Full photo process makes me happy, calm, satisfied and gives me the power to move people and their hearts. I think I can also help some people with my work – to success, to love how they look, who they are. People write me after years how great their portraits are, they are speaking even louder after the years. For me it is a pleasure to hear that my pictures making people happy for such a period. I love stories — fake or real ones.
My life is fully filled with pictures and stories. I like to consider myself as a writer of stories instead of a visual artist. Telling stories reminds to the people who we are, what kind of stories we have and how we see each other. I want to change the way and points of view how we treat people and I hope they are way more young people like me trying to open our minds and promote the beauty of being different and doing something own way. I used to travel a lot to see the world and I decided do go home and work here, in Czech Republic. I use to always love the claim: “Think globally – act locally”. Many people thinks their career will be better in capital cities or abroad, but in case all talented and clever people would leave their countries, these countries would get very poor without fresh intelligence and art.
I have started my work with art-nudes. It took quite a long journey to get into fashion photography, lets say two years of shooting. I studied at university with lot of amazingly talented designers. They had collections to show and photo-students were sick of being forced to photograph the “commercial design”, they we interested more in personal projects or art. I have shown my portrait work to the fashion designers and I was asked to take pictures of their designs with models. They told me everything about shooting fashion design, what is most important, how to pose models to get best result. So I was educated by designers, what gave a freaking advantage from other photographers. So it was not so much about the choice but it was something what the life has in its store for me. And I loved that. Fashion is so much about cooperation of the team, lot of laugh during shooting, spreading the joy from results, reading the magazines with your work is just an incomparable feeling. It is the pure love for work.
People ask me how it is to live as freelancer. No clue about the future, next clients, income. I never tried to give up photography. Even I had a serious sport injury, which forced me to make a “little” 2-years break from photography, so I got a job in a big international company. I had a good manager position in factory producing animal feeds. I had that nice car, position, responsibilities for the perfect running of two factories. But I felt like I was slowly dying every single day, since my dream was always doing photography for living and during my whole life. People asked me many times if I was a model or why I got so deeply into fashion photography, but I was related to fashion only as a marketer in an US company previously. My parents and people around me always had kind a other expectation of my career not working ” by hands”, but sometimes the filling the expectation can not fill your own life.
I am asked a lot about the gear I use. I have started to work analogue way. I was self-tough girl visiting the school’s dark room and studio secretly by window at the nights. Developing, scanning, day by day, every single day I took a film per day. The durability of my interest led to official invitation to the photo department, so I was running lomography (snap photography on film using very old-school soviet cameras ). This led me to the very valuable skills, which helped me in work with instant photography. The skills with film, one-shot option, the speed and the eye for composition in photo, were just the perfect background to start with an expensive hoppy – instant photography. I was recognized for my qualities with analogue photography on PhotoVogue Italia, so I was asked from Instax and Robert Vano Gallery to get the brand ambassador for FUJIFILM Instax. I receive couple of papers – I have loved that. I was never minimalist, so I felt in love with “wide” version, because of the size of paper. The camera is bigger than my head, but I love the pictures and overall feeling from instant photos. I took so many editorial on instax with great results! Love the way how the papers coming out of camera and getting revealed, I call it magic and I feel like a little happy girl every single time I hear the noise when camera is sending the picture out.
Recently I cooperate with Czech Fujifilm as fashion ambassador using my “old but gold” x100 camera. I have got one of three first pieces in Czech Republic as a winner of a massive photography competition. I have started to take backstage photos for Robert Vano Gallery with great results. I was quite impressed with quality of the pictures. I did not even notice and I have started to work with my “little Fuji” by default. I love to use the macro for taking beauty shots, even better for street-styled fashion shootings. The build-in flash is something other professionals refuse, but for me it satisfied, because I love the snap-look in my works. I love to experiment a lot, so I have started to push my Fuji to extremely tough photo condition – during the nights, with no flash. Are you waiting for the result? Bang, bang, bang – results were just mind-blowing. I think there are no borders for this little worker. I used to have an DLSR system and I still have another one – very modern, new and digital full frame camera with superb lenses. I take this DLSR every single time to the shooting to clients, show them my gear, they are happy to see massive camera bag. Then I take off my “little Fuji” and make full campaign using the Fuji only. Easy – to – work is the biggest advantage for me. I had shooting there was almost no post-process at all. I had easily put the monochrome mode in the camera and the magic was born. How could you not love it?
Laura Kovanska, born in Czechoslovakia, close to Ukraine borders. She was raised in Czech Republic, where she got a classic education studying the high school for gifted students. followed master degree in Multimedia Communication/Thomas Bata University and Project management in Charles University as well. She used to live&work in United States, San Diego, traveling worldwide. She works as a professional freelance photographer and lives in Prague, Czech Republic recently. I has publication in Vogue Italia, VICE, C-Heads, Inspire, Grunge and Art, and many others. Her clients are worldwide known brands as Heineken, DeHeus, Pilsen Urguell, also Czech Army and many modeling and commercial agencies. She really loves to give her talent and know-how into cooperation with other creative fashion professionals as designers, make up artist, graphic designers and many others in her production group “Fresh&Dopes”.