All images by Flora Borsi. Used with permission
Flora Borsi is a young fine art photographer from Hungary–and a recipient of Adobe Photoshop’s special 25 under 25 awards. Flora not only shoots, but uses Photoshop to fully express herself creatively. She does this through surreal images that are thematically focused on identity, relationships, emotions and dreams. Above all though, Flora works incredibly hard to create unique images that no one else has–and so she is constantly trying to say specific things through her photos while adding to the current conversations in the world with her own voice.
Flora has had solo exhibitions in Europe and the USA, and recently taken part of a “Continental Shift” group exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. Of course, this hasn’t gone unnoticed–and she has been featured by The Guardian’s Observer and BBC Culture.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Flora: I’ve been working on photo manipulations since I was 11. After that I decided to create my own photos, so I had to learn photography basics. I wanted to create images which are made by me completely. From then on, photography became more important and interesting to me than simple photo-manipulations.
Phoblographer: What made you want to get into conceptual photography?
Flora: Snapshots weren’t enough for me, I wanted to express my feelings, and realize my ideas and dreams. I would like to tell a story, what can be surreal, emotional and conceptual. Photography is a perfect tool to make this. But reality wasn’t enough for me, I didn’t want to do images which could be taken by someone else because of its topics.
Phoblographer: Every photographer and artist tries to creatively express themselves through their work, but surreal work and the work that you create is very special. What do you often feel you’re trying to express most of the time?
Flora: Thank you. I’m trying to be unique. I want to do images which aren’t about me, rather about global feelings, emotions and problems. My inspiration isn’t other artists’ work, it’s my personal life, and it’s unique. I always pay attention to the rules of geometry, the color harmony and the lighting for the appropriate atmosphere of the pictures.
Phoblographer: Where do you pool your inspiration from typically? A lot of it seems to be as if from advertising work while your Lookbook series seems like something totally different.
Flora: My inspirations doesn’t necessarily come from other artists’ topics, it’s about the look. I’m observing the little details, what can be merged into one with totally different meaning. While I’m walking, relaxing, even watching a movie, I’m thinking of pictures, and always trying to force myself to create something new.
Phoblographer: You became one of the Adobe Photoshop 25 under 25. What did that do for you as an artist and photographer? How has it made your business grow?
Flora: It’s the greatest honor in the world of art for me! Adobe selected the most talented artists under 25 years old — It’s really amazing that I’m in this group and officially a part of this awesome collective. For me, it’s not about the business or the money, it’s about true art.
Adobe Photoshop is the perfect tool for me to express my dreams. I work with Adobe every day through my images. For example, I can add an object to my photographs. When the angle, lights and optics match, I can begin to cut them out. When the parts are ready to merge, I do the shadows for all of the objects. After this, I start on the contrast and color modifications before finishing. Without Photoshop, I wouldn’t be able to do this. I don’t have to drown myself in endless hours of building the stage or hiring several professional models or costume designers. I’m free to do anything that I want, without any additional expenses. This is how my own dreamy reality can come true in a day. The investment in Photoshop will always come back multiplied. All I need is me, my camera and Photoshop! For me, Photoshop is the most important software in the world of artists and designers.
Phoblographer: When you go into the studio to shoot with models, how much do you tell them about the work you’re trying to create? Do you storyboard at all?
Flora: I usually do self-portraits, so all I have to do is properly plan the poses. It’s easier because I can reach my goal without explaining it, but harder to get to the look of what I imagined. I also look into the mirror and copy the movement of what I imagined before. When I have the closest result, I sit down and begin the post production. Usually I know what I want and what to retouch, move or colorize. With the coloring method, I usually play around and try out what could work. Then, I arrange the works together and write the story.
Phoblographer: What’s next for you as a photographer? What goals are you trying to fulfill?
Flora: I’m happy about whatever comes to make my career grow. I don’t want to plan anything, my destiny will choose the story. Although I’m learning something new every day, and that’s what I have to add to my artwork.