It’s All in the Details: Exploring Armenia Through Photographic Glimpses
By Lars - 5 min read
Community member Sonia Bagdasarian talks about all the perks of shooting in a country many don’t have on their radar.
First, can you please introduce yourself?
I’m Sonia Bagdasarian, 33, living in Yerevan, Armenia. I’m a freelance photographer and graphic designer, as well as a nature and hiking lover.
What equipment do you shoot with?
Most of the time it’s my beloved camera of six years – a Canon 5D Mark II and my favorite 50mm 1.2 lens. I also have a few film cameras. So when I’m in the mood for film, I grab my Zenit camera.
Your photos are dominated by soft colors, nature, and travel themes. How did you arrive at that style?
As a person who had always dreamed of traveling the world and discovering new places, I came to this style very naturally. About 17 years ago – when I became interested in photography and got my first film camera – nature and people were my biggest inspirations. I loved to spend weekends outdoors in search for an interesting shot. And I’ve always been fascinated by the softness, color spectrum, and depth of film.
Armenia is a country many of our readers likely don’t have on their radar. What’s it like there? And how do the landscape and the people relate to your photography?
Armenia may seem very small and hard to find on a map, but it’s one of the oldest countries in the world with an ancient history and culture. What is Armenia to me? The only place in the world where I feel at home. It’s a homeland with endless roads, mountains, deep canyons, ancient monasteries, waterfalls, remote villages, fantastically hospitable and open-hearted people. There’s no better way for me to express my vision and emotions towards it than through photography.
Your photos capture a free spirit because they seem casually taken by someone with a great eye. Is that true or a misinterpretation?
This impression probably comes from me being attentive to the space around me. Every second, there’s something going on, so I think all you need to do is be observant and notice the things that surround you.
When you arrive in a new place, does photography help you make sense of it?
Absolutely! Photography helps me feel the atmosphere and spirit of a place, to memorize my first glimpses. And it’s such a pleasure to go through your old pictures and remember places you’ve been to.
Something I notice in many of your pictures is your attention to detail. You often use large apertures to isolate them. Does that reflect your way of looking at the world?
I’m a very visual person, so details are something I can’t ignore. It’s like living in an imaginary world, noticing things that nobody else does, and then transmitting your mood and inner world through those little glimpses. That’s why details are an important part of my photography.