Isik Sonenshtain, in the past couple of decades I have specialized in branding. Recently, I started practicing photography in my spare time, looking for my photographic perspective.
It began in 2015, when I sought a refuge from the stresses of life and work. That moment, when you are completely absorbed in a limited tableau, defined by the camera viewfinder, is a moment that is purely yours and yours only. Looking at a picture that only you can see, a story that is only yours to tell, to comprehend.
As time passed and the number of frames grew, I began to find my photographic world – what meant more to me, moved me, what photographic crime scene drew me back, again and again. I came to understand that to me, photography is first and foremost a story: the story of a place, of characters, of a distilled moment never to return. That photography is a sentimental, saddening act, immortalizing the past, which, in a combination of circumstances, can inspire.
For me, looking at works by the great photographers, past or present, is a journey to a world gone by, a world that is funny, painful or surprising. A journey enshrouded by sadness for time gone by, places never visited, people never met, a story you happen upon. Thus, the three photographers who most inspired me, each in his or her own way, are all from other worlds, distanced by culture, time and place. Although there is no connection between them, they are connected naturally.
In the past – Vivian Maier, the photographer who was discovered a moment after she was gone. Her photographs are vintage testaments to a life gone by, never to return, to an enigma that will never be solved, to a sadness never understood. In a parallel, but distant, universe – Alex Webb, with his magical treasures from colorful worlds both happy and sad, his eye-catching neoclassical compositions revealing unsettling perfection. And from here and now, close-distant – Felix Lupa, the photographer who let me understand that I too, am a photographer.