Hello, my name is Vlad Mihuțoiu and I am currently living in Bucharest, Romania. I am 23 years old and I’m in my second year at the University of Arts in Bucharest.
I am mainly a film photographer, but I also like to shoot short movies and develop new skills in the creative field.
What are the rules of your photographic work?
Let me tell you a quick story.
When I first started photography.
I was amazed by literally everything around me!
So I started playing around with a point-n-shoot, shooting my friends, places around the city and a bunch of random things I thought looked cool on the spot.
But soon I realized that I was creating some patterns;
My visual approach is more focused on how to create a really special, intimate space for the subject in focus.
Taking portraits was the perfect occasion to get close, to freeze on those details that I found unique, different from the usual approach.
I am one of those people that want to do all things in the world, so I am sure that my creative awareness will shift in the upcoming months but I think I figured out what keeps me going.
Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes the difference?
I honestly think that it comes down to personal preference.
For portraits and fashion related work I tend to pay more attention to aspects like styling, make-up, body and facial expression and that’s the best part because you can create amazing & unique compositions that nobody came up with before.
On the other hand, lighting is key, so try and use that to your own advantage.
From my personal experience I prefer to use a handheld light meter just because it’s more accurate and I simply don’t trust most of the in-built meters.
So that could be an important step towards nailing your exposure.
Practice, don’t be scared to try some bracketing.
Because, trust me, it will make you feel more confident.
How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?
I usually take some time to get to know the subject I am portraying, I think that is really important because it allows me to get a bit more personal in order to create that unique, intimate look.
Also, another aspect I pay attention to is the location I will be using.
What I like to do is take one or two days per week and just go out for a run and scout different spots. Try and make the best out of the city you live in, even though I know that sometimes it feels like everything has already been used thousands of times.
I feel like you can play with the spot you’re using in so many ways, you just need to be creative.
I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.
We all want to have our personal style and create a look that nobody thought of so far.
What I can say is that I was a total nerd for tricks like these in my early days. Then I started getting into things like different formats, filters, overexposing film / bracketing and extension tubes (cuz I am addicted to close-up portraits).
So use whatever fits your vision and don’t be scared to experiment.
You will eventually develop your unique personal style and vision.
Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?
I am currently shooting with a Pentax 6×7 using a 105mm F2.4 lens. Oddly enough I sold all the equipment I had. But as far as I remember my first camera was a Samsung point and shoot (really odd camera!). Then I switched to an Olympus Mju-ii and later on to a Contax T2.
But then, I got bored of relying only on a point and shoot. Because I didn’t have full control over my camera.
So I started using an old Minolta rangefinder and then, one day, I had the chance to shoot medium format and ever since I never looked back.
The Pentax is what I mainly use for my portrait / fashion shoots but I still find myself going back to 35mm because sometimes it’s just more convenient.
Are there any books you would recommend?
The following three books enhanced my vision so much, a lot of my work is somehow linked to what I learned out of these three:
- BODY by Nathalie Herschdorfer
- Photography / Fotografie by Ad Windig
- A portrait book filled with Jeanloup Sieff’s portraits.
What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?
When it comes to creativity.
I allow myself to get inspired by a lot of things.
Doesn’t matter if there’s a thing I previously saw while lurking around the city, a detail from a movie or something I read in a book / magazine.
All of them push me to get better and come up with new ideas for my future projects. Also, there are a lot of new faces on youtube so don’t be shy to get some more inspiration from that platform.