by Yvette Depaepe
Published the 27th of March 2023
Raluca Lupascu's work is extremely intense and has a very strong impact. All of her photographs express a part of herself. At the beginning of her photographic journey, she focussed more on the creative editing of her personal existing photographs which provided her a deep psychological and self-introspection into her visual creations. She quickly found her photographic identity guiding her to fine art and conceptual art. Her body of work is so captivating and keeps everyone lost in thoughts. Raluca is a humble and charming person.
I like to guide you today through the wonderful world of her art. Follow me and enjoy ...
'Self portrait – Rest of flowers'
Dear Raluca, first I would like to thank you so much for taking the time to answer this questionnaire! To begin, please introduce yourself shortly and tell us more about you, your hobbies or other projects you are involved in!
I would also like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to tell the story behind my photos. I live in a city on the Romanian Black Sea Coast, and I graduated Journalism and Communication Studies. My first passion is literature, fiction and poetry in particular, and that is often reflected in my photographic work. I also love theatre, piously admire painting and all art in general as it provides me the necessary oxygen to breathe in this world.
'The prince and the pauper'
When and how did you start your photographic journey?
Four years ago I bought a DSLR to take holiday photos. Ambition then drove me to figure out how it actually worked, so I learned about ISO, diaphragm, exposure, etc., and my fantastic journey started. I realized every creative force inside me and locked for so long, was going to erupt into photography and digital art. My photo friends as well as the dedicated outings have mattered tremendously.
'Pieces of clown woman'
For many of us photography is either a hobby or a way of life. How would you define your relationship with photography?
Photography is currently just a hobby, but one that is part of my daily life. It is gradually developing into a passion. I am not sure where this road will lead me as I generally go with the flow.
'No prayers for November'
What would be the most important experience so far that has influenced your steps in photography?
The most important and decisive experience that has influenced me was the Urban Experimental Photography workshop offered by Mirela Momanu (mirelamomanu). It has opened the door to fine art and defined my photographic trajectory. I would like to thank her in this way as well.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
All my photos carry a part of me. I find myself in fine art, conceptual, surrealism, and, why not, in classic portraits. As my photographic trajectory coincided with becoming a mother, I was involuntarily more static and concentrated on creative editing and digital art, all starting from my personal photos of course. This provided me a deeper psychological and self-introspection then exposed into my visual creations. I was lucky enough to quickly find my photographic identity, guiding myself to fine art and concept art. I love artistic photography but there is also an opposite category which I respect and admire: documentary and photojournalism. Maybe one day...
'A living dance upon dead minds'
'The Virgin Suicides'
'Ballet – L'etoille'
The mood and composition in your fine art and conceptual portraits are outstanding! What is your secret and why are you so drawn by this photography type?
Thank you, again, for your appreciation! I consider conceptual portraits and conceptual photography in general, more intelligent and creative. Beside emotions, they also transmit ideas.
Ideas and poetic emotions merge in my visual creations and I like to stir interpretations. At a certain point, everything becomes visually transposed semiotics. I only know that my overall state of mind blends with what I create and photograph. When I'm deeply drawn into this creative vortex, I need time to shake it off and concentrate on the immediate and real life axis again, as an actor behind the scene [after the show]. I am drawn to this type of photography as it allows me to play as I wish, making scenarios, giving birth to new ideas. I do not have rules, I like to get out of my comfort zone without astounding, following the “less is more” concept/principle and, most importantly I dare to seek that drop of authenticity. I have often used myself as a subject as I knew what I wanted to transpose . It is very helpful that I have nothing to prove, there is no ego and I do everything with max pleasure and desire to share. I have once received a late-night message from a photographer fellow woman telling me that, although she was not the featured one, she felt beautiful and special through my photos, without even being the subject. I did give it a lot of thought. Why? Is it because I enter the noir zone quite often? Is it maybe because my feminine subjects are at the border of diffused pain and lazy sensuality and any woman has been or is still there? For me it is important to create a narrative in the frame, and I quote Umberto Ecco “To survive,you must tell stories”.
