I rarely plan things out too much unless it’s for a class, it’s a very
3. Your photo series always have such cohesive color palettes, everything works
together in shades of the same or similar colors. How do you achieve this soft,
blended quality? Does a lot of editing go into this or is it mostly just natural
I absolutely love muted tones and simple editing. I have never been a fan of high
saturation or contrast because the concept behind my art doesn’t need heavy editing to
convey my messages. I almost always use natural lighting (not a fan of lighting studios),
and do touch ups with Adobe Lightroom.
4. The two elements of the previous questions combine to give a very melancholy
and often dark tone to your photo series, is this intentional? What role does
emotion play in your work?
Similar to my choice of muted tones, dark tones are intentional as well. If I am in a really
dark place or reflecting on a past time where I was extremely depressed/lonely the dark
tones just are a must. It’s a major release to literally make my photos look like what I am
5. What are your future plans in photography? Do you want to go a more
conventional route or fine art route? Or both?
I promised myself recently that I will never exchange my art for money. If I do give my
work away it would be for a trade of some form of art education or for another artist’s
work. I met an artist recently who had a conventional non art related job for income, but
still had a studio, produced art, and entered shows, which I love. I just have a hard time
giving up something so deep and personal to me for currency. In terms of how I plan on
supporting myself, I would love to go into film production and be behind the scenes. Or
go back to my dancing routes and become a dance teacher in another country.
6. Finally, PLUGS! Where can people find you, what projects do you have going on
that you’re excited about, any upcoming shows, shamelessly self promote!
I am working on a new video entitled “selfish” documenting the effects my eating
disorder has on my everyday routine which I am super stoked about. It is very raw and
pV8jsHlI79Iz4GQVQ?view_as=subscriber Olivia Cara
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/304748069 Olivia Cara
Remember Folks! Feature Friday is an awesome way to get your work seen and promoted, as well as make you eligible for other prizes! But, you’ve got to post on that forum so we can see your work and promote it! So post, comment and post some more! Let’s see and talk about all of your work!