Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"I live and sleep photography"

Mia Collis is a documentary photographer from Kenya. Mia majored in anthropology, directed her own two short films and works for the film world in different parts of the world.

When did you take your first photo?

When I was 13 in my first photography class at school. I photographed a statue of a woman holding a baby in the school grounds. The picture wasn't very good at all, but the teacher used it as an example to teach the class dark room work. I got a boost of confidence that made me believe that I was able to take a good photograph.

How has photography influenced your life? 

Visually it has made me look at life with a much more detailed eye. I'm forever checking out whats happening with light and am always fascinated by human behaviour and interaction. If I'm not at the film company, on a photo shoot or editing images, I'm thinking about how to better a project or I'm working out the next story to tell or how I'll get a project funded. I live and sleep photography.

What does creativity mean to you? 

Tapping into that spark or feeling, that is innate in all of us, and then being able to move or inspire people by channeling it in the right way.

What are themes of your work? 

As a documentary photographer, I'm fascinated by people and their stories . But I have also recently been shooting an elephant story. Within this spectrum I've been inspired lately by movement. When people are dancing or moving it's much easier to capture that raw emotion. I'm also inspired and like to work with natural light, a lot more than artificial light.

If you could work together with a young artist, what would you tell and show him?

 As a relatively young photographer myself and with still an enormous amount to learn in the photographic field, I'll pass on a wisdom that was recently relayed by my mother to me. She is a very gifted artist. She said success and 'making it' creatively is persistence. Take the rejection which there maybe a lot of in the beginning. Many talented and gifted people will give in and give up at this stage. But weather the storm, persist with it and you will get there. Follow your bliss.

  "Disabled Dancers" by Mia Collis

"Elephants Dust Bath" by Mia Collis 

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