All images by Irynka Hromotska. Used with permission.
The love for photography is sparked by things both big and small. For Ukraine-based Irynka Hromotska, those things were as big as her dad’s lot of undeveloped films from his mountain trips, and as small as a few issues of National Geographic magazine. These things naturally sparked her interest not only in travel and photography, but also the pursuit of candid moments. This is very much the meat of her work, whether it’s travel photography or street photography.
For this, Irynka has captured the attention of the folks of Adobe, who deemed her worthy of a spot in this year’s lineup of “Rising Stars of Photography”. She joins nine other talented photographers around the world whose perspectives and interpretations open our minds and expand our horizons. Wanting to know more about her beginnings, motivations, and visions, we got in touch with Irynka and she obliged us with the quick but insightful chat below.
The Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Irynka Hromotska: I think I got into photography because of my dad. Every time when he came back from the mountain trips he used to bring home a lot of undeveloped films. There was something so mysterious and magical in seeing images from other places and hearing stories about them.
I also remember my parents used to collect National Geographic Magazines. We didn’t have a lot of them, but the ones we did — I knew every frame, from cover to cover. And I used to think that people who made those photos should have been almost superhumans, you know, because the photos were so full of life it just seemed crazy.
Then I got older and my dad bought a new camera without film. It wasn’t even a DSLR, it was just a 11 Megapixel camera used mostly for the family photos. I used to play with it a lot, take photos of flowers and my parents and sister. I remember I was the happiest when I was lucky enough to catch some candid emotions of my sis.
Pursuing the candid moment — that’s probably still my thing.
The Phoblographer: What made you want to seriously creatively get into it?
Irynka: Probably the feeling that I really need to keep doing it in order to be happy. And also letting go of the fear of failing and comparing myself to others. I just told myself that yes, I’m probably going to fail and then fail again, but that’s okay. Maybe after some time I’ll get better and a little better after that — and that’s what matters most. It’s like jumping with a parachute — you just need to let go and make the first step.
Does this answer even make any sense?
The Phoblographer: Where do you feel you pull lots of your inspiration from these days?
Irynka: From people. Always. It just feels to me like every person is his or her own theater, movie or art piece. There’s always so much going on in everyday life. Everybody is living his or her own romance or comedy, or maybe even some political drama.
But from a more practical point of view, I think I get a lot of inspiration from movies and paintings and other people’s works, especially old black and white reportage pictures. I usually look through the photos of today’s active photographers that I admire. I could look through their photos for hours and still wouldn’t be tired.
The Phoblographer: Tell us about a big project you’re in the middle of working on right now.
Irynka: I think my biggest project right now is to figure out how to create every day and still properly adult.
The Phoblographer: Where do you see yourself a year from now as a photographer? Got any plans?
Irynka: Yesterday, I found out that I’ve been accepted to the 2-years master’s program in journalism. Super excited to study photojournalism there! So in one year, I’m seeing myself being a student, studying and creating new projects about women and children in my society.
I feel like I’ve been traveling for some time, talking a lot about people whom I usually didn’t even know that good. So now I feel like I need to give back to my community and talk about them, about the stuff that matters to them and to me.