Nadya Kwandibens is an inspired young photographer with a fervor for people, life, travel and art. Nadya’s intuition reveals a side of her subjects hidden in the plays of light that attract her critical eye.
I watch; I really watch people a lot, and their little mannerisms that they do, how they walk, how they move, where they look when they speak. Just little things like that, you can really watch a person, and I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve been trying to explain this to people for a while; you can just get what a person’s about and how they are, just by watching the little things that they do. Which can turn into questions that; ultimately make a good photograph.
There’s something in the moment when I’m taking a picture, it’s not the actual process of dialling switches, and knobs, and pushing buttons. It’s more so, having to do with the spirit of the moment, and often times what will happen is I’ll get goose bumps when I’m shooting. It doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen, quite a fair bit and that’s when I know it’s just going really, really well, we’re connecting. And it’s not just in the one on one sessions as well events can have a spirit, places can have a spirit and I’m just able to pick up on that.
I don’t get my influences from anywhere. Really it’s just looking around and being in the moment and spending time with people. That’s just where it comes from. Because if I have somebody else’s work in mind, then I’m not being myself, I’m not giving a session that justice it deserves the originality it deserves.
You can choose to see, either a scene or a situation that you’re going though in life as either: beautiful, ugly, good, bad, or a blend between all of that. And creativity for me means, being able to see, even though it might not look like you’re in a good spot right now. There’s always something good and beautiful in it, in every moment that you go through. That’s basically another part of how I live, and how I approach my work.
I work a lot with natural light. So I think creativity for me, when you narrow it down, it comes from being able to just see and watch how light and shadow work together. I started out on a ‘point and shoot’ and people were like “How did you teach yourself?” and all that stuff, or “How did you learn?” And it’s basically just watching light, that’s pretty much all it is.
Success to me means inspiration, being able to inspire other people. That’s when I know I’ve done my job, and at times it can be draining to have to constantly be that, but you keep going and you keep doing it. Because it is reciprocal, people inspire me to do the work that I do. This land we live in, this city that we live in, the country, you know what I mean? It’s reciprocal, it’s all reciprocal.
I guess the main thing that I learned about myself, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, I don’t really believe in that. Is that I am a very lonely person, especially in my earlier work, you can really, really see a lot of… not so much loneliness but maybe, I don’t know what the right word would be but it’s certain sadness about my work. I spend a lot of time alone, and I guess that would inevitably show in the work that I do. So I guess that’s what I’m getting at is a lot of my work has a certain loneliness and sadness about it but those aren’t necessarily bad things. I travel a lot and it totally balances out between the different people that I meet, and the events that I go to and cover like there’s balance in everything so when I’m alone shooting of course it obviously shows in the work that I do. And people connect with that too. I sort of translate that to a greater sense of spirituality that I’ve found in myself as well. So just being able to understand things differently through my photography work and see things differently and to be ok with it. Just to be as open as possible.