Photographer of the Day: Jana Styblova

For this ADC Member, it's process before subject

August is Photography Month here on the ADC blog. Among other stories and articles, we will be featuring a different photographer every weekday of the month. Some are seasoned professionals, some are young up and comers, and some are just amateur shutterbugs taking snapshots on the side. One thing they have in common: they are all ADC Members, part of our globe-spanning creative community. We hope that you enjoy their work as much as they love creating it!

js_adc_headshotJANA STYBLOVA
Brooklyn, NY, USA

How old were you when you took an interest in photography?

I took an interest in photography right around the age of 20. I was transition from physics to art at this time and while I had drawn a lot growing up, this was the first time I had taken an intensive course. I immediately took a Black & White film course: I shot with an old Canon AE-1 from the 70s — shooting film before shooting digital really gave me time to pause and reflect.

What do you love most about photography as an artform?

For me, it is the process, especially when shooting film; taking the moment to pause and actually see, but I mean really see what you are about to take a photo of. Time does not exist in that moment, everything freezes and stands still. That feeling is quite rare these days.

What is your favorite thing to shoot?

I suppose a healthy combination of people, still life, nature, architecture, everything. I don’t often get much time to shoot these days, but usually I start with an idea, especially if I’m working on more of an artistic series, and then I figure out what illuminates that concept the best. I end up doing a lot of abstract work, but documentary is something I have been eyeing lately.

It’s totally about the moment for me, although shooting other humans is particularly magical…

“It’s totally about the moment for me, although shooting other humans is particularly magical…”

What is your favorite piece of equipment?

I have a medium format Hasselblad. That thing is a beast, heavy, but looking through the top of the glass view finder rather than an eyepiece is completely transcending! It’s like viewing the world in a fishbowl.

Which person most inspires your photographic passion? Which professional photographers do you look up to?

At the moment I’ve been really into Alec Soth, especially the stuff he does on Instagram. It’s casual, but the concepts behind them are amazing. I’ve been following his work for several years, and there is always something new to discover. If I can use the techie word “disruptive” to describe his work, I would.