VPW PHOTO WALK WINNER INTERVIEW: VERONICA G. ACOSTA
I’m originally from Argentina and I’ve been living in Vienna since 2010. I came with my husband after he got a job offer here. Just wanted to taste a bit of adventure (in a new setting… it’s not like we don’t have enough everyday-adventure in South America!)
To choose a favorite spot in Vienna is of a difficult task. I love the district where I live because I get to see birds every day, it´s silly, I know… I have a bird feed and I´m always watching them through the window. I also enjoy getting lost in the districts 6, 7 and 8… walking down the narrow sidewalks, guessing the past stories behind those walls.
I think my first attempt at photography was at the age of 7 or 8. My parents uses to have some sort of Pocket Camera Kodak, kind of crappy with a cube flash. I used to take pictures of my pets (cat and dog) till I dropped it. Of course it never worked again after that!
In recent years I decided to do something about my increasing curiosity and bought a Nikon D3000. At some point I decided that it was time to jump higher and get new gear; now I have my Nikon D750. I’m pretty happy with it and get good results, but it remains a challenge (which only means more fun).
It’s been always difficult for me to grasp technical concepts. I get easily bored with highly technical books and never could read the manual of my camera. I own some books, I´m always searching online, and very recently I booked a Workshop. But most important for me is to see other photos, that´s why I try to visit exhibitions, search photographers online, and buy books with reproductions. As I see it, that´s key. Especially for people like me, who use intuition more than theory.
I perceive photography more like some sort of game through which I can see little pieces or frozen moments of the world that surrounds me and give back pictures that express my way of seeing it; maybe that´s the reason why I have an interest in photographers that relate their work to meditation.
I’d love to reach a point where I express my interpretation of this world through a snapshot, like a modern photography-impressionism. I don’t know the key to a great photo is, but I often think about the early work of Sebastião Salgado in Serra Pelada. Those pictures have moved me in a way I’d never imagine. It´s like you can see his soul through them; it might be what some people call greatness.
Generally, I enjoy the work of photographers that care about people. Sebastião Salgado, whom I mentioned before, is my most beloved one. I also found out very recently about the work of Lindsey Addario, she´s a photojournalist that caught my eye. But I also follow the greatests of all times, like Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Saul Leiter, Robert Frank…Personally, It´s hard for me to follow in the steps of my heroes: I´m kind of shy. That´s why I photograph just my little bubble, wherever I move, and my camera comes back with something.
Poetry was actually my first passion, since I was very little. I´ve always related more to words. Some of my favorites are Juan Gelman, Abelardo Castillo, Liliana Bodoc (all Argentinians). There is also great poetry in some lyrics of our music, for instance in Tango music, or the poet Homero Expósito, from my home town. Also, I´m a Film Junkie. There a couple of films that I´ve watched probably more than 20 times: Stranger Than Fiction and Lost In Translation. I prefer to eat vegetarian, although sweets are my thing: I´m a pastry chef.
A random fun fact about me… That´s a hard one! My husband finds it very funny (even though he suffers from it): my golden rule at home is, no talking before 9am! I am not a morning person. Alao, I also have a serious obsession that some find funny: I can’t stop playing music in the middle of a song; I always have to wait till it finishes before I can turn it off.
I don´t think I could be doing always the same work or living in the same place. I have moved many times in my life, and it´s my lifestyle. I will stay a few years in the same place, but then I´m already thinking in the next step. And work…I also changed my profession a few times!
I really enjoyed the experience with Vienna Photo Walk, and I´d do it again (though probably not with temperatures under zero). I’m not sure how we could organize such an activity, but it would be nice to have some sort of “dare” that we could do to challenge ourselves and learn more about photography. For example, I read somewhere about photographers that had to take instant photos of things performing alphabet letters… like shadows in the street forming an A or something like that… Would be fun!