The storytelling behind Felicia Simion’s photography

‘I realized that to follow your heART is a continuous work, the pursuit of passion is a restful thing that tires you at the same time. It’s about years of trying, participating in various competitions, buying new lenses, testing different kinds of photography, contacting people to take pictures of.’ 

Felicia Simion is a visual artist and photographer interested in Visual Anthropology and Storytelling. She studied Photography and Video theory at the Bucharest National University of Arts. Exploring her desires determined her to study and get a MA degree in Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology and Folklore.
Felicia’s artistic roots are founded in her childhood, when she engaged with writing, music and painting. Her work is situated in between two different worlds – reality and fiction – easily flowing from one side to another.
‘I remember having a kind of Eureka moment in my childhood when I said: That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life! At the age of 13 I had my first camera and I told my parents that I want to be a photographer. They were surprised because in my family there is no connection with the artistic world, but they supported me. My mother came from a career in law, my father came from an engineering background.’
Felicia’s childhood determination turned her into a remarkable artist. She won numerous international awards, and her photographs have appeared on the covers of world-famous writers such as Margaret Atwood, Elena Ferrante, Paolo Coelho or Mo Yan. 
‘As a teenager I used the camera as a way of self-discovery; I took a lot of self-portraits and tried to look at myself through the camera lens. Later on, I felt the need to connect with other people.
Opening to the world, people became my soft spot. I want to get closer to them through the camera lens and share their stories with art lovers.’
The more we get back in her childhood, the more we find her various attempts to change reality. ‘As a teenager the reality wasn’t enough for me and I started to mix it with fantasy and imagination.’
Felicia Simion is an artist with an interesting vision of the world . Her photos look like movie scenes, they capture something beautiful and attract the attention of some of the best-known publications in the world, such as ‘New York Times’, ‘Vogue’, ‘The Guardian’. 
‘Depending on how big a photo contest is, how many participants it has internationally, the prize can expose your photography in various major publications’.
‘I think that behind the achieved results is in fact, this refusal to change direction, this persistence in doing something I love but is uncertain in a world that seeks only certainty. I think that’s what all success is about – love for what you are doing and lots of patience.’
‘Making a living from art is uncertain. Sometimes there are months when you don’t know when the next project will come along.  Then there’s an abundance, let’s say. You get to pick and sometimes you have to let certain projects go.’

How do your emotions reflect in your photography?
Every one of my pieces and every project I engage in resonates with my past experiences. I’m continuously searching for honesty with myself and honesty with the audience, this can feel both liberating and constricting at the same time.  

So when it comes to big changes, like your beautiful baby daughter, How do big changes influence your passions and your art?
As I ventured deeper on this path, I got closer to simple and clean compositions and was able to focus on conceptual photography, always blending my art with big life events. Whether it was the end of my teen years, prenatal or postnatal. All my projects are like a rite of passage, they represent the ending of one chapter and the beginning of a new one, unknown yet, but waiting to be transformed into a photograph.  

Could you describe a professional photoshoot, and the interactions you have with the models? 
I like to believe I create a relaxed atmosphere. I really hope my love for all human beings is reflected when I work with others, as it is alway present. I am not only interested in photography per se, but in all the little moments that make up a photoshoot.

What camera do you use? 
I use a Sony A7III and a Canon 5D EEOS Mark III

How do you deal with unsatisfied clients, if any? 
Easily trying to find the middle way between what everyone wants, but if that is not possible in any way, honestly, I value the quality of human relations and that does not allow me to maintain any toxic interactions.
Your daughter is your main model now. How did Aurora’s journey begin on the artistic path? She is clearly already a professional model. 

Oh, Aurora began by reaching out with her ever-growing hand towards the lens of the camera, until she managed to block it completely. She never enjoyed “posing” for pictures, quite the opposite; she would run from the camera and she would find all sorts of reasons to not pose. I eventually tried to build stories around our photoshoots in order for her to give me a few minutes in front of the camera, well actually in front of the mirror I systematically arranged for her not to get bored. Today, you are a princess, tomorrow an astronaut. It depends a lot on the context I offer her, but I can tell she feels how much I love taking pictures of her and I honestly believe she is beginning to enjoy being the center of my stories. 

Do you have any advice for people at the beginning of their journey, those that are curious and eager to make a living from their passion?
Find a subject that you can relate to, something that moves you, something that you can follow. 
Discover the beauty in all the hidden places. Be Patient, be patient and then be patient, photography is a long journey. Be Curious and don’t be afraid to explore different themes, until you narrow your interests down. Be in love with what you see, even when just walking.