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Ana Shefchek : ‘When it comes to photography I just enjoy being part of freezing time’

February 22, 2010 by · 1 comment

An interview by Mira Dimova with the photographer Ana Shefchek

Ana Shefchek

Ana Shefchek is a 16-year-old student from Croatia. She lives with her big family and two pets in Oroslavje, a small town near the capital Zagreb. After finishing school she hopes to study acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts.
She’s always had a camera and she’s been doing photography as a hobby for two years. She loves photography and wishes she had more time for realizing her ideas.
She was one of (and the youngest) the ten people chosen to take part in a photo workshop organised by the most popular photo magazine in Croatia – Digital Foto – where she could learn from professionals. The magazine has also published some of her pictures.

the more i see the less i know

When and how did you get attracted to photography?

Well, I’ve always had a camera in my hands so it was just meant to be. I love art and I love being different. And two years ago I got really interested in details so I started reading about it, watching other people’s photos and that was it – love at first sight.


What is photography for you?

I think it’s one piece of me. One piece which I can’t show in any other way except through photography. With it I feel more alive. Sounds like a cliché but I just have no words to describe the feeling when I’m holding my camera and when looking through the lens.

dead flower

Which are your favourite themes for pictures?

I must say portraits. Before, when I just got into it, I photographed only nature, but when I discovered the beauty of portraits… I’m stuck to it.


Which is most difficult to catch in a shot and why?

To me, the most difficult thing is to get the right emotions from a model. I think that’s not an easy job and it’s hard to find the right model who knows exactly what you want. So, that’s why I often shoot self portraits. But, it’s always fun doing photo sessions with someone, even though you don’t get what you were looking for.

sleeping with ghosts

What is necessary to get an amazing shot?

Amazing shot? Well, when it comes to portraits, you must be patient. You can’t get an amazing shot from the first try (or you can if you get lucky or if you’re Annie Leibowitz).When I shoot, I always do at least 300-400 photos and then I put them on the computer and see that I must delete half of them because they don’t look so good on a big screen.


And one more reason – when you have a model, you can’t expect from her (especially when she’s not a professional, and in my case – they never are) to be perfect from the beginning. You must talk to her about what you want and how you want it and, of course, represent your ideas in the best possible way.


But, whatever you shoot, the most important thing is light. Without light in photography you’ve got nothing.

after the ending

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

Everywhere. Great movies, great music, great books, people around me. In one word – life.


Is there someone or something that has influenced your work?

Photographers? I think there are many, even too many talented people around us of whom we don’t even know that they’ve got something special to share. Those people who have their accounts on flickr, deviant, any other sites – these are the people who influence my work.


It’s something (that I can’t explain with words) so interesting and special – to look through the eyes of someone else. So, no one special, just people around me.


What is your dream picture?

There’s one perfect tree near the place I live. But, God, you just have to see it. It’s gorgeous. Just a big tree in a long field. I have always wanted to shoot it in winter – with snow and fog, in autumn – with leaves around, in spring – when it’s all fresh and nice, and in summer.


And always, of course, from the same angle. Maybe it doesn’t sound very dreamy but you just got to see that tree. I wish I’d find the time to do it one day.


Have you discovered anything new about yourself after you started taking pictures?

I started looking at details. Suddenly I was noticing details in movies which nobody had noticed. When I’m in a new place, I look it over as if I have a camera. That’s kind of nice, I think.

dancing shoes

What is the most important message in your photographs?

Um, message? Well, I don’t think they really have a message because I don’t usually think what and why I am shooting, you know? When I have an idea, I just try to realize it. I don’t bother myself with questions like ‘what will people say?’ or ‘what would be the message of my work?’


Besides photography what else are you interested in?

Theatre and acting. Besides that I love to read and write, too.

in the dark

How do you combine theatre and photography? Which one is closest to your heart and why?

Must say I love theatre more than photography. I’ve been a drama queen since the day I was born. I go to drama classes and I enjoy spending time in theater. I think it’s just another way to express myself.


What do you wish to have more time for?

For photography. With school—all the activities—and theatre I rarely find time to do photography. It’s kind of sad because I have all these ideas and I just have no time to shoot. I think I’ll start writing down my ideas on paper so that I won’t be able to forget them. We live in crazy times so I have to run from one place to another. It’s just frustrating.

poison rain

Who are you without your camera?

Human without eyes.

everyday depression in a beautiful dress

How do you see yourself in a few years?

That’s a really difficult question. I hope I’ll be at the Academy of Arts, studying direction and acting. Well, that’s just a hope. But, you know what they say: “Where there’s hope, there’s life.”


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