Ilona Koval’s work is so imaginative and blissfully intense that one feature just couldn’t do it for me (see A Photo Story by Ilona Koval). Her photographs exude a combined sense of artistry and grace. When speaking with Ilona, she gets right to the point, sharing her love of photography, people, and developing a style all her own.
The Ilona Koval Interview
Hi, Ilona. Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I pursue creativity, it’s a big part of who I am and who I want to be. I jump around from drawing, singing, playing instruments, painting, illustrating, but I feel especially attached to photography. I got my first DSLR when I was 15, and I took the cheesiest pictures that meant the world to me. Now, after developing a style that appeals to people, and allows me to express my vision, I have settled. Black and white film photography, and film in general, was the greatest learning experience of my photography pursuits.
What are you shooting with?
Nikon d750 and a 50mm 1.4 lens. I love Canon too. I tend to go back and forth, but for now, Nikon is doing a perfect job.
What are the inspirations that motivate you to shoot?
I think beautiful light really gets me going. When I see perfect hues I instantly get a creative fever. The work of others, beautiful places, pretty things, feelings, stuff like that serves me motivation.
Are you a self-taught photographer or were you formally educated?
Both self and school taught. Honestly, there is not much to it, but when someone is passionate for a good photo, it works on a bigger scale. Learning comes within time and practice, I feel like it naturally happens as one develops a style of images, or starts to see the world in a different way. Also, I’m in Sacramento State University working for my graphic design degree in which I would love to implement with my photography.
Is there a particular message or feeling you wish to give through your photographs?
I favor wedding and portrait photography among all else. I like people pictures. I like how humanity tries to express itself through small days and big days. No particular message, I’m just on the outside looking in.
How do you feel before a shoot?
I feel anxious to begin. I want it to be in my “life experience book”. It’s always a cool honor when I get chosen to take the pictures. It’s nice to know someone likes the way I see things.
What is your favorite image at the moment?
I like dreamy photos. I took this one super long ago, and it described a lot of my intended direction in photography. I wanted to create something different so I can claim my eye-style. If I can do creative portraits or conceptual photography every day. It would be my favorite life to live.
Here is more work by Ilona Koval and there is much more to see on her Flickr.