Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sandra Goroff talks about her new book of photography, Solitary Soul, never planning a shot, artistry, and so much more

I've known and loved Sandra Goroff for a few years now.  Smart, successful, funny, she's one of those people you feel you can tell everything and anything, too. When she told me she was a photographer and was putting together a book, I immediately told her I wanted to look at it. 

And I was stunned. 

Sandy's photos tell stories. They aren't just a captured moment, but they reveal character the way the best novels do. I'm so thrilled to host her here. Thank you, Sandy! 

Please tell us how you became a photographer and more importantly, why.

I don't think one becomes an artist, a photographer or a writer. I think it is something you are born to, something that develops in you but something that has always been there. I have always been interested in art and photography -- as early as I can remember i would frame images in my mind -- even before I ever owned a camera. As a Scorpio and an empath, I am highly tuned into other's feelings -- overly so -- painfully so, at times -- the images I am drawn to -- in people and things are evocative -- images that stir emotions and move me -- even though, sometimes they are sad.

Your photos have this very subtle eye--you think you know what you are seeing, and then another image seems to shine to the surface. Do you plan your photos like this or do they ever surprise you?

I never plan or pose a shot. I don't work in a studio.  I am always surprised and try to be spontaneous. Taking my camera out for a day is like going to a flea market or an antique show (also something I love). You really don't know what you are going to find, what will catch your eye and what you will go home with. It may take a long time to spot the right shot -- but once I do, the process is very fast -- I don't want to lose the moment. I can zoom in very quickly and i recognize my shot in an instant; my heart begins to beat quickly (maybe like love at first sight).

What went into making a book of photography, the choosing of the photos, the text, the everything. What did you want people to feel when looking at your photos?

One of the great thrills of art in general -- and i think that includes writing as well -- is that each person brings their own life and emotional experiences to a book, painting or photo. We have our own filters and sensibilities. I know what I see -- but i also know each person will bring something different to that experience. I don't want to dictate what that might be. I accept the fact that this is something I cannot control.

What's obsessing you now and why?

I am even more obsessed with photography now than ever before. I literally think about it all day -- whether I am editing, reviewing, tweaking, organizing or actively photographing. My mother was an artist. She passed away last year at the age of 95 but really right up to the end she was obsessed with learning new things about painting (and life); that was the quality i most admired about her and I am proud to think i may have inherited it.

What question didn't I ask that I should have?

What artists or photographers have inspired you most?

Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, John Marin, Dorothea Lang.....What I find interesting is that artists and writers, as they grow, (and age) seem to recognize that there is power in simplicity. Their later works are less complicated. Even Jackson Pollock's chaotic spatter approach became sparser in time. I am drawn to simple images. I love art and grew up with it. Some have described my photography as "painterly," perhaps this is why.

Sandra Goroff
Photographer, Solitary Soul - Available wherever books are sold.

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