Sepehr Sami is a professional photographer who has recently moved to Brisbane, Australia and is our latest StarNow competition winner. Read on to discover, amongst other things, what fashion means to Sepehr, what it’s like growing up in Melbourne and what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: Who are you called?
Sepehr Sami, I also use the name Psychyard for some of my ongoing projects.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
Photography to me started as an adventure into a moment in time, loved it from early age, became more eager as I grew up shifting between videos and photos here and there. It became an escape from conventional reality or excessive manipulation of fantasy around us these days; I look at as a way to express my own world (occasionally!)
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
I’m fascinated by sociology so I’m very much attracted to societies and individuals who build it…but really, anything that seems fascinating I go for it, and I believe that’s the way to go, a shadow on the wall to a majestic landscape…
Q: How has the last 12 months been for you?
Wow tense! Ups and downs, got involved with acting and many photography projects plus a whole lot in my personal and emotional life as well, it seemed for ever when it was all happening but now seems like a flash….
Q: Who inspires you?
Inspiration comes from almost anything, anywhere, anytime…I like philosophy and sociology so it affects my mentality a whole lot, I love arts, live for music and very much involved with politics on an everyday basis, I would like to get into photo journalism eventually…
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I wouldn’t say I look up to but I like the works and visions of Tom Ford.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
Forget about money and conventional photography, put down your camera, stretch your eyelids with your fingers and see instead of just looking. World is as ugly as it is beautiful and it is as simple as it is complicated. Photographers are meant to show what is lacking, what must be done, and always be critical to the point of educating people. This is possible in any field, one might think well fashion photography is about fashion but I believe it could be about showing a lot more than physics, poses and clothes. We are more than able to incorporate messages into our work and affect the observer’s subconscious greatly.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
Film indeed but for people who are nomads like me digital photography is a blessing!
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I love natural light for fashion photography but if the aim is to manipulate or tragically create a rather plastic scene, studio could be a great place.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Many, one that I can think of at this moment, is the last portrait of German philosopher Nietzsche.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
Would love to take some portraits of Christian Bale.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Like many other art forms in the post modern era, it is yet another form of exploitation of resources in a sacrificial mean for pursuing objective subjective beauty.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I have been very eclectic and adventurous so far but I’m fascinated by notion of darkness and light, love a generous amount of soothing contrast and also shots with a certain color theme applied to them like the works of Yimou Zhang.
Q: Where are you based?
Australia these days. Recently moved from Melbourne to Gold Coast, soon to be in Brisbane.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Shiraz; “City of roses and nightingales”, rich in poetry and ancient culture, famous for its gardens and laid back people.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Well, if you are looking for celebrity encounters and things like that I recently photographed the cast and crew of the internationally acclaimed Iranian movie “A Separation” in Asia Pacific film festival which was to my great pleasure since I loved the movie and it won the Grand Jury Prize.
“A Separation” has been nominated and won over 21 awards internationally since its release, its heading for the Oscars also.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Travel to the most unknown parts of the world and document what lies beneath. Cinematography too.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I’m usually relaxed, especially from the outside, but on the inside I can’t stop my brain from thinking and it’s really exhausting sometimes to the point I just burn out and become VERY silly!
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Home, because most of what I love and relate to is there.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
EVERYTHING haha, from contemporary classics to progressive rock, Trip-Hop and all sorts of psychedelic music.
I recommend Archive-Controlling Crowds these days because of sociological landscape.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
Be yourself and draw inspiration from anything OTHER than photography; “things” become most interesting when worlds (fields) collide.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Knowledge is subjective to immediate change so don’t rely on it! The more we discover we understand how little we know so never be sure of what you are being told and the propaganda which dances around you in pretty forms and shapes.
Love binds the universe.
Editor’s Note: Sepehr Sami effectively uses his interest in the human form and sociology to create some extremely appealing shots with a commercial edge.