Creative conversations: Photography by Irina Jomir

Light is a silenced music that you can only hear in your heart. It’s a synonym for mood.”

Irina Jomir is a fine art, fashion and portrait photographer based in Oslo, Norway. If you haven’t seen her work yet, be prepared to be stunned! Irina’s compositions are so captivating and awe-inspiring, and left us wanting to know more about her work flow. We are so excited to share a new creative conversation with Irina about her artistic process!

Trinity by Irina Jomir

With the styling and poses, your work is very reminiscent of classic paintings. Can you tell us about where that influence comes from?

I don’t think I have a particular source of influence, or maybe I’m just not aware of it. However, I’m inspired by many artists in different areas of art. My source is very global, and the choices are somewhat intuitive.

What does your creative process look like, from initial idea conception, to final realised image or series?

I focus mainly on an emotion every time I create an image and build everything around it. I don’t think emotion in an image has to be explicit in a subject you photograph, but can be expressed in other ways, like a choice of color palette, posing, lighting, editing, and tiny details you place in the frame that gives a slight hint of which emotion they depict. It’s like I have an inner library with multiple sections, and each of them contains a visual and acoustic representation of different emotions. So often, I start with deciding on that, first and foremost, finding the right sentiment. Then I search for suitable music – it’s the base of my building process; it gives me a significant drive and paints colorful ideas on a blank canvas. It also helps to keep my focus in one direction during the whole process. Once I find the visual elements, I decide on the color palette and lighting. I try to make everything simple and as minimalistic as possible.

Mai Soli by Irina Jomir

What are your favourite tools to create a new piece of work?

Lighting. Light is a silenced music that you can only hear in your heart. It’s a synonym for mood.

How do you decide which route to take your color toning?

It’s pretty simple. It has to follow the spirit of your idea because it enhances the message (if there is one); it has to be in unison with it. Very often, I know right from the beginning which direction to take, and at times I want to be more experimental and see if there is an option that is perhaps more interesting or I just haven’t considered. Then I turn to some help tools like Infinite Color Panel, Infinite Looks, and color toning actions from The Color Lab, for example. These are great tools to have in your retouching set that can help you to quickly find the right start point.

Is there a specific method you use to achieve your fine art aesthetic?

I think that would be my editing approach. I’m obsessed with transitions of highlights and shadows and in-between color tones. I make sure those transitions are very soft. But I also guess softness in just about everything else – movements, whether it’s a movement of hair or fabric, softness in posing and gaze.

What is one tool (physical or digital) that you could not create without?

Camera, definitely.

Angels by Irina Jomir

The work you’ve been releasing recently is much more conceptual than your previous maternity and portrait photography, which direction do you see your photography going in?

I started in one genre and went into another, and then another again because I don’t think I can ever stop exploring new ways of self-expression in the photography field. Conceptual storytelling has always been extremely attractive to me, but I haven’t felt strong enough and ready for it. In the future, I want to focus more on these types of projects because it’s more challenging to create and gives a bigger platform for expressing myself creatively. I feel like I have a lot to say, and I don’t know a better way than to do it through photography. Somehow it’s a release and compensation for what I’m not able to express verbally. What I’ve done so far is more of a careful walk around the subject I intend to hit in the future. I don’t think I’ll ever want to stop shooting portraits and maternity, but I feel like I’m ready for more.

Marie by Irina Jomir

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into photography or post-production?

Don’t let yourself get lost in the ocean of other artist’s work. Look for inspiration, but don’t let it consume you and affect your own vision. It’s only advisable to learn from those who inspire you, but remember it only has to give you a great start to your own path, not shape you. We often compare ourselves to others, and it’s very destructive. We go to Pinterest, Instagram, and such to look for ideas, and it is supposed to be helpful, but it often kills your uniqueness instead. Look for elements – lighting, posing, or styling perhaps – take away only one thing. If you follow this rule, it will help you build up your own style instead of copying someone else’s. Don’t do something because it’s trendy, but because it resonates with your aesthetics. Look for inspiration within yourself. You are like no one else, and neither are your own stories and experiences. Give yourself time. You’re gonna get there sooner or later.

Irina is releasing new inspiring imagery all the time! Don’t forget to keep updated with her work on Instagram, and her amazing website.

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