Faces of Snapwire

We often celebrate and admire the beauty of a photograph, but rarely do we get to see who created it. A few months ago we launched a Challenge to discover just that - who are behind the amazing imagery? With over 3,000 submissions, here are a few of our favorite self portraits:

Thank you to all the creators who were brave enough to share a piece of themselves through a self portrait.

See more of the talented submissions here: Challenge: Self Portrait

Interview: Madeline Dignadice

There has been a lot of talk about self portraits this week (check out the Ultimate Guide to Taking Self Portraits and enter our recent Challenge: Self Portrait) so we thought we would dig a little deeper and sit down with one of our creators who specializes in self portraiture, MASTER | Madeline Dignadice.

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Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? What are you passionate about? What do you do when you are not photographing? 

I am a fine art photographer currently based in San Francisco. I am originally from Santa Clarita, CA but moved to the city to study fine art photography at the Academy of Art University.  

I am passionate about experiencing life and sharing it through art. I'm aware of every emotion I am feeling so I can capture it and share it, hoping to connect to others through my art. 

 When I am not photographing myself or nude friends, I am outside walking around or indoors watching films. I believe watching films help photographers understand putting emotions into the visual. For a simple shot in a film like "In the Mood for Love" that has an amazing composition can say so much without the words to guide you towards a feeling. 

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How did you get started in photography? 

I thankfully fell into photography, first as a hobby but soon became a passion and a way of self-expression for me. I received an athletic scholarship for cross country and track from the Academy of Art University, and I chose to study photography because it sounded the most interesting to me. Years later, I am very happy I made that choice because this medium has shaped who I am today. I use photography as a way to understand myself. I have trouble verbally communicating how I feel and so I turn to photography to just document what I feel. It isn't until after, I can start to see and understand what is really going on within. 

Playing with light, color, and movement your self portraits are emotional and curious. What is your inspiration?

My biggest inspiration for self-portraits is Francesca Woodman and Nan Golding. Two very different styles but both very impactful. Francesca Woodman created this dark and intimate world within her images. I feel as if she really documented her emotions, often using motion blur. Her images carry this sadness you can feel within yourself as if we are getting an intimate view of her mind. For Nan Golding, her style was more documentary but just as intimate and emotional. Showing you more details that were easier to understand on the surface but challenges the viewers to take a real look into someone's life.

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Why self portraits? Why use yourself instead of a model?

I tend to photograph myself when I feel like I'm losing myself; when I'm forgetting who I am. It's odd, but when I photograph models it is when I am trying to express how I feel but when I photograph myself it is in search for myself. I believe that we are all highly influenced by the people the social media we surround ourselves with. I have to remind myself of who I am and I go back to my "roots", setting up my camera and self-timer creates a space that is totally free and allows me to be totally vulnerable.

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Do you have any advice or tips for fellow photographers who want to take self portraits?  

-Photograph yourself alone and make space for yourself. Move the furniture around, follow the natural light that is leaking into the room and set up your camera. 

-Play with the space around you. Due to my small SF apartments, a lot of my self-portraits were in a corner next to a window. That confined corner let me be creative with the two walls around me. Challenging me to try new things for different shots. 

-Use your wardrobe or not at all! I like to photograph myself with loose and flowy fabrics. This is another element for you to interact with and adds to the simple details of your image. Or use your body in various poses from different angles, don't be afraid to get close to the camera. 

- I usually put on some of my favorite records when shooting anything! When I am taking self-portraits I usually listen to slower music that helps me slow down and work through the process. 

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Congratulations to our March Challenge Winners!!

Enviormental Potrait  - ADVANCED |  Radu Dumitrescu

Enviormental Potrait - ADVANCED | Radu Dumitrescu

United States Postal Service  - ADVANCED |  Jillian Lynch

United States Postal Service - ADVANCED | Jillian Lynch

Five Senses  - ADVANCED |  SA Oliver

Five Senses - ADVANCED | SA Oliver

Vaping Tricks & E Cigarettes  - EXPERT |  Anastasiia Ostapovych

Vaping Tricks & E Cigarettes - EXPERT | Anastasiia Ostapovych

Boating Lifestyle  - ADVANCED |  Linnette Simões

Boating Lifestyle - ADVANCED | Linnette Simões

Portrait Without A Face  - SHOOTER |  Lia Wu

Portrait Without A Face - SHOOTER | Lia Wu

Banking & Finance  - ADVANCED |  Natalie Maro

Banking & Finance - ADVANCED | Natalie Maro

Green With Envy - MASTER |  Madeline Dignadice

Green With Envy - MASTER | Madeline Dignadice

Minimalist March - SHOOTER |  Olya Ruf

Minimalist March - SHOOTER | Olya Ruf

Architexture - ELITE |  Vedad Ceric

Architexture - ELITE | Vedad Ceric

Your photo could be on next month’s list of winners! Check out what challenges and requests are open now! Happy Shooting!

