Meet Toronto based photographer Steph Martyniuk, soon to be featured photographer of the Lomography Canada+OTM Zine photography exhibit DEPICT: T.O. at the Lomography Gallery Store Toronto! Already working with film, she’s excited to expand her knowledge in Lomography, shooting with the Actionsampler!
Describe your photographic style in one sentence:
My studio stuff is super minimalistic and when I shoot film it’s always really candid, you know at parties, street photos and stuff.
How/when did you discover your passion for photography?
My passion for photography started in high school. We had a darkroom in our school and I spent a lot of time there. My teacher was so sick and showed us videos of Avedon and Helmut Newton. It was the first time anything actually inspired me in school.
Can you give us an insight into your creative process?
If I’m planning a model shoot, my creative process is actually not that crazy. I mean usually what happens is I’ll just find someone I think is interesting or has something neat about them and I want to shoot them. I’m not really into the whole, coming up with crazy editorial fairy tale stories, I’m more raw and real about what’s in front of you and that’s what I want to show in my work. Everyone is different in front of a camera and I like directing people but at the same time, kind of let them do their own thing and see what we come up with. The best thing is shooting people I haven’t worked with before because you never know the outcome. Every photographer-subject relationship is different.
What do you love most about working as a photographer in Toronto? What do you love least?
I shoot a lot of stuff in the studio, which isn’t always in the city so it can be a pain in the ass to get everyone together. But, i love Toronto because there are so many resources to be used and so many up and coming people that would be great to collaborate with.
Dream photograph? (Style, composition, subject. Etc)
Anything with Erin Wasson or Noot Seear in it, they’re so badass.
Top 3 places to find inspiration in Toronto:
There are not really specific things or places that I’m inspired by, it changes all the time. I love weaving through side streets where the surroundings aren’t as crazy. I was shooting last week and walked down a random street off of Queen West a little past Trinity Bellwoods and found this old man hanging out on his porch. A lot of the time when you think of busy city you think of young people, parties and loudness and but there was just something so beautiful about seeing the contrast of this old man, steps away from all of the Queen West busyness and just being so happy about it. When you find something like that, man, it’s so good.
Why are you excited to be a part of the OTM+LOMO: DEPICT T.O. Show?
I shoot because I love photography; working with light, interesting people and the intimate setting of everything. In the end, the people, places or things I shoot, the way I shoot them and the final pictures I select are because I like them. So I’m pretty happy that OTM liked my work enough too, to put me in a show. It’s pretty awesome!