9.28.2005

They tend to use it to their advantage


they tend to use it to their advantage
Originally uploaded by _rebekka.

nevrchild -
Rebekka, can you give us some background, kinda let everyone know who you are and what you do for a living?
Rebekka - well... in short, I'm a student at Iceland's academy of the arts, studying for a B.A. in visual arts .. and a single mom of two boys.. my art/photography pretty much take up all the time that doesn't go into raising my kids..
nevrchild -
I also read you are a "self taught portrait artist", tell me a little about that and how it started
Rebekka - How it started? hmm..can't really remember.. I've been drawing people since I was tiny.. I started doing realistic pencil drawings from photos when I was 14 and have been perfecting the technique ever since.. started selling them 2 years ago.. I'm now 27... so that's.. 13 years I've been practicing
nevrchild -
And photography, Is it something you have grown up with as well?
Rebekka - no.. I wouldn't say that.. I actually only started taking pictures seriously in April of this year (2005).. once I started tho I realized this is what I am supposed to be doing.. I had taken some photography classes, learned how to develop film and make prints, but all my digital know-how has come from my own experimentingg
nevrchild -
what in particular sparked your interest in photography as an art form
Rebekka - hmm.... that's a good question.. it just sort of evolved.. I think it was when I started taking macro shots of stuff, and realized photos could be so much more than snapshots . then when I got myself the camera I'm using now I kept seeing new ways of interpreting my surroundings.. and myself of course.. and its just endlessly fascinating to me.. the selfportraits for instance... I know it probably seems like the worst sort of vanity to a lot of people.. but to me its just exploration... I'm also sort of making a character out of myself... an alter-ego of sorts.. that isn't at all what I'm like in real life
nevrchild -
A lot of us are wowed by the technology behind digital imaging, so for all the techies reading this, tell us the camera you've chosen as your tool and why you choose it
Rebekka - I use a canon eos 350d... which I chose to be able to have the full manual option (which I use almost exclusively) .. and I'd heard it was a great camera.. wasn't disappointed
nevrchild -
speaking on the self portraits, which seem to be your most popular shots, how do you come up with the creative ways of photographing yourself?
Rebekka - comes really naturally for me....I'm always thinking and planning my photos before hand, I feel a constant need to keep pushing myself further... be more creative.. find new angles.. I never stop thinking about this stuff..
nevrchild -
before photography, did you take a similar approach in your penciling? Did you draw any self portraits?
Rebekka - yeah, I did.. I have several drawn selfportraits on flickr... I just got a mail now, from some guy on flickr... telling me I'm really overrated, and the only reason for my popularity is because I use my appearance ... (sorry I'm turning the interview around) but id like to ask what you think about that
nevrchild -
your beauty has lent itself to the popularity and appeal of your photographs, I think that goes without saying. I think that what it takes to interpret "YOU" into the beautiful photographs you have taken takes exceptional talent, and furthermore, to produce art, takes every bit of who we are, whether drawing, painting, photographing or writing, our work is at its best when we pour ourselves into it
you had said earlier, "once I started tho I realized this is what I am supposed to be doing..", I share in that sentiment, and if I had the level of talent to create self portraits as well, I would, but I don't, what
I have instead is a beautiful daughter who loves the camera and that part of me becomes my strength as a photographer
We photographers are egotistical to begin with. We believe that our view or interpretation of the world is so unique that we must share it with the world. What photographer has never attempted a self portrait? I think a lot of people may be jealous of the fact that as difficult as self-portraits are, you do it well, consistently. Shake the haters off girl!
Rebekka - yeah, I looked through your photos earlier.. Your daughter's adorable. how old is she?
nevrchild -
My daughter is nearly 14months and potty trained!
Rebekka - well that's something to be proud of! mine were much older when they accomplished that tho I can hardly remember what it was like when they were that little..
nevrchild -
your sons are beautiful. they look a lot like you, daddy got his butt whipped in the gene pool!
Rebekka - their dad isn't a part of their lives at all. just quit on them.
nevrchild -
sorry to hear that
nevrchild -
I'd like to move on to more technical discussion. When I saw your photographs, I remember thinking, "how did she do that?" Do you mind discussing some of your trade secrets?
Rebekka - well, I'm not too thrilled about revealing tricks.. but try me..
nevrchild -
you just recently uploaded "psycho" which comes from latest series of multi-exposure shots where you and your subjects are featured multiple times. how did you go about that?
Rebekka - its a lot easier than it looks.. I will tell you how this is done.. the camera is mounted on a tripod, you take several pictures with the exact same frame, moving yourself (or whatever subject your working with) around the frame in each photo, and then use one of the photos as a background and merge parts of the others into it using photoshop.. I wasn't taught how to do it so I'm not sure if my method is the same as that used by others, but I use the "clone " tool.... can't really explain it any better in words alone
nevrchild -
You have found some very creative ways of using this technique. Where do you draw your inspiration from? What is your creative process?
Rebekka - well, I try to imagine an interesting scenario.. some sort of surreal interaction between me and myself... which is exciting for me to create because obviously there's something unreal and out of whack to it.. I think this is the same as with any other technique, its the subject matter, lighting and mood that sets it apart.. not the technique itself..
nevrchild -
absolutely
what type of lens do you use most often?
Rebekka - up until now I only had the 18-55 mm kit lens, but last week got myself the 10-22 mm, which is great .. the recent extra-longexposure night shots were taken with that . well, actually all the most recent ones were taken with the 10-22 mm... lends a rather odd look to my face
nevrchild -
self-timer or remote?
for the self portraits, I mean
Rebekka - both got a remote cable last week as well, don't have the other kind yet.
nevrchild -
where do you want your photography to take you? do you want to go pro, have this as a career, shoot for a living?
Rebekka - yes. definitely
nevrchild -
when will school be completed?
Rebekka - in three years. I just started this fall.
nevrchild -
I just started as well
we have a few things in common
so are you planning to wait to start as pro or are you presently making moves in that direction?
Rebekka - well, I have a contract with a Belgian company called Wallscapes, I dunno if you saw that in my profile, they have 13 of my photos available for printing on canvas, its a new company so I don't know how all that will turn out (meaning if ill make any money off it) but its a start.
nevrchild -
I believe your talent will take you as far as you want to go! Do you have any favorite artist whom you aspire to or are inspired by?
Rebekka - well, off the top of my head I would say Salvador Dali (the surrealist aspect of his art) and the photographer Cindy Sherman (pioneer in original selfportraits)
nevrchild -
both are exceptional talents! To wrap this up, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to talk with me. we could do this all day but maybe should save some for another time perhaps? I'm sure there are several things we could go more in depth about so let's definitely do this again.
any closing words? (insert plug here)
Rebekka - hehe... hmm.. just a sec.. cant think of a single thing of course.. Its always like that when you need to say something clever....