Challenge: Modern Romance

In February, we launched the challenge “Modern Romance” to encapsulate what love means to you. We asked you to define romance by photographing true love in all shapes, forms, sizes, locations, genders, sexual identities and orientations. Here are a few of our favorites:

SHOOTER |  Jade Abdul-Latif
SHOOTER |  Lia Wu

SHOOTER | Lia Wu

ADVANCED |  Carla Cespedes

ADVANCED | Carla Cespedes

ADVANCED |  Robyn Davie

ADVANCED | Robyn Davie

SHOOTER |  Elsayed Mashaal

SHOOTER | Elsayed Mashaal

ADVANCED |  Kelly Sparks

ADVANCED | Kelly Sparks

ADVANCED |  Hannah Cowart

ADVANCED | Hannah Cowart

EXPERT |  Jason Wash

EXPERT | Jason Wash

ADVANCED |  Anoj Khadgi

ADVANCED | Anoj Khadgi

SHOOTER |  Gaston Boireau

SHOOTER | Gaston Boireau

EXPERT |  Pablo Garcia

EXPERT | Pablo Garcia

ADVANCED |  Hector Mireles

ADVANCED | Hector Mireles

SHOOTER |  Luca Germano Magro

Interview: Nailya Bikmurzina

Snapwire Creator MASTER | Nailya Bikmurzina’s lifestyle work is warm and inviting while her personal work has colder tones and focuses on isolation and graphic lines. After working with her on multiple projects, we sat down with the Berlin based creator to get to know a little bit more about her and her photography.

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Tell us a little about you. What are you passionate about? What do you do when you are not photographing?  What is your favorite color? You know, the important things. 

I have been fascinated with the photography world since childhood, as my first memories are playing with my dad's mechanic film photo camera, just making snaps with different shutter speeds and opening the back of the camera. I came in to being a full time photographer unexpectedly from science after deciding that I don't want to do a PhD after completing a master program. It was a frightening decision, especially when people around you don't understand. However I've made a right choice. Now I'm in the photo and video making world, developing a personal project connecting art and science. 

My favourite color: All shades of blue, or better the color palette of the ocean and the color palette of the sky. They are always making me feel like magic.

Another passion of mine is movement in any forms, connection between mind and body and visual beauty of it. You can call it a lifestyle, but I'm sure it's much deeper than that. 

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How did you get started in photography? 

When I was 17, I took my first analog photos just was because I was curious about it. Then I've got a digital compact camera. It before social media, so I shared the photos only with my friends and in my live journal blog. At some point people start to reach me out to take photos for them and for different events. This is how it all started.

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Your work has is bright and inviting, while still hanging out to the beauty of shadows. How did you develop your style? What inspires you? 

I'm a visual person and hungry for movies and visual art. Color wise, of course, nature inspires me the most. Nothing could be more beautiful. I think I'm still in the process of developing my style and I would love to keep it as an ongoing process. 

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You have worked with us for a variety of buyers, such as Google, Canva, and Ubrands. Tell us about a  project (or two!) you enjoyed working on. Were there any surprises, successes, or struggles? 

I liked the projects with Google Maps because I love to explore new places, locations, perspectives and the way to see new things within familiar streets. I love to be lost in some sense in the places, because then I can see a lot from different angles. 

Do you have any advice or tips for fellow photographers? 

Heh I need a lot of advice for myself. The only suggestion which I surely can share is: no matter what, keep on working.

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Creator Spotlight: February

We think you are sweeter than a conversation heart, so here are three photographers to inspire you this month!

MASTER | Serhiy Hipskyy

Hipskyy takes amazing stock photo portraiture that is visually clean and thoughtful, offering a variety of poses and lifestyle moments.

ELITE | Jason Bodak

Experience the art of center composition through Bodak's imagery.

ADVANCED | Hector Mireles

Whether it is a portrait or landcape, Mireles has a way of capturing light and narrative.

Follow Sehiy, Jason, and Hector on Snapwire for more inspiring shots!