Bella Kotak is a fine art, creative, portrait and fashion photographer. A lover of art from an early age Bella always knew she was destined to work in the creative industry. Using photography as a vehicle to translate messages of thoughts and imagination Bella's photography has the power to make you feel as though you've entered a new mythical world even if for just a moment. We spoke to Bella about her journey through developing her craft.
LS: How did you first get into photography? and do you remember the first initial point to where you started to explore the more Fairy-tale styled imagery you shoot now?
BK: I actually slipped into photography after pursuing a passion in Photoshop. I wanted to increase my Photoshop knowledge and photography was my tool to experiment new techniques with. However as time went by I fell more and more in love with the art of creating and capturing a moment. It’s now my way of expressing my love of spring, life, fantasy, people, places, and creativity. I love shooting on location and creating magical moments in the everyday.
"I just like to combine whatever fascinates me into a picture and put my own spin on it. That's how you use your inspirations to create something that's uniquely you"
LS: The images you take are breath-taking, what sorts of things inspire you to create these magical/fairy tale styled photos?
Nature, locations, beautiful designs, muses (models that I love to work with over and over again), seasons, stories, illustrations, anime and colours!
It's hard to pinpoint inspirations because I just like to combine whatever fascinates me into a picture and put my own spin on it. That's how you use your inspirations to create something that's uniquely you.
LS: There are so many different elements to your work, what does the creative process look like for you when shooting your imagery.
BK: It’s a similar process whether it’s personal work or when I work with a client - I start out by pulling together all the things that inspire me and start to create a concept for the shoot. After that it’s a case of pulling together all the pieces - the model, location, team, etc. Once that’s done I usually have everyone in a shared whatsapp or IG group and we work out the rest of the logistics of the shoot together.
"Motivation and creativity isn’t going to be strong all the time however you can feed and nurture it by monitoring yourself for signs of burnout, taking breaks"
LS: Just by scrolling through your Instagram feed it feels like for a moment people can escape reality and enter a different world, What types of messages do you like your work to portray to people?
BK: That makes me really happy to hear as that’s one of my main goals, to transport the viewer to another world if only for a moment. I want my work to exist as a pocket of escapism.
LS: As a creative, what is your opinion on creative blocks or ‘hitting a wall’ when trying to come up with new ideas and how do you get re-inspired?
BK: Expect it to happen and be kind to yourself when it does.
Motivation and creativity isn’t going to be strong all the time however you can feed and nurture it by monitoring yourself for signs of burnout, taking breaks, exploring other hobbies, meeting and talking with people in the industry and learning new skills.
LS: The use of colours in your photos are very prominent, how important are colours and the way you use them in your imagery?
BK: I consider colours as another element of storytelling. Colors are incredibly powerful as they set the scene and atmospheric mood of the shot. I’m always thinking of how the colours will add and enhance the voice of the piece.
"it’s really important when you’re first starting out to try anything and everything and that way you’ll figure out where your passion truly lies"
LS: When it comes to shooting a new project or set of photos, what’s one thing that really excites you or lights a fire under you?
BK: When I come across a new location or a model that really inspires me. It makes sense since I know that I connect with people and nature which is what my images celebrate.
LS: Finally, what advice would you give to people wanting to develop their own style of shooting photos?
BK: Prior to the style that I’m known for now I shot everything from children, pets, weddings, corporate headshots, etc. I believe it’s really important when you’re first starting out to try anything and everything and that way you’ll figure out where your passion truly lies.
You can check out Bella's work over on the links below :