Member spotlight: vintage pin-up photographer and contest winner, Iveta Smidtova

© Iveta Smidtova

A few months ago Iveta Šmidtova dazzled Photocrowd with her pin-up photography and won both the crowd and the expert votes in our Vintage & Retro contest. Below is our interview with Iveta, in which we ask her our traditional seven photography questions.

How did you get into photography?

I guess my start was a bit boring. My mum says that with the first digital camera we bought I was taking photos of everything. My mum inspired me as she started taking photos of nature and landscapes. So my beginnings were the same - landscapes, abstract photography, and later experiments with HDR. Now I shoot people and it seems to be the type of photography I want to stay with. Currently I’m into 1950’s pin-up.

© Iveta Smidtova

How often and when do you take photographs?

Not as much as I would love to. And because most of my photographs come from a studio I also rely on the times when I can rent the studio space.

© Iveta Smidtova

What is your technical set-up?

I own Nikon D800 and tend to use prime lenses: 50mm Sigma and 85mm Nikon, which is probably my favourite and most used one. For close-up portraits I absolutely love using 150mm from Sigma, and as a backup I use Nikon D80 with 18-200mm lens. For editing I only use Photoshop in combination with Wacom tablet.

© Iveta Smidtova

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

Everything I learn about photography always came from the internet, predominantly YouTube, and additionally books and magazines. Advantage of the internet is that you only read what you look for and it allows you to be more independent and creative as opposed to if you go to a college or a course you are already under the influence of someone who is telling you which way to go.

© Iveta Smidtova

Whose work has influenced you most?

Lately it has definitely been the pin-up artist Gil Elvgren. My very favourite photographer whose work I admire is Jill Greenberg for sure. I love her unusual use of lighting. Peter Hurley is another photographer whose work I appreciate – he specialises in head shots.

© Iveta Smidtova

Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?

It’s a very difficult question, but hopefully the answer would always stay the same. My favourite photograph is “the last one I took” as I feel with every photograph I take I learn something new. With new knowledge comes improvement and no one can succeed without improvement.

© Iveta Smidtova

What do you get out of being a photographer?

I enjoy the satisfaction that comes from the creative process. Also it is kind of nice when other people appreciate my work.

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