Hungary flag
Irina Jomir
Irina Jomir

Irina Jomir

Interview with Irina Jomir
BIFA 2023 Winner, Photographer of the Year, 1st Place, Professional Fine Art category, “Poppyseed Dancer II”

Q: Can you briefly tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue photography?

My passion for the arts has always been a driving force in my life, alongside a deep interest in psychology. During my studies in psychology, I discovered that psycho analysis of drawings was interfering with my ability to draw freely and spontaneously. This realization became a significant obstacle, leading me to abandon drawing altogether. For years, my artistic passion lay dormant until I discovered photography.

Following the birth of my first child, I ventured into the world of maternity and baby photography and found unexpected success. This experience served as my introduction to professional photography. Over time, I transitioned into fine art portraiture, and it was then that I realized my true calling lay in fine art. A few years ago, I made the decision to leave the business of photography (customer oriented) behind and fully commit myself to photography as an art form. I began to conceptualize my projects and approach them from the perspective of an artist rather than a photographer that documents reality.

Today, I can confidently say that my pursuit of photography stems from a desire to fill the void left by drawing. I now use my camera as a tool to bring to life the ideas that originate in my inner world, capturing my unique vision and leaving an indelible mark of my voice on the images I create.

Q: What drove you to submit your work to the BIFA competition and your thoughts on how winning this competition impacted your artistic journey?

Submitting my work to the BIFA competition was an exciting opportunity to have my art evaluated by a diverse panel of esteemed individuals, including photo editors, art directors, gallery owners, curators, and publishers. I believe that receiving feedback from such a broad spectrum of experts in the visual arts world adds an extra layer of objectivity to the evaluation process, going beyond the perspectives of fellow photographers.

As for the impact of winning the competition on my artistic journey, it’s a bit early to fully comprehend, but the immediate effects have been profound. The recognition has infused me with a tremendous sense of self-assurance, reaffirming my purpose as an artist and bolstering my confidence in the path I’ve chosen. This honor has provided me with a significant boost, and I am sincerely grateful for the award, feeling deeply privileged to have been granted with such praise. I eagerly look forward to the enduring effects this achievement will have on my artistic evolution.

Q: Could you describe any challenges you faced while capturing this moment (winning image/s)?

Capturing the winning image presented a multitude of challenges, making the eventual success even more rewarding. Anna Russell, the international ballet model, also known as Poppyseed Dancer, was traveling for our photo session from abroad. My camera was still in repair at the time and I wasn’t sure it will be possible to work especially with a little baby in my care. Our project was on the verge of being canceled. However, through a fortuitous turn of events and the unwavering support of my devoted partner and mother, the necessary tools and conditions fell into place, enabling us to proceed. 

The photo session took place in my home, where I had meticulously crafted a set tailored specifically for Poppy. Despite the time constraints and the demands of caring for a baby, we persevered, with Poppy handling her own makeup, myself attending to her hair, and my mother sewing a dress the night before. We navigated the shoot amidst the interruptions of breastfeeding, working tirelessly until late night. Ultimately, the experience proved to be immensely gratifying, underlining the significance of teamwork and mutual trust. This collaborative effort, characterized by a profound reliance on one another, was pivotal in overcoming the obstacles we encountered and made the entire experience truly worthwhile.

Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating great images?

In my opinion, the most important factors in creating great images involve an inward perspective and a steadfast trust in one’s own vision, rather than clinging rigidly to industry trends. By tapping into our unique internal viewpoint, we can infuse our images with authenticity and originality, setting them apart from the masses. Also, interaction with the model is crucial.

Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of photography?

The most challenging aspect of photography, for me, lies in discovering ways to distinguish my work from the crowd and cultivate a distinctive style that captures attention and resonates with viewers. This pursuit of individuality and innovation demands continual exploration and creative evolution.

Q: What motivates and drives your photography?

What motivates and propels my photography forward is an unceasing urge to create. Photography serves as my chosen medium of expression, inseparable from my identity as an artist. I am drawn to delving into the intricacies of human emotions and the complexities of the psyche. Through my images, I aim to engage viewers in a dialogue that challenges the notion of simplicity, reminding them that the world is nuanced and multilayered. The fulfillment and sense of relief I experience upon completing a project serve as powerful motivators, fueling my ongoing artistic endeavors.

Q: What’s next for you in your career as a photographer?

In the next phase of my career as a photographer, I am dedicated to bringing to fruition deeply personal and profoundly meaningful projects. Among these, “L’amour Fatal” stands out as a series of images delving into the theme of destructive love, while “Killing Mr. Guilt” is a psychologically driven project exploring the intricate impact of guilt, particularly how it can drive individuals to commit disturbing actions. These ventures represent an exploration of complex and evocative human experiences, shedding light on the intricacies of our emotions and motivations.

Looking ahead, my aspiration is to present my work in art galleries, sharing these evocative projects with a broader audience. This goal is a heartfelt ambition, and I am wholeheartedly committed to realizing it, seeking to engage and provoke contemplation within the art world and beyond.