32 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good interview, now I kno more about the person behind tge beauty and the talent.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollopatagonico/

Thu Sep 29, 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't you realized by now that pritty women get really popular real fas ton flickr? I know much better photogs than her and she gets all the play... she sucks!

Thu Sep 29, 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous JENADA said...

Photography is an art. Art is subjective. Subjective opinions are popular opinions when they reflect the taste of the people at large.

Anonymous (above) would like us to believe that Rebekka’s photographs are only appealing because of a physical attraction. This suggests that our appreciation for her work is not subjective, but emotional, illogical, and irrelevant. Get a grip man! Photographs are designed to capture, and evoke emotion! A technically perfect image is pointless without it.

The FACT that this photographer can be described as “popular” means she must be doing something right.

Thu Sep 29, 09:19:00 PM  
Anonymous rebekka said...

the fact that "anonymous" refers to me as a "pritty woman" leads one to believe "anonymous" is an uneducated biased fool, in my oppinion. Theres lots of "popular" females on flickr, posting images of themselves, nine times out of ten completely without any artistic merit, just showing their stuff. If anyone views my pictures and is unable to see more than a shallow exhibitionism in them (and its not like all my photos are of myself) thats their problem. I personally dont think i suck at all:)

Fri Sep 30, 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger bluecheese said...

The interview was fun to read!
I love rebekka's photographs, she's one of my favorite photographers on flickr. Your creative ideas totally rock, rebekka.

Thanks for taking the interview and posting it Chris.

cheers

Fri Sep 30, 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger gutta said...

Personally I think Rebekka is a great photographer, BUT I have a really hard time separating her physical being with her art. She is obviously a very sexy woman with a great eye, but I find _her_ presence in the picture distracting. It's a perception thing, if I didn't know it wasn't her in the picture and not just a paid model, I wouldn't have the problem. Stupid I guess.

