Meet the Pros: Tiana Markova-Gold Alienates Images to Create New Ones

Interested in the representation of women in society and media, Tiana Markova-Gold's work in photography has led her to Morocco and other places. She also works with the medium of collage and blends her own photos with old images from postcards and magazines. Read all about her creative process in our interview!

How long have you been a photographer and how did you get started?

I have had an interest in photography since I was a teenager, though at that time my primary focus was on dance and it wasn’t until several years after I stopped dancing that I began to pursue photography more seriously. My path in life has not been very traditional. I stopped going to high school and started living on my own at a young age. I’ve traveled a lot, often on my own. At first I made photographs mostly to record or document the people and places I encountered, the moments that moved me, but over time I became more focused on telling specific stories and addressing particular issues. In 2006 and 2007, I attended the full-time photojournalism/documentary program at the International Center of Photography and have been working in photography since.

In one of your recent projects you work a lot with collage. How did you get the idea and what are some of the challenges of that approach?

I began to work with collage in my most recent project, a collaboration with writer Sarah Dohrmann, about prostitution and the marginalization of women in Morocco. While we were in Morocco we used collage as a tool for experimentation with combining text and images and also as a method of creatively processing the work we were doing. I began cutting the photographs I was making and piecing them back together, layering and juxtaposing the images. I began to use the collages as a way to protect women’s identities when necessary. I started to experiment with manipulation of my photographs as a way to explore ideas around representation and perception, sexuality, the idealization and/or demonization of women’s bodies and, specifically within the context of my work in Morocco, the legacy of colonization and the impact of Orientalist representations of North African women.

One of the main challenges in working with collage is that it is no longer strictly documentary work in the sense that it is no longer documenting without manipulating the image. As a photographer who has worked almost exclusively with documentary/reportage until now, I am challenged with finding new outlets for the work and new sources of funding as many of the outlets and sources I have previously worked with are primarily for journalism.

You also blend your own pictures with images from postcards or magazines. In photography, a double exposure would be something similar to that. Where do you see the possibilities of two images complementing each other?

I am very interested in how women are represented and perceived in visual media, particularly in regards to women’s sexuality. In my most recent work I became very interested in looking at archival images of North African women, particularly the colonial Orientalist postcards made primarily by French photographers in the early 1900’s. These postcards, often in series called Scènes et Types, featured staged portraits of nude or semi-nude North African women in highly exoticized postures, costumes and settings. It is documented that the models for these photographs were almost always prostitutes, which I found very relevant to my work in Morocco. I began to experiment with juxtaposing these images with my own photographs as a way to visually articulate some of the complicated and layered experiences and perceptions of women in Morocco. I am interested in the way a collaged image or an image that layers or juxtaposes more than one photograph can trick the eye; how the viewer can see one thing and then re-focus their eyes and see something else entirely. I find that the impact of two particular images seen together can be very different than the impact of just one – the reading of each informs the other.

You’ve worked in many different countries like Macedonia, Brazil and Nigeria. Do you have to adapt your style of working depending on the country you are in?

Each place has its own challenges, whether it is communication, transportation, social mores, or otherwise. The more I travel and work in different countries I find that there are more similarities between each place than there are differences. It has been my experience that if I am honest and treat people with respect I am usually able to work in any situation.

What is your advice for someone starting out as a professional in your field?

I think the most important thing is to work from an honest and personal place, to look inward as much as you look out. The most powerful work is always the work that the photographer really cares about and invests themselves in. I think a lot of photographers go for what they think editors will like or what will sell, but they don’t really connect with the people or the stories they are photographing. If the connection isn’t there the work will lack longevity and depth.

Please share a trick of yours that will always result to a great photo.

Look at the light. Photographs are made out of light; beautiful light makes beautiful photographs.

Lastly, do you have any new projects coming up? Anything we should watch out for?

I will have a small solo show of my work from Morocco, titled Scènes et Types, at the Camera Club of New York in April-May 2013.

You want to hear more from professional photographers? Check out the other interviews in our Meet the Pros series.

written by bohlera on 2013-04-25 in #lifestyle #professional #tiana-markova-gold #analogue-photography #meet-the-pros #black-and-white #art #analogue-cameras #photography #interview

More Interesting Articles

  • All About Weddings: Michelle Lange and the Petzval Lens

    written by givesmehell on 2015-05-22 in #people #lomoamigos
    All About Weddings: Michelle Lange and the Petzval Lens

    A wedding photographer based in New Jersey, Michelle Lange is all about weddings and engagements. After her own wedding and spending years on wedding research, she decided to take the plunge, pursue her passion and create a dream career. In this interview, she talks about her passion and her work, and showcases a series of photographs she shot with a Petzval Lens.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-05-23 in #gear #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    Sonja started her analog adventures during her teenage years. She took her first film photographs when she was 13 and has been in love with the magic of the process since. Her idea of a perfect day involves developing film rolls while listening to jazz and having a cup of tea in between. In this interview, she recalls about her experience with her first Lomography camera, a Holga 120 CFN.

