Own Light

Marta Olive is a film photographer from Lisbon. She considers herself a sensitive person with an attraction for detail. Her work has a profound and curious side to it, with painting being one of Marta’s usual inspirations. She’s interested in exploring the relationship of the female body and light, capturing the fragility of forms and the instant of that moment. In this series, Marta captured the stunning Mariana.

How did the idea for the series come about?

Most of my ideas come from small details and events – the shape of a specific shadow or a reflection in a mirrored surface. That was the case with this project as well. Light is the main character in this play, but I wanted to represent the female figure in all its splendor as well, capturing the relation between the two: light and female body.

Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?

The female figure is one of the most complete forms. It’s about a sincere fragility that exists when a woman is shot, it’s a volatile moment. But, at the same time, we need to capture the moment when the woman is most transparent – in that moment you’ll have authenticity, truthfulness.

How would you define beauty and what inspires you?

I’m taken away by the things that surround me; it’s a constant search for beauty in the middle of chaos. I love details and particularities in the unexpected. A shape of a cloud, a scarf hanged by the window, a paper that dances with the wind. Those are the elements that stand out for me when I’m walking around. I’m fascinated how that doesn’t capture the eye of most people, they just miss it completely – and that’s the type of beauty I want to capture.

Film or digital?

Film, always! Film has a certain magic that I find to be so pure, a grain that I like to compare with the noise from a vinyl record, there’s beauty in it. I feel I only know how to shoot with analog cameras. The anxiety that you feel when you have a film to be developed is great. The ‚wait‘ makes me appreciate photography in a different way, and that’s what I love about it, that I have to wait for the unexpected.

What makes you happy and what’s next for you?

One of the things I appreciate the most is falling asleep when it’s raining outside. I have always loved that sound. I like to walk alone in those sunny but cold mornings, and just look around to see what’s happening with everyone else. I have a lot of projects in my hands right now and I’m looking forward to see them grow. You can definitely expect that the female beauty will continue to play a big part in my future images.