Every week we share on Instagram one of our favourite images from the most recent edition of the Sony World Photography Awards and explain why we love it. At the end of every month, we share those weekly pics on our Stories, asking you to vote (or 'Like') for your favourite. December's winner is Cristina Venedict, a photographer shortlisted in the 2022 Creative category for her intriguing portrait. We interview the photographer to find out more about her practice.
Your winning photograph is a portrait with intriguing lighting - there is a neon strip that shines on the model's eye. Can you tell us how you came up with this idea?
This photo is part of a series called "The impossible dream". It is a photo full of mystery and seemingly unanswered questions. The light opens, as it were, a door of inner hope, an easy approach to the new, to change. It is an intimate, vulnerable, questioning moment, shrouded in mystery but also in a slight optimism due to the light that appears on the woman's face. Each of us has moments of vulnerability and I want to convey to people that it is normal, it is part of us and each of us is vulnerable at one point or another in life. It is important to know how to manage our feelings and our lives. Let's love each other and give love in turn.
You were shortlisted in last year's Open competition in the Creative category, what advice do you have for photographers thinking about submitting their work to this category?
Creativity is the key to the unknown in us and is an opportunity to free ourselves and show the world the part of us that makes us unique. Freedom, discovery, to give free rein to our creativity and originality.
You took up photography because...
I started photography, at a time when I was asking myself many questions about what makes me happy, and what is that something that fulfills me and makes me truly be me. It came as a revelation, in a moment when I was talking with a colleague and she sent me a photo that made me feel that this is what I wanted to do: photography. This is how my journey began, full of passion, enthusiasm.
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your photography?
Degas, Picasso, Toulouse Lautrec and many others were the ones who have marked the strokes and rich experiences that you feel when you see a work created by them. During high school and college, I was extremely passionate about fashion. I had collections of fashion magazines, trying all sorts of combinations, and I was even pretty creative fashion combinations. All that surrounds us, fashion, lifestyle, human warmth and beauty, are an influence on me!
What characteristics do you need to become a photographer?
Passion is what connects a photographer to a camera. If you are passionate, the rest comes naturally.
Favourite photographic quote?
“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” – Peter Adams