Slide show video by Kinga Lakner
T: Hi Kinga, Let’s start with the tango part of your life.
Q1: Where did you learn tango and who were you main instructors? What dancers inspired you?
This could be a looong list, as I have photographed quite a few tango couples in Argentina, Europe and home with whom I had a private lesson as well. The inspiration keeps changing, but just to name a few: Fausto and Stephanie, Juana Sepulveda, Anabella and Mario, Mariana Dragone, Andrea and Laszló from home..and many more .
Q2: Did you do any other dances, “bodywork” practices or sports before?
I danced flamenco for quite a while before tango and tried Aikido, Thai Chi a little bit, and lately I just started up with Lindy Hop. Other balance sports and Pilates have helped on the way too.
Oooh, a lot! More small travels in Europe, whereas before I would travel to far way places, many new friends whom I see occasionally, the way I view relationships now, opportunities to work with people anywhere in the world.. more diversity in many ways...
Q5: Is tango an addiction for you?
I would say more like a huge source for creativity and joy and of course a base to grow in many ways of my life …
Q5: When was the first time you tried taking pictures and what inspired you? What was your first camera?
I first started taking photos on a round-the-world trip in the Buddhist parts of South East Asia with a 1.9 megapixel Casio which had a very clever rotating body feature that I loved.
In those times I got inspiration from almost everything around me like cultures, patterns, landscapes, cats, kids… but slowly my attention was more and more focused on people, and especially on the eyes of people, which became a kind of trademark of my current photography.
Q6: Did you have any training in photography or mostly learned through practice? What helped you to develop your photographic style and how you can define it?
I have learnt everything through experimenting, trial-and-error and a great amount of curiosity.
I would say my photographic style is romantic with a huge emphasis on intimacy and inner beauty, and it was mainly shaped through my previous works as graphic and interior designer as well as studies in mathematics, psychology and of course my interaction with the everyday or tango people and the world around me.
Q7: Who are your favorite photographers? (In general and the ones who do dance and tango photography?) Are there any other artists that influenced your vision?
I greatly admire the work of Mario Testino, Alexi Lubomirski, Paolo Roversi, Robert Doisneau and many more in fashion and documentary photography, but other visual artists have also influenced me like painters, sculptors or dancers .. but I never really tried to consciously copy anyone, as I what I do is more instinctive I would say ..
In tango I appreciate the work of Ishka Michocka, Mathias Bertrand, Peter Forret.
Q8: What are your favorite genres in photography?
Fashion, portrait, beauty, tango.. or pretty much anything that is connected with creativity, intimacy and passion. There is a similar flow feeling in photography like in dancing, when you experience a great connection and I love that!
Q9: What equipment are you using (if you don’t mind sharing that information) and what are your favorite lenses? Do you prefer working with natural light or enjoy using studio lighting as well?
I like working both with studio lighting and natural light for different results and reasons but maybe my specialty is the use of natural light in a particular way.
Hence my favorite lenses are: a 50mm F1.4 and a 85mm F1.8 , they are from Canon but I have no preference for them, Nikon would also do it for me .
I currently use a very lightweight SLR, the Canon 550D, its compact enough to run around with it but in a studio work for a magazine cover I could just pick any camera I wish, which is a nice way to try out old and new cameras like a Hasselblad for example which I would never afford to buy for myself.
Q10: When did Argentine tango came into your life? How long have you been dancing tango and what inspired you to try it? When was the first time you realized that this dance can be something special for you (started enjoying tango ?
Actually photography had a part in it: After a break-up I discovered a video of Gotan Project with Juana Sepulveda and the lighting really caught my eyes as well as the movements and the subtle details of seduction. I also became intrigued by the beauty and difficulty of the connection between the two dancers and the music.
I actually really enjoyed dancing from the beginning. I loved the playing, the discoveries and the dances.. so I started to have more downs later on when I realized I had not enough technique or training to dance well, or was too impatient with my progress.
In the summer I will dance for about 3 years now and I must say I am very thankful to tango for learning so much about life, people and the relationship between man an woman.. and also for the great friends I got to know along the way!
Q11: Is it hard to combine taking pictures at tango events and dancing? How do you usually balance work and leisure?
No it's not hard at all! I love the combination, I like watching people to dance or enjoy themselves as well as getting lost myself in a dance.
Q12: What was the most unforgettable tango experienced you had and where it was?
I had many for different reasons, the first when I was just barely a beginner and the last I just had on my last tango marathon with a dancer I did not talked before. Great connection with the movement and music and playfulness with a kind of flow-like trance would describe it best.
Q13: What would you recommend aspiring photographers?
I once read an interview about the top fashion photographers that they are trying to achieve every day something new to develop what they did the day before .. and that after your first few thousand photos you start to take the good ones finally..
Q14: … Have you got any hobbies? … What do you enjoy doing in your free time? (apart from tango and photography)
I looove doing crazy and adventurous things like traveling, discovering far away places in tropical jungles and different cultures .. also snowboarding, surfing, or snorkeling and the like.. and to share precious time with some wonderful people.
Q15: Your plans for 2013? If you could work on any project anywhere you want, what would it be?
Photography will take me along many tango event in the first half of 2013, like Lyon, Budapest, Oslo, New York, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rome, Hamburg, Berlin and who knows where else in the second part
My dream project is to work with one of my favorite photographer for a fashion shoot in NY and of course alone for some designer label :))
(interview continued below - blitz questions)
Tell us please what you like most:
- favorite tango music:
Jacinto Chiclana by Antonio Agri, or Troilo and many more.. basically the romantical ones I guess … Canaro, Di Sarli, Calo, Fresedo, Lomuto, Piazzola..
Singers: Roberto Goyeneche, Raul Beron .. Alberto Podesta, Hector Mauré..
Particular songs: Cicatriz, Pocas Palabras, Calle Corrientes, Viejo Ciego, Cascabelito…
- tango DJs:
Godoy, Florin, Caputo, Sab Fab SuperSabino, La Rubia, Katalin Czidor...
- non-tango music:
lots of jazz, maybe Chiquilin De Bachin by Adrián Iaies, or Fats Waller or Melody Gardot… swing... flamenco, world, soundtracks of films, Zaz, Buika, Ayo, Lura, Aerosmith...Mitsoura ... Soda estereo from argentina & others.
Gold with burgundy
- favorite flower?
- favorite dish / food
Thai Panang curry and Szilvásgombóc!
- what is your favorite movie / film?
(name a few if you want)
“Sky Burial”, “I shall wear midnight”, “Stranger in a strange land”, “Ender's game”, “The unbearable lightness of being”, “Hesse”, “Márai”, “Böszörményi”, “Ervin Lázár”, “Valley of Flowers”, “Indochine”, “L'amant”, “Night on Earth”, “La vita bella”, “5th element”, “Hamam”, “the legend of 1900”, etc...
- what place would you choose for a romantic trip?
Belize, Bali, Cuba
- what place would you live if you could live anywhere?
Paris, New York, Burma
- which animal would you like to be if you were an animal in your next life? :)
T: Thank you, Kinga, good luck with your New York trip and all the projects!