'Double red daisies'
What are the main features of a successful portrait photographer in your opinion?
I don't yet consider myself as a portrait photographer as I have a lot to learn, I can only grasp the answer to this question. What matters, in my opinion, are creativity, originality, well taught light technique, openness to the model and a certain intuition in capturing the personality in front of you in its most interesting form.
Can you please tell us something more about your workflow from the idea to the final product?
Usually there are usually four steps:
(1) selecting the subject – myself or another feminine figure/character,
(2) a minimum set-up or a still from the subject’s environment,
(3) taking actual photos
(4) post processing in Camera Raw, Photoshop.
Sometimes, I can meet someone or something who provides an instant idea without a pre-set scenario. I can use any nature feature (stones, flowers, glass shard) or just the cigarettes in my pocket. Post-processing is my favourite part because I can than add that detail that emphasizes my idea. A higher contrast, double exposure or a simple burn/dodge can define everything.
Where do you look to find inspiration for the visual stories you want to convey? What inspires you?
Since I started my photographic adventure at the age of 40, I don’t need to search much. I’ve accumulated a significant life experience, books I’ve read, movies and theatrical pieces which are my source of inspiration. I try to express myself as creatively and exciting as possible. But, of course, I’m mostly inspired by my own life. Looking at many photos every day help me tremendously as well.
'hide and seek'
'Touch me not'
Many are of the opinion that the gear is not very important when the passion for photography is strong. However, can you please share with us what gear you use (camera, lenses, lighting, tripod, etc.)?
I use an Olympus Mark II with Olympus 25 mm 1.8, Zuiko 12-40 2.8 and Lensbaby sweet 35 lenses.
What would be your favourite photo? Please tell us the story behind it.
My favourite photo is an auto-portrait titled 'In my shadow'. The plan was to be a cover photo if I I successfully manage to deliver my project. It was taken after a traumatic episode in my life and conveys the Freudian definition for depression. The photo was taken in my room by only using a white wall and a table lamp.
'Self portrait/ In my shadow'
Who are your favourite photographers or mentors whose works have influenced you and your photography?
I admire and follow many photo artists. I’m fascinated by Francesca Woodman since I found the three directions I’m attracted to in her work: modernism, surrealism and Gothic. For portrait photography, I admire and follow Paolo Roversi. When I lack inspiration, Roberto De Mitri, Philomena Famulok and Katia Kauseva are reviving me creatively.
Now, since we have almost reached the end of this interview, I would kindly ask you to share with us your plans or photographic projects you would like to be involved in.
For the moment I want to focus on portrait photography, both in studio and in natural light. Currently, I'm in a return to innocence thanks to my daughter,I am thinking of doing a project with her. A kind of Alice in Wonderland.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
To me, 1x represents the most important place to upload my work and to get more appreciation. 1x also is a permanent source of inspiration and knowledge.
Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to express myself in words in addition to my visual contribution.
'My sky is falling'
Marius Cinteza CREW
Congratulations, Raluca! Interesting interview and excellent portfolio!
Marius thank you very much!!
Heike Willers PRO
Thank you for sharing this interview and your work with us!
I'm glad you like it! Thanks, same to you!
Carmen Watkins PRO
Jos pălăria, Raluca! Felicitări!
Congratulations, Raluca, for your original vision and work! What a delightful encounter this is!
Kind thank you!!
Wonderful thought provoking images. Congrats on a well deserved recognition.
Thank you very much!🙏
Colin Dixon CREW
Thank you for this article stunning artistic work and only 4 years into the journey so we have so much more to look forward to here on 1x.
Kind thank you!🙏
Peter Davidson CREW
Delightfully evocative images!
Thank you very much!
Thank you very much for this great opportunity!🙏
Anita Singh PRO
Excellent and very arresting work, holds the attention for long time, congratulations Raluca for wonderful images
Kind thank you!