Cultartes features Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev, an 18 year old portrait, fashion and beauty photographer based in Montreal, Qc. She’s currently attending the Dawson College DEC Professional Photography Program. You, guys, we’ll see in the interview we made with Nastia, how much does she actually likes school. Or lips. Or baths. The so talented Nastia takes us on a visual journey, through senses and emotions. Let’s mention she was featured in C-Heads Magazine, Against All Odds, Nakid Magazine and the like. Find more about her reading the following interview:
First off, please tell us a few words about yourself. Anything you have in mind.
I find it very difficult to talk about myself, but I’ll try. I’m 18 years old, a full-time photographer student and I wish I was just only a full-time photographer, but I think it’s important to have my diploma, even of I don’t really like school, even if I wish all the time doing pictures, being able to be creative. But the more I’m going further in my study the more I understand it is important to stay there because I’m learning so much every day. You know, school is school, it doesn’t make everybody happy. When I think about myself is that I absolutely love the baths, every night I take an hour bath. I’m full-time student and I also do photo and I also want to have a social life and I have a boyfriend and I have homework, I have a family, I have a house to clean. That one hour I have every day is the only moment in the day where I can officially relax. I don’t know, everybody has the little think that makes him relax, some people are just petting their cats, their dogs. For me it’s spending one hour in hot water and a good smell.
What makes a picture good, in your opinion? When are you satisfied with a picture and when not?
I don’t think a good picture has to be technically perfect, and I think that a good picture is not also pretty. A good picture tells you a story, makes you feel something. It’s not like a pretty imagine in a magazine, showing that beautiful purple lipstick. I think it’s more like what does it make you feel, what it gives you. Is it emotion or? There is something very important about it. The technique and prettiness are important too, yes, if you want to sell something. But if you want to make art, as a photographer, if you want to make something the people will remember… Something that satisfies me is a picture that makes me feel, that tells a moment.
How important is Post-Processing to your works?
The Post-Processing work is quite important to me, because I actually shoot digitally and digital colors are very ugly to me, the contrast from the digital – I hate it so much. And also, I think that what makes my pictures a bit different is the post-processing, is like how I play with the colors, how I play with the textures. There is a lot of work put at the moment I capture a picture, I mean, how I’m going to put the light, how should I dress the model, how I’m gonna do her make-up or if she’s gonna wear any make-up. This is for me the first step. The second one has to be my Post-Processing, because colors for me are a part of my photographs, I just give my little touch, the atmosphere, the texture I want to have in my photos.
I caught myself sometimes staring at your photos. It’s like you know how to read lips. Why are you so fascinated about them?
That’s a very good question. You’re actually the first person who asks my this question. I think I’m so fascinated about them because there’s something about them while you’re talking, you express so many things just with lips, the people shows some emotions. Eyes are probably more powerful, but you bite your lips, when you put your tongue out is something. And everybody has his own way to express himself through their lips. It could be the same for hands, for body language. I feel that for me it was really about lips.
Your portraits seem so powerful and emotional. Is there an overall message you would like your photos convey?
Thank you. That’s a very nice compliment. I don’t think there is a particular message I want to convey, but I think when models look at you and give you something, it makes them so much powerful and so much less vulnerable. Like when you’re able to communicate something with a simple instinct. This is what I really like.
What turns you on?
Well, depends on if you say what turns you on in photography or just what turns you on. If you say what turns you on strictly I say tattoos, blonde hair, blue eyes, which is the exact description of my boyfriend. Also, big lips turn me on. My boyfriend has big lips.
In photography what turns me on are the images that communicate, that are simple, images that have a lot of textures. I like to look at photos and want to get closer and closer and try to feel. I like when there’s something going under the picture and be able to tear it.
What projects are you working on at the moment that we should keep an eye out for?
I’ve been really sick lately so I wasn’t able to create that much, but while sick I was having so many ideas. I was stuck in bad so I couldn’t do much. What to keep an eye for would be my fourth part for C-Heads and I decided to make it about beauty standards. Or in other words how should beauty be in the eyes of someone who hasn’t discovered what is beauty yet. I asked my followers on Instagram “what do you think was beauty when you were young” and I got a lot of answers that looked like mine, were similar, from every culture. Most of the answers were like “I wanted to be the typical blonde American girl”. I just wrote the answers down and created the picture I wanted to do. So, there’s going to be like different sites of types of beauty we wanted to achieve. It’s going to be very abstract. I don’t know how to put in words, but I think the pictures will talk for themselves.
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