Monday, 18 November 2013

All That Glitters Is Gold: Stephanie da Silva

Four-years-old and stealing friends’ cameras, Stephanie da Silva took pictures, oblivious to the fact that cameras used film, until the developed prints convicted her of the guilty pleasure.

Shadows: Alina

Structured art classes always bored her; there was no freedom to experiment. But her mother was artsy and always shared art supplies with Stephanie. Letting her fill pages with scribbles and drawings to figure out what each pencil did.

Lost Girl (series): Alina

Clearly, her artistic independence was a hindrance at school. 

Lost Girl (series): Alina

“I felt my independence was a flaw, and then I began to understand myself as a person. School taught me lessons I really appreciated, but I’m introspective. I take time to investigate things on my own.”

Dream Seer (series): Emily Hunt

When her mom got sick of Stephanie stealing her point-and-shoot camera, she went to the pawnshop and bought her an SLR-film camera. 

Close By (series): Emily Hunt

“It reflected her belief in me.” 

Dream Seer (series): Emily Hunt

During that period, Stephanie taught herself about framing, natural light, shadows and more. Then came her first digital camera: Luminex. Friends with better cameras still lent her their cameras. But her husband soon realized she was bound to hit a wall. He worked harder and put together money to buy her a Nikon. 

Light: Dez Ann

“He says I’m my own worst critic. Sometimes my anxiety helps me push myself to excel.”

City Bliss (series): Emily Hunt

Stephanie’s photographic process is directed by fully conscious efforts.

Vinyl Addict (series): Emily Hunt

“Emily Jeanne, a model, came to me and said she wanted to use her fur coat in a shoot. We had just painted a wall in my house green, so we cleared the furniture, and I used the tinge in her hair and the shade in the fur coat to bounce off the backdrop.”

Vintage Fur (series): Emily Hunt

“It’s about finding a concept and finding something I want to express: a story.”

Rendezvous (series): Mel St Metal

There was a period when the only willing subjects she could find to photograph were friends and family, now she has more game.

Gypsy: Dez Ann

Stephanie says the hardest models to work with are those who aren’t open to input and think they know what they’re doing, but they actually don’t.

Rendezvous (series): Marcus

Modelling since she was 12-years-old, Stephanie has done fashion shows, photoshoots, has been published locally in The Grand Magazine. She has also appeared on television and has worked at many events from hair shows to model/agent weekend workshops and showcases. She has even taught modelling and acting at Cameo Models in Waterloo, Ontario. 

“I’ve been in front of the camera myself (photographed latest by Elisha Townsend). So I know what it is like to be a model, and I would trust the photographer for her/his talent and ability to do best.” 

Stephanie da Silva

Stephanie da Silva

Stephanie plans on focusing more on portraiture and fashion photography. She loves how Annie Liebovitz uses light and catches the grit in the situation. She doesn’t want to copy photographers, but she wants to learn from them and use the lessons to find her own voice. 

The Call: Alice Sawers

“I have a bucket list of people I would like to photograph: The first person on my list is my mother. I photographed her this year, and I absolutely love the picture. Then Mathew my older brother. I’ve always wanted to shoot either Ian McKellan or Patrick Stewart; they’re people with depth and feeling but not cookie cutter figures. They’ve made their careers by being unexpected.” 

Stephanie's Mother

If she couldn’t photograph people, she would love to photograph motorcycles. However, she prefers people, even pets to inanimate objects or scenery. 

Vintage Fur (series): Emily Hunt

“I like character. Motor cycles because of their lines and their singular vision. They’re very intimate vehicles. If you take a trip, you share it at close proximity with the person you’re riding along.” 

A Walk: Morgan Nicole Modelling

She recently got the chance to photograph her brother.

“When I got Mathew in front of the camera, my first instinct was to try and get his seriousness to translate.” 


“He’s a person full of triumphs and defeats, but it seems people only see the surface, and he really does wear his heart on his sleeve. The photograph helped me capture all of him, even the parts of his personality that annoy me to no end but are still beautiful. I really can’t express how important having him in my life has been to me. I don’t even think I’ve been able to tell him. We’ve had and still have our differences but I’m grateful I’ve had him as my brother and have been able to call him my friend.”

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