Sibling rivalry? No there is nothing but love when it comes to sisters Amanda and Emma aka ROKOVOY. Raising from British origin and growing up Greece, Germany and the UK the sisters have found working together to be nothing but natural. We had a chat with the now London based photographers to discuss their works, future projects and just where all the dreamy inspiration comes from.
What challenges do you have working as team?
It’s mostly fun working together and very productive so not really any challenges. Working with your best friend is usually easy. Well of course sometimes stuff comes up, like when we both pose together we need to use the self timer and that’s so difficult. It may happen that Emma is usually working very fast and wants everything to be done so quickly and Amanda is taking it slower so then we have a fight. Or we might not be able to agree on some location or date to shoot, but those are just minor things really.
Do you also do separate works individually?
Not anymore, there was no point in it. Sometimes Emma works with Robert Chang, but only as a model. As photographers we are a team, all of our photography work is influenced by both of us more or less so we keep it that way. We do work separately and do our own stuff when it come to other forms of art like painting, illustrating, writing and other stuff, each one has her own distinct style and does her own thing. Though we still do wanna know each other’s opinion from time to time.
What kind of camera/ cameras do you use?
We started out with one Zenit XP and a tiny Agfa camera but we keep getting new cameras and love to try out new ones. Right now we usually work with a Mamiya RZ67 pro II, different Zenit cameras, a Holga, a Diana Mini and other Lomography stuff, a Minolta AE, Lubitels, a Chaika 2, some disposables. It’s a total of 32 cameras and we are still adding to it. Also, we own all available types of instant cameras from Polaroid and Fuji and love using them because of the beautiful images they can create but also because they make up for the 1 drawback of film – they are fast and you don’t have to wait at all. Though we don’t think that equipment alone can make a good picture. A good picture depends more on the photographer’s eye.
Do you have any photographer influences?
Many and none. We like many photographers but there is not any we wanna be like, our main influences come from films rather than photographers. It’s more of a general esthetics thing. We watch sooo many films and are really into underground stuff. We tend to watch lots of drug movies, horror movies, dramas, surreal stuff, in general lots of 60s, 70s, and 80s cinema from all sorts of countries also some 90s stuff we like too. Music is also a big influence on our work, especially since we make music as well. It’s not an obvious but always present element in our work.
Are there any challenges that you find being a photographer in today’s society?
When it comes to practical things, money is always an issue, because your work is often unpaid. Working with film we also have a big problem when it comes to developing rolls or getting the types of film we need each time. Many labs are really slow and do a sloppy job, also in a digital society it is hard and quite costly getting certain film rolls. For example, many amazing ones have been discontinued. Other than that, today everyone thinks they are a photographer when their parents buy them a 2000 Euro camera and they start doing fashion or whatever that is just boring and purposeless but since there are so many magazines out there they do get circulated. Photography, fashion photography too, is about more than just a camera, a model, a dress and a pose you just saw on Tumblr.
What do you look for in a good photograph?
Technically, the light is more important than it seems. The light is everything in photography, perspective of course and the model too. Most important of all is knowing what you want to shoo and having a clear idea in your head, of what you expect to get, having a vision is what makes a good photograph. Not trying to recreate something you saw, but having an open mind and be prepared to capture something new, create a picture that shows the interaction between photographer and model or photographer and landscape. A photograph, after all, is a fragment, a moment in the photographers head. So, depending on what is in the photographer’s head you might get a good picture or a crappy one.
By Olive Duran