But there's a slew of men on Flickr (and probably in Real Life) that have a serious crush on Rebekka, some to an almost embarrassing degree.

What can I say? I love her photography, she's a babe.

Gutts

Fri Sep 30, 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger wiredjazz said...

Rebekka's work is great. She's hot and everyone knows it but I think once you get over the 'wow. a new photostream by a hot girl' factor and settle into looking at her stream everyday (and EVERYBODY does, rebekka gets a page of comments very quickly after posting something) you get used to seeing Rebekka's face in the photos and can sit back and view them as artistic rather than narcissistic.

great photos rebekka,
thanks for the interview chris.

Sat Oct 01, 01:08:00 AM  
Anonymous rebekka said...

hehe. thanks guys:)

Sat Oct 01, 03:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gernot H. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sat Oct 01, 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous bekka_lover said...

"... I just got a mail now, from some guy on flickr... telling me I'm really overrated, and the only reason for my popularity is because I use my appearance ... (sorry I'm turning the interview around) but id like to ask what you think about that"

of course you're overrated: an intelligent and beautiful woman is a curiosity and a threat.
Since we all love freaks and being challenged by risks... Q.E.D.!

Wed Oct 05, 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Great interview. Really like Rebekka's photographs, BUT, she is DEFINITELY obsessed with herself and her appearance. She even drew attention to herself by asking the interviewer whether or not he thought she was obsessed with her appearance -- how shallow and obvious!!! Again, she is a great photographer, but if she REALLY wants to be good, she needs to take some magical shots of something other than herself -- it's trite and boring and self indulgant.

Wed Oct 05, 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Rebekka said...

ahem.... Before you say its trite, boring and selfindulgent, you may need to question how well you know me or my reasons for taking selfportraits... In short, you dont know anything about my life or my personality and background, and have no idea why its important for me to study myself (not just my appearance but my personality)
Furthermore, there are hundreds of photos in my photostream of all sorts of subjects other than myself.. Perhaps you only viewed the selfportrait set?
Accusing me of being shallow holds little impact when done in such a shallow, uninformed manner. Quite unnecessary.

Wed Oct 12, 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, totally overrated. try something new, you are getting boring to look at.

Fri Oct 14, 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Rebekka said...

hmm..
the obvious thing for you then would be to go look at something else..
i was under the impression the internet was crammed with stuff other than pictures of me:)

(and i might add: saying unpleasant things under anonymity is lame as hell)

Sat Oct 15, 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Ernesto said...

Bekkah I think that you don´t need spend your time in answer to anonymous people, undercover behind a keyboard, keep with your fantastic job, and is obvious that this people only saw your set of selfportraits, your work is much more than this fabulous pics.

take care

Ernesto

Tue Oct 18, 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ikasam said...

Hi Rebekka, I fully agree with Ernesto. You need not honor these anonymous remaks with a serious answer. They are so stupid they disqualify themselves.

Ikasam

Wed Oct 19, 07:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Velvet G said...

It's funny. I guess the internet does allow the less brave to take shots at people who are at the top of their game.

I spent just a little time talking to Rebekka and found her to be amazingly down to earth considering the ego her popularity could justify.

I think it's a case of sour grapes that makes people criticize her. Obviously, she doesn't really need anyone to defend her because she does a damn good job of it herself.

I think when people have the talent to make a name for themselves, they find that there's less of a need to try to strip people of theirs.

I guess I'll never understand the need to stand outside of a restaurant hiding behind sunglasses crying "The food sucks here". Why waste the time? Go eat somewhere else if you don't like what's on the menu.

Thu Oct 20, 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Toph said...

