Interview with Photographer Gena G Silva
Costume Designer: Sylvia Lutz
Photo Editor/Creative Director/Photographer/Retoucher: Gena G Silva
Assistant: Sandy Silva
Hair & Makeup/Female Model: Amy Burton
Videographer/Director: John Manak
We are so happy to feature you as part of INTRA Magazine, would you mind starting off by telling our readers a little bit about you and your team?
Thank you so much, I am absolutely thrilled to be featured amongst such a group of talented artists. As for the team, let me gush about what a wonderful group of people I have working with me to create the images that I do. They’re absolutely amazing and I can’t thank them enough for their time, dedication, and expertise when tackling all of our projects. My Fiancé John Manak, for instance, is my behind the scenes cinematographer capturing all the wonderful moments surrounding my shoots. As an independent writer and director with real passion for all manner of filmmaking he brings an exuberant joy to every project we tackle. Then there is Sylvia who has so many wonderful talents and wears so many hats but for this shoot in particular she was the costume designer. (And very handy with a last-minute stitch job I must say!) Last but certainly not least, there is Sandy who assists and supports me with every ounce of her being. From transportation to coordination, to anything in between. Sandy can handle it all! As for me, I have been a portrait photographer for the past six years specializing in creating editorial style images for everyday women! Thank you so much again for the interest in me and my team!
How would you describe your photography style?
For me, I care mostly about capturing a genuine connection between the lens and it’s focal point. The connection is paramount. Over the years my style and interests have evolved, and I don’t think that will change any time soon. Right now, I’m mainly focused on women’s portraiture, but as with the beauty of any art and artist, I’m excited to see how my style and interests will differ in the future. I guess only time will tell, but I’m excited to find out for myself.
How did you first discover your passion for photography?
When I was 8 years old, my mom gifted me a Polaroid Camera for my birthday and I believe it all started then and there. I was hooked right from the start.
What is your artistic process in taking a concept to reality?
Typically, I start with the mood. What’s the feeling I’m wanting to express? The story I want to tell? And from there, we run with it. Those feelings, those tones. I think, Ideas are beautiful, fleeting things and when they come you kinda have to just grab on & run with it! Ideas come from a multitude of places, you know, and it’s important to know what makes you tick. So I just do my best to bring those thoughts to life and hope it resonates with anyone who sees.
Do you have any artistic inspirations or influences; if so, who are they?
How about for this shoot in particular?
Absolutely, Sue Bryce & Lara Jade immediately comes to mind, Sue for the beautiful connection she captures through her portraits and Lara Jade for her unique fashion style. Truth be told though, I am inspired by films, literature & music in so many ways. Specifically, with this shoot, Helmut Newton was a great point of reference. His black & white portraiture is mesmerizing as much as it is breath-taking.
Your work is titled 'Gothic Beauty', how did you decide upon this concept? What does it mean to you?
This one was brewed up in a witch’s cauldron, I think, or maybe it was just too much Halloween candy. Truth be told, I just wanted to create something dark, moody & beautiful.
We noticed you also took on the role of Photo Editor, what choices were made here to enhance your powerful images?
I actually edit all of my photoshoots. For me, I really enjoy the process of taking my photos from concept to finality and walking with them every step of the way. There’s a real catharsis in it for me. As I mentioned before, I was very inspired by the work of Helmut Newton, so I chose to edit this editorial with a gutsy black & white tone to bring out the mystery.
The costuming is phenomenal - how was this chosen to create your final piece?
Thank you, it all kinda came together last minute because the original wardrobe I had planned didn’t arrive in time, so my wonderful aunt stitched together the skirt with tulle that she had stashed away for many years, mere hours before the shoot time! It’s funny how some things just come together beautifully. When things don’t go exactly as planned, don’t freak out…you never know how creative you can be up to the very last moment.
What can our readers expect to see from you in the future?
Apart from bringing more beautiful portraiture, I will also be working as a set photographer for some upcoming films for an independent production house.
How can our readers keep up to date and connect with any existing or upcoming work of yours?
I am most active on Instagram: @genagphotography and of course you can find all of my newest work + behind the scenes films on my website: genagphotography.com