    2
  • Colorful Flower Ladies with Revolog Kolor and 460 nm films!

    written by blackfairy on 2014-06-18 in #reviews
    Colorful Flower Ladies with Revolog Kolor and 460 nm films!

    I was inspired by the work of Lara Kiosses and her photographs of women and flowers. I just thought they were so beautiful! What is the secret? She lovingly superimposes pictures of flowers and women to obtain surprising and dreamy images.

    1
  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Daniela Majic's Secret Garden Through the Petzval Lens

    written by givesmehell on 2015-05-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Daniela Majic's Secret Garden Through the Petzval Lens

    Daniela Majic is a Canada-based portrait photographer who tells unique, dreamy, and fairy tale-like stories with her camera. She blends her love for fashion and craft-making in creating a theme that seems magical. Here's an interview with Majic along with a series of photographs from her latest work shot with the Petzval Art Lens, "Secret Garden," which wraps around a very intriguing concept.

  • SAME*FRAME / DIFFERENT*VIEW Exhibition: Lomography Vienna

    written by efrost on 2014-11-17 in #events
    SAME*FRAME / DIFFERENT*VIEW Exhibition: Lomography Vienna

    An image in a thousand worlds. Eva Staber travels with her medium format Diana F+ camera to different places to capture subjects in their uniqueness and unfamiliarity. Her work finds a home at the Lomography Embassy Store in Vienna for an upcoming exhibit.

  • Petzval Amigo: Chloé Vollmer-Lo

    written by annoushka on 2015-05-27 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Petzval Amigo: Chloé Vollmer-Lo

    Chloé Vollmer-Lo's photos speak for themselves. Every image, whether it's a portrait or a seemingly simple snapshot of a street alley, tells a story. The Paris-based photographer tested the New Petval Lens 85 recently, and the results, as expected, speak volumes. She talks about her experience as a freelance photographer - and with the New Petval Lens 85 - in this exclusive interview.

  • Shop News

    Belair X 6-12 City Slicker Back to Back Bundle

    Belair X 6-12 City Slicker Back to Back Bundle

    With your overwhelming support, we have run out of Belair Instant Backs! We'll restock it in April, but don't worry because the Belair Instant Camera is readily available to satisfy your instant cravings!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: The Comeback of Diane Sagnier!

    written by lomographyfrance on 2015-04-15 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: The Comeback of Diane Sagnier!

    Perhaps you already know this young and beautiful woman? Yes, you’re right: she was one of our previous LomoAmigos! This time around, Diane Sagnier tried the Petzval Art Lens with her analog Nikon camera. Let’s find out more about her work in this exclusive interview!

  • Brigette Bloom Talks 'Float On,' Film Soaking

    written by chooolss on 2014-08-07 in #lifestyle
    Brigette Bloom Talks 'Float On,' Film Soaking

    Her choice of soak for her photographic series "Float On" may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it can't be denied that something so unique deserves a spot in the limelight. During a recent chat with Brigette Bloom, the outlandishly experimental film photographer eagerly shared her inspiration for the series, process (a tipster!), and what she thought of people's reactions over her work, among other things. Check out the exclusive interview after the cut!

    6
  • Angela Izzo on Shooting with the Diana Mini, Photographing Musicians, and Then Some

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-29 in #people #lifestyle
    Angela Izzo on Shooting with the Diana Mini, Photographing Musicians, and Then Some

    While many of us can only dream of working with musicians and photographing them, Angela Izzo's job entails exactly that. Apparently, this is a fulfillment of her own dream that she had when she was younger. In this interview, Izzo talks about her beginnings which, of course, included going to as many shows and festivals as she possibly can; some of her most memorable on-the-job-experiences with the likes of The Doors, Lykke Li, Jack White, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Chris Robinson Brotherhood; her inspirations and other interests; and her love for film photography and Diana Mini. And to those looking into fulfilling their own dreams of working in the same industry, Izzo also shares helpful advice based on her own experiences.

  • Shop News

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Feed your LC-A 120 the finest emulsions and save!

    Shoot more with LC-A 120 without breaking your budget! The Phoblographer Editor’s Choice Award Winner now comes in a Bundle with 120 format film at 15% off!

  • Newcomer of the Week: analogeanstalten

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-09-21 in #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: analogeanstalten

    Her interest in photography started when she saw a shop in Vienna selling cameras with her name "Diana" printed all over. She then applied as an intern in Lomography Germany where she had a great time getting on the analogue grind. Let's all give our cheerful and perky Newcomer of the Week, analogeanstalten, a warm welcoming hug!

    2
  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Australia's Naomi Frost

    written by borisb on 2015-01-12 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Australia's Naomi Frost

    Naomi Frost is a photographer based in Australia who specializes in alternative portraiture. She took photos with the new Petzval lens recently, and shares her photos and insight in this exclusive interview.

    1
  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    written by lomographyfrance on 2015-03-25 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Justine Jugnet

    Justine Jugnet is a French photographer based in Lyon who loves fashion photography. She recently took the Petzval lens to shoot with in Paris. Get to know more about her and her wonderful way of shooting the world around her in this exclusive interview.

    7