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 was born and grew up in Vienna, Austria. This is also where I live at the moment. I have lived in New York in 2000 for one year, and in Marrakech for 6 months just recently. I started with photography around 2000, although I remember that taking photos was already something I was interested in when I was a child. When I lived in New York, I took a photography class to improve my technical skills. Since then, photography has always been part of my life. Street photography started a bit later — I would say around 2006 — when I recognized that capturing daily life situations is what fascinated me most.
How do you define “street photography” for yourself?
As I mentioned above, street photography for me is much about daily life. Bits and pieces that we come across when following our own daily paths and routines. It keeps my eyes open for what is happening around me — when I go out intentionally with a camera but also in my everyday life, when a camera is only an iPhone I carry with me.
Does your local situation affect your work?
I guess it affects it in the way that I live in a big city. To me it’s much easier to shoot street photography in a big city than in the countryside. Taking photos of people in public places is and will always be a grey area, probably everywhere in the world. Marrakech is a perfect example — I remember several situations that reflected daily life in Marrakech to me, where I would have loved to take a photo, but there was no way to get approval of the people who would have been in my photo. I don’t pay too much attention to the legal situation about taking photos in public, but I try to be sensitive about the people who are part of my photos.
In what ways do you think being a woman has affected your work?
That’s an interesting question and to be honest, I have never thought about it. I really can’t say if my gender has affected my work in any way.
Color or black and white, digital or film?
All of the mentioned above. For me, it’s not about the type of camera or film I use. It’s about what I see and how I frame it within my photo. The rest in my opinion just additionally characterizes the photo. Even though I love to shoot in black and white, Morocco for example will always be mostly color for me. And I do love taking photos with my iPhone as much as I do with my old Olympus OM1.
What photographers can you name who are the most inspirational to you?
This brings me back to the question above, about how my being a woman has affected my work. I tend to be more inspired by female photographers. It’s very often not only about the photos, but also the circumstances or their stories. I’m inspired by early female photographers like Inge Morath or Eve Arnold, who managed to make their way as photographers in a male dominated profession. Also, for example, I recently saw an exhibition on the photography program of the Farm Security Administration during the European month of photography in Bratislava. There, the photos of Dorothea Lange inspired me most. Of course because I liked the photos, but also because I was inspired by her story. I’m also very much inspired by Fatemeh Behboudi, a young documentary photographer from Iran.
Is there a special project you are working on? Or recurring themes you are often drawn to?
I love reflections and whenever there is puddle or a reflecting surface, I’m checking different perspectives to see if there is anything interesting to see. Last year, I did not have a lot of time for photography at all, and my aim at the moment is to get back to it and make time for it. I just started an additional Instagram account showing my analogue photos — old ones as well as recent ones. I also have an ongoing project called Wien/Berlin, in cooperation with Berlin based photographer Thorsten Strasas, where we share film to shoot double exposures combining Vienna and Berlin.
Natalie Opocensky | Website | Wien | Berlin | Instagram: @digitalnomadin @natalie.shoots.film |