INTERVIEW WITH… SAFIA DELTA

Our daily interview is with Safia Delta, a photographer based in Paris. She comes from the South of France and she started almost 2 years ago to take photos. She’s passionate about street photography and she like to document about those inner trips she takes in her everyday life.

When did you start to think about photography?
When the weight of words and the noise my thoughts made became overwhelming, I found in photography’s silence a time-to-time shelter. It became a means to cope with my dissatisfaction with life. I used to shoot with my mobile at that time, mostly making shadow self-portraits like Vivian Meier did. Shooting with a mobile was handy, I carried it with me most of the time and it was easy to operate. Today, I shoot analog and am really enjoying the slowness of the process and the results.

What does photography mean to you? and which kind of photography do you like more?
It is a way to turn flaws into something meaningful, give shape to the things I experience, freezing them in time. But it’s also a way to connect to the present, to myself and to my surroundings, it’s a form of meditation. And the camera both acts like a go-between and a mirror disclosing the relationship I have to my environment. When I’m out shooting I’m not looking for something ; I just walk, relax and try to be careful to what life puts on my way.

Because of its complexity, its physicality and its sensuality colour is my favourite medium. My favourite photographers are colorists like William Eggleston, Harry Gruyaert and photographers who indulge in documentaries and narratives like Alec Soth, Christopher Anderson or Cédric Delsaux.

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Photography: Safia Delta

When you take a portrait, what is important for you?
It depends on how I feel. When I feel attracted to something, I try to be as unobtrusive as possible, I try not to interfere, not to break the moment and preserve its beauty.
Or on the contrary, I interact openly with my subject and let things flow and see what comes out of it.

Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?
Definitely not though in our time when it comes to thinking photography and self-promoting a body of work schools offer tools to acquire a certain know-how. But they won’t teach sensitivity. Life is the best teacher I know. I believe that what we go through –however positive or negative- nourishes our sensitivity and intimately influences the way we look at things thus determining the creative direction we take.

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Photography: Safia Delta

What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?
I don’t dream of a single shot, it would more be a series, a consistent work on a project at the fringe of intimacy and documentary. But I prefer marvelling at that unpredictable capacity we have to evolve and let things open. Time is an ally.

What’s your photo-mission?
Proving to myself that I’m more often than not wrong. That though I sometimes think I have reached a limit in my work, it is but a wall of dust, negativity and illusion. I don’t know if the possibilities are unlimited but their contours sure are broader than we imagine. And watching these boundaries fade and others rise and so on is a pleasure per se because my sole desire is to maintain my photography alive and document my environment and the society I live in genuinely, trusting my instinct and giving room to imperfection and uncertainty. My photographs are also a reminder that disclosing implies withholding, that reality is like sand slipping through our fingers. It is an invitation to be faced with reality’s opacity.

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