Bucharest-based photographer Ina Alice Danila seeks to capture “saturated colors, unlimited sky, breathtaking landscapes.” She is an Account Manager at Kubis Interactive and when not dealing with customers and planning, she’s taking pictures. Ina focuses his lens on both staged and chance moments, capturing the beautiful edges of Romanian life. Her photographs are uncomfortable and nostalgic in places, but still familiar.
Her story about first starting to photograph sounds like this: “Photography was always a part of my life, ever since I can remember. But it didn’t involve me directly at first. My father had an old Vilia – he sometimes took pictures of us and developed the films in the bathroom. He tried to teach me how to use the camera, but we did not afford too many filmsm and I was so afraid I might break it. So I never touched it till it became mine. Years later, I bought a Nikon D3100 and tried to take some pictures just to pass the time during a difficult period of my life. It didn’t work, every image I took seemed incredibly boring and predictable, just like when I drew birds in the form of a V in school and teachers told me I was no good. Some other years had to pass for me to start again with a good friend, just to enjoy ourselves. It’s been four years since then and this time it stuck with me.”
I always have a 50 mm lenses with me. Until recently I only used a Canon camera and a 50 mm Helios, but a colleague of mine convinced me to get a Fuji XT and I must admit it’s simply perfect for street photography: very light and amp; fast, silent, with a flexible LCD. I combined it with an 18 mm lenses, my first automatic focus in a long time.
Ina’s portfolio is a metaphorical journey of that loss and identity crisis. Her pictures appear to be sad, confusing and enriching, capturing the chaos unfolding on the Romanian streets. When asked about her style, Ina said: “My mother says my style is depressing. But I don’t know if I really have a style. If I were to describe what I’m doing it would be something about feelings. What I feel while taking the picture combined with what the person being photographed feels at that particular time. What you get is a new feeling captured in a photo, belonging to none of us, but saying something of both.”
At first, I don’t think I was even inspired by something. I was mostly reactive. My first rage episode was against the disappointment I used to get whenever I travelled. I imagined myself discovering amazing, empty spaces. Like in the great pictures I saw online – saturated colors, unlimited sky, breathtaking landscapes. Unfortunately, wherever I went, I could not escape the feeling I was being fooled by all those photographers creating this idealised version of reality. So I wanted to bring reality back into my life by portraying the extreme of those beautiful landscapes: old decaying buildings, unhappy people, a bit of misery, post-comunist settings. The second rage episode was against Bucharest – its greyness and monotony, so my taking pictures of the city was a way of dealing with that and accepting that mystery can lie in apparent boredom as well.
All copyrights: Ina Alice Danila
Follow her work on: Instagram