Q&A WITH TORONTO-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER JODI CHAPNIK

As this year our photography exhibition is virtual, Arta Gallery director/curator Fay Athari and the Arta Team has curated a series of artist Q&A to introduce all amazing photographers that are part of our Time Lost exhibition.

Today we are having a Q&A with Toronto-based photographer Jodi Chapnik. She is constantly watching, analyzing, and absorbing what is happening around her, using her surroundings to tell stories in art. To get inspired, she enjoys traveling and finding unique subjects and moments to photograph.

 

 

Why did you choose to pursue a career as a photographer?
I’ve been fascinated by photography since I was a young child. I remember being in awe while creating images with photography paper, a leaf and the sun when I was a camper as young as 4 years old. At university, I took photography lessons while studying Studio Arts and Art History. In 2014, I bought a new camera (Nikon D800) and joined a creative photography group. I still get together with people I met in the class to discuss photography, share images, and create in the studio. (These days it’s via Zoom J). It’s like a book club, but for photography. I find that being in a group with other creative people with similar interests helps to inspire me and builds knowledge and skills.
 
What is your favorite subject to photograph? 
I do not have a favourite subject, but I do have a favourite theme, so while my style is eclectic, there are common themes of sentiment and the transient nature of people and things that lie behind the images and run through each collection. 
 
What makes the good picture stand out from the average? 
A successful photograph is one that makes the viewer wonder how the photographer made the image or causes them to feel inspired and to stop and think about the artist’s motivation and their own perspective. 
 
Whose work has influenced you most?  
Having a degree in Art History definitely helps with technique, and I have been inspired by a diverse group of artists, such as David Hockney, Irving Penn, Diane Arbus and Andy Warhol. As well, contemporary artists such as Sebastião Salgado, Joyce Tenneson, Cara Barer, Barbara Cole and my friend Lindsi Beth Hollend have influences my art in some way.
 
What type of cameras do you shoot with? 
I shoot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon D850, as well as the iPhone with Moment lenses, as the best camera is the one that’s in your pocket. 
 
What kind of tools do you use for post-processing? 
I mostly use the computer with Lightroom and Photoshop and a few external hard drives to keep my raw image files. I sometimes use the iPad and software and apps to finish the images.  In art school, I find myself giving each image what I think it deserves to make it intuitively feel right to me.
 
What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?
 I enjoy the whole process.  I enjoy “treasure hunting” for objects and places to photograph. Sometimes an image comes out more magical than I could have imagined, and when that happens, it’s the most rewarding! I look forward to whatever comes next, as the organic creative process often allows for many wonderful surprises.

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