Camera:5D Mark III.
Hotel:Kakslauttanen in Finland. (Google it).
Book:The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared. :)
Bella Kotak is a fine art and fashion photographer based in picturesque England. Photography changed her life when she picked up a camera and began a 365 project on Flickr. From that moment Bella Kotak was hooked by this medium that translates thoughts and imagination into tangible form.
Bella Kotak – Fine Art Photographer.
Inspired by fairytales, nature and strong feminine characters Bella’s pictures lift the veil of the overlooked and reminds us that there’s magic in the most ordinary of spaces.
-How did you first become interested in photography?I’ve always been interested in photography, before I even knew that it was photography I was interested in. Any time I saw a picture I liked I’d cut it out and put it on my wall. That goes from anything from the National Geographic magazine to fashion campaigns. I found it all very inspiring. I loved art and photography was an art to me.
-How did you go about becoming a professional photographer?That happened through practice. I was an enthusiastic hobbyist and would share my work on Flickr and Facebook.
One day a friend recommended me for a wedding photography job, after that I was hired for all kinds of jobs ranging from look book shoots to family portraiture. In time I found my passion in fine art and fashion.
-What words best describe your style of photography?I would say magical, fairytale and ethereal.
-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?Canon 500mm f1.4 lens on my 5D Mark III body.
-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?I would say it’s magic in the most ordinary of spaces. I shoot and create in a very organic style. I love creating a moment in the over looked spaces. Nature is constantly changing and I like my work to remind people to notice the beauty around them as it doesn’t linger forever.
-What is your post-production workflow like?I use Capture One to make my selects. I’ll then lightly correct exposures and white balance before exporting a selection of images to Photoshop. It’s in Photoshop where I will compose and colour tone the final image.
-What is your dream project?Travelling the world creating magic or working on a campaign that promotes environmental consciousness.
-What inspires you to create new work?It could be anything really. I’m inspired by nature, stories, people, movies, art, music and beauty… the list is endless. I love the earth and all it has to offer. I want my work to be grounded but also containing that essence of magic that we all feel but can’t hold.
-Do you ever suffer from creative blocks and if so, how do you overcome them?Like every creative, I definitely do have those periods where I feel numb and unable to create anything worthwhile. It’s usually a sign that I need to take a step back, reflect and find my voice again.
I like to think of creative blocks as a chance for growth. Setting myself little goals or mini projects helps get the flow going again!
-What is your top technical tip?Find your lens’ sweet spot! Every lens has one. Google yours.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?This was given to me by a dear friend one evening at her house. She’d just gone through the worse thing a parent should ever have to experience and gripping my arms, her words knifed through me in their clarity.
She said, “You are here for a reason. You were given a gift, a purpose. If you do not heed that call you are failing yourself and failing the world. Share your strengths and don’t deviate from the path you know you have to walk on.”
Prior to photography, I was an architect. It wasn’t my first choice and it wasn’t what I wanted to spend my days doing. I was torn between worlds and her words made me realise how simple it all is. It’s easier to make excuses and imagine our failures before we even try. Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart but ultimately, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.