Who are you?
I am Leah Selk
Are you schooled or self-taught?
My dad attempted to teach me how to use his Pentax Spotmatic II in my pre-teen years, but that didn’t last long. I started off as self-taught in regards to darkroom by learning how to develop my poorly exposed negatives (like I said, Dad attempted, but wasn’t very successful) in the dusty Columneetza darkroom learning from whatever old material or books I could find there (the darkroom and equipment hadn’t been used since the 70’s per the dates on the chemicals). I’ve been schooled since then.
When did you first pick up a camera and the moment you just knew?
These were separate occasions. My father had attempted to teach me at an earlier age – I didn’t put the camera down, but I also didn’t take anything about it seriously. It wasn’t until I took a photo class as part of the Fine Arts program at Camosun College in Victoria that I started to realize what the camera was actually capable of and it sucked me in – enough so that I pretty much gave up the drawing and painting that took me to Camosun in the first place and entered the photography program at Concordia University in Montreal to complete my Bachelors.
What type of photography do you specialize in and why?
Fine Art photography, because the camera is a way for me to express myself as an artist. This usually comes through via self-portraits and staged scenes amongst natural landscapes, and anything to do with nostalgia. I also found that I was drawing from my photos, so decided to put more into creating the photo as the final product.
Mamiya RB 50mm. It’s so sexy. Holga lenses also rock, if you’re in to unpredictability.
Who are your influences? And if you had one question to ask them, it would be ….. ?
Influences would be Bob Preston (Camosun College photo tech), Raymonde April and Marisa Portolese (professors at Concordia University), a few peers (Sara A. Tremblay, Daniela Ansovini, Daniel Barney, Meera Margaret Singh, Celia Perrin Sidarous, Louis Perreault). Big Wigs: Cindy Sherman, Bill Brandt, Jeff Wall. Question: Can I take your picture in a uniquely individual staged setting?
You ideal Gig?
I don’t do no stinkin’ gigs…
If there is any advice, whether it be camera or business related, it would be ….
Don’t give up on film.