I find it interesting that people often have such a hard time viewing film imagery, whether it be movies, television, or photography, and separating the image from the subject as a person. For whatever reason, people tend to apply a contextual narrative much more readily now to the subjects of photos. We see a self-portrait of an attractive woman, we create a story in our mind as to who this person is, and that becomes our truth for their art.
This is really just a person, however. Think of it this way: when all we had was paint or charcoal to create images that represented people, the viewer did not bring this level of narrative or context to the work; they saw what was represented as just that: a person who had posed for a portrait. The issue wasn't about the subject, it was about the artist and their technique and skill, whether it was a self portrait or not. Examine the lighting, the perspective, the balance, the geometry, the unique style of the artist. Even today, we still view painting in this manner, as well as sculpture, drawing, etc.
Yet photography isn't viewed by people in this way, especially when it's presented outside of a formal gallery. I don't know if this is because photography is such a young artistic medium (being only about 150 years old) or if it's because cameras are so ubiquitous and easy to use. We even have them in our phones now. Taking a picture is, to most people, as easy and commonplace as looking at their watch or tying their shoe (activites that are hardly considered "art"). And when most people take a photo, they do so as part of a narrative, to show where they've visited, who they spent time with, and, in the end, how they would like to be represented.
I think this is why there's such a backlash at times against artists like Rebekka. I don't know Rebekka, and I would think very few people who've seen her work do, yet a lot of those people have clearly transposed their perceived narrative of who she is onto her work, negelecting (or simply ignoring) the character of the work as art in favor of focusing on the character of the subject instead.
As I wrote, this is really just a person, however. She has kids, she has classes to go to, and she has a complicated, busy life, just like many of us. She goes to the grocery store, she does laundry, and she makes art. It's so difficult to prioritize that, making art, and yet she does it.
Is the art good? Some of it is, yes, and it's worth discussing. And it's sad that so much time has been spent by people talking about the artist's persona and so little time has been spent really analyzing her work. If she were painting or drawing self portraits, would we even be having this discussion?
As I said, I don't know Rebekka, but I do know she is a person and she is an artist. If I am being presumtuous, I apologize to her, but I suspect she is not asking any of us to consider her as a person when she posts her work, she is asking us to consider her art.

Sun Oct 23, 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Clarins Paris said...

Righto. What's the deal with all the interest in the person named Rebekka? Both she and the internet are beautiful, but in their respective ways. She seems beautiful because she's both articulate and pretty. The internet's beauty stems from the on/off button on your computer. If you don't like it, leave.

One thing, though, a female Jewish banker told me about female professionals who also are blonds in NYC. They initally are placed on a pedestal with adoring oos and ahs, but the general hope and expectation is that they'll fall from grace and die (perhaps not literally). However, there are a few blondies, that are able to manage expectations and skillfully use their pedestalian position well. The point of the story is that, for Rebekka, not everyone wishes her well (for whatever reason), but if he manages to tread the water well, we may someday see her pictures on display in the Whitney Museum or on Oprah with Celine Dion.

Pís.

Thu Nov 10, 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is a very cute girl, but hugely overated for it, this is the shallow world we live in ...

Don't mean to say that she sucks, but she's not an artist by far, she's just hot. But who knows, maybe in a few years she'll get better.

Wed Nov 16, 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yes, I am talking about your work, about the pictures. I have looked through the other sets and I can honestly say they are crap. But that's ok, you just started, you are doing fine for a beginner.

P.S.
I'm not HIDING behind anonymous replies, I just don't have an account. If you want I can give you my full name, address, phone number and shoe size. But then we would be talking about me and that's a different subject

Wed Nov 16, 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger DisabledTrucker said...

Rebekka,

Having seen all your photographs, I personally like the ones of your kids and the sceneries you take more than I do of the ones of you, not to say that they aren't great as well. It's just that's more of my interest, pictures of others and sceneries. I look for one day in the near future seeing your photos rivaling paintings from ancient artists such as Leonardo Divinci, Vangouh, and others. Keep up the excellent work, and thank you for allowing us to be able to grace the beauty that comes through your eyes in your photos. I know I for one could well be one of the reasons your site has tons of hits on it, because I am constantly going back there and reflecting on your pictures over and over again. I have found myself spending many an hour just reflecting on your works, and each time I look at them, I swear I see something different about or in each one.

DisabledTrucker

Sat Dec 03, 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger DisabledTrucker said...

Shoot it wouldn't let me go back and edit my comment, but I meant to say that I looked for one day in the near future seeing Rebekka's photos riving paintings from ancient artists such as Leonardo Divinci, Vangouh and others in the auctions, as there are a few now that are just priceless.

Sat Dec 03, 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your pictures are cool. Simply said. I think they show imagination, patience, curiosity and obvious visual talent. Whether you are overrated or not I can't say since I have never seen a rating of you.

The fact is you are a photographer and people have something to say about your photographs. Many people. For many artists that's the point. The worst thing is to take a picture and no one has anything to say about it.

Those who choose to attack your personality based on the pictures that you take are silly people. They should post a link to their work and show how they have done much better.

Good luck.

