I first saw Isadora Kosofsky’s work when I judged a portfolio contest for the Center for Fine Art Photography. When I found out she was 15 years old I was blown away. The sophistication of her eye, and her ability to visually communicate a situation marks her as a truly up and coming star photographer. I asked her about her photography and what she wants for her future.
How did you get interested in photography?
I spent every summer of my childhood with my grandmother in Paris. She often took me to the Louvre, where she encouraged me to not only observe the paintings but to watch the visitors. After unsuccessful attempts to sketch or paint similar scenes, I knew I needed another medium to record my observations. When I was 12, I received a Leica CM camera and have been joyfully enthralled with photography ever since.
Who are your influences? Whose work do you follow?
I have been influenced by my parents to pursue my passion for photography. I admire the photographs of Diane Arbus, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Caroline Cole and Gerd Ludwig because they delve deeply into their subjects and leave the viewer with poignant images. I follow the work of Ed Kashi, Anthony Suau, Douglas McCullough, and Lauren Greenfield.
What are your goals?
I would like my photographs to inspire awareness and subsequent change in the inequalities in our society. I hope that when people see my images of individuals in need or forgotten communities, they will take responsibility to rectify problems. I also hope to eventually publish a book of my images.
Where do you see images? Websites? Newspapers? Magazines?
I subscribe to the New York Times, LA Times, TIME, National Geographic, and Newsweek Magazine. When I visit bookstores or specialty stores, I peruse both American and foreign independent magazines. Because I am fluent in French, my favorite foreign magazine is Paris MATCH. I enjoy comparing European style and taste in photography to American.
What are your short-term goals?
My immediate goal is to use my grant from the Music Center Spotlight Award in Photography to travel domestically and internationally to continue my current project of photographing teens, adults and the elderly in mental health facilities.
Tell me about the Music Center Spotlight Award
The Music Center Spotlight Awards program is a nationally acclaimed recognition and scholarship program for high school performing and visual artists. Each year the Los Angeles Music Center gives an award to an outstanding artist in the categories of music, vocal, dance, 2D art and photography. The interview and selection process takes one year and includes workshops and commitments in your medium. The competition attracts about 900 entrants for photography. After the two finalists are selected, the Grand Prize is awarded to one finalist on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. I was the recipient of the 2008 Music Center Spotlight Award in Photography.
Tell me about shooting in the convalescent home
I contacted a local convalescent home because I am interested in photographing people in all areas of our society. I was particularly interested in documenting something with which I am not familiar. I initially visited the convalescent home in December 2008 and have visited several times since because the project is still ongoing. I am friendly and outgoing and have experience in volunteering at shelters and hospitals. The residents and staff were more than accommodating and readily gave me permission.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I envision myself on the staff of a publication. I hope to photograph world-wide and document interesting people and unique stories internationally.
Have you thought about how you will become a staff photographer in this day and age?
Since I am young, I am leaving all options open for career choices in photojournalism. Technology is changing so rapidly that two years from now there may be different means of publishing. I do not see myself as a newspaper photographer but more of a contributor to news and specialized magazines. I like to delve into socioeconomic concerns, and magazines would be more likely than newspapers to publish photo essays. Currently, I am a student and we will see what the future will bring.