In the spotlight is an article series featuring up-and-coming shutterbugs that are about to put their mark on the world. Allow us introduce photographer and visual artist Flóra Borsi, wildly celebrated for her stunning self-portraits.
Self-taught super-talent Flóra Borsi defines herself as a photographer and a visual artist. She is praised for her fascinating self-portraits and rose to fame with her series Animeyed, where she creates stunningly beautiful pictures utilizing her incredible skills as a retoucher and image creator.
Looking at her portfolio, it is hard to believe that she is still a student at Moholy Nagy University in Budapest. Creative post-production and skillful photography go hand in hand for this 23 year-old autodidact, who has been working with Photoshop since she was 11.
“I’ve always liked to draw so my sister gave me a subscription to Photoshop for me to play around with. I didn’t know how to use it at first; I was just trying out the features and randomly pushing buttons. Over the years I’ve learnt more and more by experimenting and watching tutorials.”
Shooting with flash
But the simple photo manipulations with images from Google were not enough for Flóra, who wanted to create something that was original and her very own. It was inevitable that she would start to take photos.
“When I was 15 I won a Canon EOS 40D and started to learn the basics of photography. In the beginning it was hard for me to understand the rules of lighting and all that stuff.”
Just a few years later, Flóra realized she was not satisfied with the images she took anymore: “As a child I was always wondering how the great masters were able to create photographs that looked so perfect. Then my dad told me that they used flash to achieve the result. I knew that’s what I wanted, so I got a summer job and bought my two first flash lights. My dad is an engineer who loves classical photography and he gave me some tips on how to use them.
“I started using the Profoto B1 a short time after that. I need light sources that are fast and powerful. Now I can take images that I couldn’t before. I often jump or shake my head in my images and now I can make it look like time is frozen. That’s what I always wanted!”
Flóra always uses herself as a model; something she says is both beneficial and challenging. Sometimes it is easier to do it yourself than to instruct someone else.
“If I want to show an emotion using just a facial expression it is easier if I pose since I know exactly what I want to express.”
“But in many cases it can be more cumbersome to create the images. When I make a mistake I can’t correct it immediately, I have to see the result first and then re-shoot to get a better look,” Flóra says, explaining that she prefers to shoot with just one light in studio to keep it simple.
“I don’t shoot on location. I don’t want to be outside with a tripod taking photos of myself in the front of an audience of engrossed bystanders. I like to work in a studio, because I can plan every little detail. It’s all mine and I know the look and feel I’m going for.”
When asked what inspires her, Flóra mentions a few photographers that have influenced her: Tim Walker, Istvan Sandorfi, Gottfried Helnwein, Solve Sundsbo and Marton Perlaki.
“I love paintings and they have a big impact on my work.”
Visual art and post-production
Flóra explains that Photoshop is the perfect software for her to manipulate her original photos.
“But sometimes I don’t manipulate the images, I only adjust the colors in Lightroom. I add details to the pictures and retouch them,” Flóra says. “It’s like creating a photograph that looks like a painting. That’s why I’m a photographer and a visual artist at the same time.”
“I think my work is very personal. My inspiration comes from my life, memories, feelings, events,” she explains when asked about her creative process.
“Art is therapy for me; this is how I process my emotions. Like a confession.”