In the spotlight: Flóra Borsi’s animal self-portraits
In the spotlight is an article series featuring up-and-coming shutterbugs that are about to put their mark on the world. In this second part about photographer and visual artist Flóra Borsi, she talks about her acclaimed Animeyed project, shows her latest work and explains why it is her favorite so far.
If you are not already familiar with Flóra Borsi’s breathtaking project Animeyed it is time to pay this multi-talented photographer and her work some attention. The principle behind her photo series is simple yet ingenious.
Using herself as model and her unmatched Photoshop skills Flóra creates portraits posing with animals, matching poses and expressions with the personality of her faunae partners. Her images are so fascinating that she has almost created her own genre, spawning many a copycat.
We are all animals
Through the project Animeyed, Flóra intends to explore human identity and the relationship between animals and people.
“I love animals and the beauty that they give us. Most people appreciate pretty faces or bodies, but species other than humans are forgotten.”
“I wanted to show that we are very similar to them and at the same time how special they are. I wanted to draw attention to their unique look and the importance of their existence. They all have the same right to live freely on this planet as we do.”
“I realized how perfect nature is. I’m trying to create images that look unedited, even though there’s a lot of post-production behind it.”
One light setup
Always shooting self-portraits, Flóra likes to keep a simple setup of one Profoto B1, usually fitted with a Softbox RFi 3’ Octa. She shoots with Canon 7D and a Sigma 18-35 1.8 lens.
“I like the natural looking light I can create with the B1. One light source is enough for that.”
Flóra depends on consistent and reliable gear, since she does all modeling herself and wants to avoid as much re-shooting as possible.
“I’m an ‘I want it all and I want it now’ kind of person. If there is an easier way to accomplish something, why shouldn’t I use it? With the consistency and reliability of the B1 I can get the shot done quicker. Using TTL I don’t have to tamper with a light meter.”
A new addition
Flóra has previously only worked with stock images, merging the self-portrait with an animal portrait in post-production. This time she had the luxury of shooting with a living, perhaps not so wild, animal. Namely her dog Dezso.
“It was a lot easier to work with my own images! I didn’t have to make the shadows and lighting to match my self-portraits. Post-production was reduced from 10 hours of editing to 3 hours. The actual shoot only took an hour.
“Before this photoshoot I couldn’t have done the previous images without stock images because I don’t have a snake or puffer fish at home. In such a case, working with stock images was the only method.”
But quicker results was not the only reason for working with her pet: “I wanted to work with Denzso in the series since I’m talking about love and care. In this case, my relationship with animals becomes more real. This work holds a real, personal story and a memory behind it. It’s for this reason that it is my favorite of the entire Animeyed project.”
When asked if she’ll ever be done with this project she replies:
“I don’t think so. Maybe when I’ve got really deep wrinkles that I can’t retouch anymore. This project is the only one that I haven’t finished. Yet.”
Next up for Flóra is a project with painted faces. As many of her other photo series the main topic will be on identity and makeup.