Each year, we interview the overall winner of the Photoion Awards to find out how they started their journey into photography, what inspires them, what they are working on, and where they hope to go with their art.
So we sat down with this year’s winner, Ilona Suppal, to pick her brain about how she came to be here.
Why photography Ilona? How did you fall in love with it?
My love for photography came into my life quite unexpectedly. I have always been quite a creative person, and I was looking for new ways to express myself and I found photography to be a great medium. I love photography because it gives me a chance to freeze the precious moments, capture emotions, and tell stories. I can say that photography changed my life and definitely changed my perception of the world for the better.
How long have you been practising photography?
To be honest it has not been long. It’s been about 2 years now since I bought my first DSLR and started to explore the amazing world of photography.
Who’s your greatest inspiration in photography? (they don’t have to be famous)
You will be surprised but the person who inspires me the most in photography is not a photographer or artist at all. Well, at least not yet. It is my son; a beautiful little boy who melts my heart every day, in-between those moments when he makes me want to pull my hair out. I love to watch him grow, but I see how fast it happens and I realise how important is to capture these important moments, emotions, and feelings in the photographs.
Is there one picture in the world (taken by you or someone else) that truly makes you think – that’s why I’m doing this, that’s why I’m learning this?
Yes, there is such a picture. Some time ago I was honoured to photograph two beautiful twin brothers, who came to this world so early and unfortunately one of the boys did not make it. And I was the one who had the chance to photograph them beautifully and give the parents the gift that they will cherish forever. That time I really found the big purpose in that what I am doing, and I really want to follow that passion and be the best photographer as I can.
If you could capture an image of anyone, past or present, who would you choose, and what type of image would you take? And why?
If I could be able to capture any possible image of any person, I would love to take one lifestyle image of my son with his great-grandparents, who unfortunately he won’t have an opportunity to meet in person as they passed away. They were such a wonderful people and, in my mind, I can see that image of them playing together with my son and laughing.
What’s your favourite type of photography?
My favourite type of photography is portrait photography. I love to photograph children, babies, and newborns. I feel really comfortable in that field and I have found that it comes to me naturally. I really enjoy it and I feel it comes from my heart. I remember every child I have photographed, they are all amazing and every single one of them has a different personality. I like to capture them in the photographs, as I know how fast they grow.
How has the Photoion Photography helped you develop your skills in photography?
Photoion Photography School was the first door I knocked to when I wanted to develop my photography skills and it was a really great choice. I found the workshops really interesting and useful and I met lovely and passionate people there. The teachers are superb; very professional and with massive photography knowledge, yet with a friendly approach to students. The atmosphere there is always great and each workshop is tailored perfectly to the student’s needs. I would definitely recommend Photoion Photography to anyone who would like to develop their photography skills.
What does being in the Photoion Photography Award book mean to you?
It means a lot to me. I saw the books from previous years and the images there were amazing, so I am really happy and proud that my images will be there. I still cannot believe it, but yes, I am over the moon and really motivated.
Tell us about your plans for photography in the future?
I want to focus on children photography as I really enjoy it. I strongly believe that if you love what you do, you have the greatest chance to be really good at it, so I feel I’m on the right path. I want to develop my skills to be the best photographer that I can be, so fingers crossed! I am really lucky because I have a lot of lovely people around me who support me in my passion, and I plan to keep shooting until my knees give up on me!