Young Photographers interview: Chloë Wojewoda

Photos by: Chloë Wojewoda

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Chloë Wojewoda is a sixteen year old photographer, procrastinator, idealist, morning person. Living in rural New Hampshire, she spends her time thinking of places to go and things to create. Her photographs are primarily film, shot with natural light, and taken within the past two years.

Photography has become a means for Chloë to communicate an idea, share an experience, and make up for her poor drawing technique. She is young, nascent, and looks to further open her eyes to all forms of art. She hopes to embark on a film project this summer, and is still waiting for the right time and place to learn how to spray paint. Just beginning, Chloë hopes steal more of what the world has to offer, learn what it means to be beautiful, and create something more than just a pretty picture on a page.


How was your life before you started to be a photographer?
Before I started taking photographs, I was even more scattered. I had always gravitated toward art and creative things, but I was without an outlet. I drew sometimes, but it was never a passion for me. I was just sort of bouncing from thing to thing and not really making anything happen the way I wanted to.


How did you decide that you wanted to be a photographer?
I never decided to be a photographer. I think it gradually just became clearer and clearer to me that I am a photographer, and everyday now is a little step in that direction.


How would you describe your photos?
My photos are snippets of my life. I’m young and I’m starting to really see how overwhelmingly beautiful everyday is. My photos, I guess you could say, are my attempt at trying to bottle up light, color, people, wind, birds, warmth; everything I see and experience. My pictures are as close to articulating who I am as I can get. Maybe that’s why they are changing and morphing. I’m not complete, fully formed yet, so I don’t think my work should be either. Maybe it never will be.


When you do a portrait, what do you use to focus on? Which kind of details?
I primarily shoot my friends Meg and Emily, and I find that little details, like talking to them while we shoot so I can catch real emotion and light in the eyes as they pose makes a difference. You can position a body any way you fancy, but you have to trick the model into something real in their eyes. That’s the fun part.


Can you tell us which one is your best photo, that you like since today and why you like it so much?
Oh, that’s a difficult one to answer. One of my favorites lately was taken at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. My friend Meg was taking photos out the window, and was turning to listen in on the conversation at the end of the hallway, and I clicked away. What happened, however, was that my film came out all cerulean blue! I have no idea how it happened, but these sorts of accidents and unexpected things really make shooting film what it is. But this picture is quiet and makes me think of films with subtitles. But that said, picking a favorite picture is much more difficult than it sounds…


Do you prefer to shoot inside a studio or outside?
When shooting portraits that I’ve thought out, like with wardrobe and a planned concept, I prefer to use the big white walls of my bedroom, using only the light from my one window. But I have so much fun when I’m in Boston or New York taking photos as I walk along, of my friends, strangers, buildings, birds. I don’t know. I like to shoot anywhere. Cloudy, overcast days are particularly nice, as the light isn’t too harsh but still light enough to catch detail.


What do you think about the street photography?
Living in a very rural town, I don’t have much experience with street photography. It’s when I take a trip into New York or Boston or even cities in New Hampshire that I try my hand at capturing people in everyday places. I love it, and it’s the main reason I want to travel. I mean, taking photos of my friends in my room is fun, but I want to record life, not just contain it in a Petri dish.


What about your future project?
In a week or so, I’ll be having a loosely themed Alice in Wonderland shoot with my friend Sam. There will be suspended teacups, playing cards, and possibly small chairs. It will be an experience, I think. And this summer I hope to make my first film (I have an old Kodak Brownie movie camera. I just need film and a bit of audio equipment, however rudimentary). However, my ultimate dream would be to collaborate with others and create a full-blown installation, some sort of visual and auditory experience, surrounding the viewer with light and sound and overwhelming sensory information. It would be like being in a brain. I don’t know. It’s in dream stage, just a piece of an idea.







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