Wed Dec 07, 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous jon said...

anonymous...dude(tte) be quiet you *are* hiding.

it's just as easy in your comment to identify yourself. but you don't, so you can say someone's work is "crap".

i would suggest you read toph's comment (very well written, and hella insightful). i think you're finding it very difficult (as i did initially) to separate the artist from the person, whom you apparently think is exploiting their good looks.

it wasn't until is saw r's drawings that i really realized that she definitely's got real chops. i was originally like "do i dig these shots 'cos they're really good, or 'cos she's good looking"...it's absolutely the case that being easy on the eyes helps being settled in on a picture...but by no means is her work "crap". you're just being stupid.

i am jon madison, and i approve this message. ;-)

(isaidjon on flickr)

Thu Dec 08, 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger PhotoTeacher said...

The only critique I see here sounds like nothing but jealousy.

I see that her photographs take hours of work, so what model would be as patient about the process as the artist/photographer herself?   It seems to me that since Rebekka's self-portraits show more "moods" and emotion than flattering pictures of herself, that she more uses herself as the subject because of availability and artistic control than due to any narcissism.   I don't mean to try to read someone else's mind, but that's just how I see it.   Now, that's not to make light of the fact that she is quite easy on the eyes, but that’s only a bonus.   The sheer art of her photographs is the core of her work.   And, I have to admit that the techie side of me keeps wondering "How on EARTH did she do that by herself??" (Just one example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebba/54864193/in/set-580093/)

PLEASE TELL US IF/WHEN YOU PUBLISH A BOOK OF YOUR WORK!

Thu Mar 09, 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Rebekka is a beautiful and sexy woman!

A powerful ambassador of femininity and sensuality!

A loving and well providing Mother of lovely kids!

In my opinion, Rebekka possesses a creative and passionate soul that's been my absolute pleasure to watch as she grows as a photographer and a human.

It's most indicative that she's breaking down walls that surrounded her with her self portraits, and in some sense I feel my appreciation for her and the beautiful images she takes are my invisible hand helping to remove a brick or two!

Fri Mar 17, 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Danek said...

From my perspective as an aspiring photographer, Rebekka's shots make me want to go out and take pictures of my own - sometimes trying to imitate her techniques, sometimes trying something new I thought about whilst looking through her photos. My self-portraits aren't going to have anyone beautiful in them because I'm absolutely dog-ugly, but there's so much to take from Rebekka's photos other than her appearance that TBH I think it's pretty insulting to even bring it up.

And thanks for the tip about using the clone tool - I was using layers and the eraser, which is a more cumbersome way of doing the same thing.

Wed Mar 29, 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger zane said...

Good interview, the Rebecca´s fotos are beautyful, even if it isn´t a great fake.

Wed Apr 19, 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous dmitry said...

I like your photos. Majority of them has some special style and talent.
It's recognizable. For example, I think I'm able to find out if one or another photo is yours or not, even I encountered them scattered among different web sites without name under each of the photos.
It tells something.
Keep going to do a good job!
Congratulations.
You're unique and use the expressive touche in very fine and filigrane way.
It's not visible immediately.
And I feel some freshness and a bit sad and touchy delicate tunes in all of your photos.

Sun Aug 20, 02:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

I do like some Rebekka's photos. Some are truly brilliant. Like the witty duplicity ones.
And I also very much respect, she is a self-taught photographer.

But frankly, many of her shots are just a lot of narcissistic hype. Sorry to say that, but had to be said.

When you get popular beyond a certain limit - and Rebekka is arguably the most popular flickrist - fans start to adore the ground you walk on and will regard as pure gold - even as `ART!' - every lousy trinket you throw to them. And that's really pity, because it makes you lose the critical distance toward your own work and instead improving, it starts to decline fast.

Not to mention that large part of the fan base actually isn't there for `art' - however one choses to define it - but only to slobber all over a young lean sexy woman in various poses and more or less revealing outfits. No help to that I'm afraid. And no point pretending that it isn't the case.

Be as it may, don't let the fame fill your head, because soon there will be no space for quality and creativity left. Or do let it and become yet another notoriously whimsical celebrity. It's entirely up to you.

Sat Sep 23, 05:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Christopher James said...

Great read. It was nice to learn a little more about the person behind the "mask" of talent.

Phenomenal work, both photographic and artistic.

Thu Jun 14, 12:06:00 PM  

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