Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, where do you live now? Your background with photography, how and when you were drawn to the street genre.
I’m Czech but we moved to The Netherlands when I was 10. I became interested in photography when I got a mobile phone with a camera in it. I started to photograph friends when they were not aware of that, and slowly I moved on to the streets. Digital technique was very important in the process, to immediately see how things look when they are photographed. A constant feedback I still use when I’m at work.
How do you define “street photography” for yourself?
For me it’s about unposed happenings and visually interesting things, mostly in public spaces. The term “street photography” is a bit confusing as you can make a great ‘“street” photograph practically everywhere, not necessarily on the streets.
Does your local situation affect your work?
Not so much. Here in The Netherlands, street photographers have quite some rights. We can photograph almost everywhere, and we can publish the photos with recognisable people in them. There are some exceptions, such as commercial use and a negative context for the person in the photo. But in general, it’s well organised for street photographers.
As for local factors, the exact location is often not very clear in my work and therefore not so important. It’s more about the visual situations I encounter. But some fascination with a place is vital, so I try to travel as much as I can.
In what ways do you think being a woman has affected your work?
I’m not so sure which aspects belong to me as a human, and which to me as a woman. I capture things the way I see them, and the way I want the camera to translate them. It’s probably cliche to say, but I am not a very technical photographer. Usually I have an image in mind and I have to find out with what settings or light I need in order to reach that. Probably it has to do more with character and priorities, rather than with being a woman.
Color or black and white, digital or film?
Mostly colour and digital.
What photographers can you name who are the most inspirational to you?
Vivian Maier for her fascination with public space and the people in it, Matt Stuart for the humour and precision, William Eggleston for the colour and form, Maciej Dakowicz for his series about Cardiff, Martin Parr for everything, Dutch photographer Peter de Krom for his funny themes and talent to capture society. Also Sara Nicomedi, I discovered her work through Women in Street, her work is great.
Is there a special project you are working on? Or recurring themes you are often drawn to?
I always keep a street photo diary of a city I am in for a longer period of time. So now there is an ongoing series of photos made in Amsterdam.
Theme-wise, I am often drawn to animals. Currently I am working on a photo story about herons in Amsterdam. There is a large population of the birds here, and as they are smart, they always come by for leftovers at markets and cafeterias.
Then there is a festivity theme I always come back to. Over the top festivities, carnival, with lots of pink. At the moment, I’m visiting a lot of fun fairs for an ongoing project about the industry of fun.