We all have different reasons why we shoot. For some, it's all about art, passion, and career. For others, it's a path to self-expression and discovery. Double Expo Magazine co-founder and curator Renata Ursu mixes up all these things and adds a little more to the equation — confidence and empowerment. She takes beautiful photographs of her everyday life and she isn't afraid to bare it all. Renata shows us what it really means to live life freely through the pictures she takes and she would very much like for everyone to share her journey.
Renata's story is one of empowerment. She uses film photography as a tool to encourage people to feel confident with who and what they are. Not everyone thinks the same way but she definitely feels that it's a step in the right direction for everyone who has ever felt that they're small, unworthy or irrelevant. The pictures she takes is an invitation she extends to everyone to take the next brave step to be free from judgement and criticism. Believe it or not, this wasn't always the case for Renata. When asked about her photographs, this is what she had to say:
“I had a really hard time with my body some years ago; I was like 245 pounds and the idea of standing in front of a camera scared me like hell. But I decided I had to change that, I wanted to feel better with my body and also learn to love myself with all my imperfections. So photography became a sort of therapy to me in that period, and it’s still a therapy every day; it helped me become stronger and more confident! I hope I can transmit this positivity to my audience. I want to inspire people to spend all days loving and enjoying the body they live in.”
This therapy became a source of empowerment and she wishes to share it with everybody who has ever shared her feelings of insecurity. When you put things into perspective, everything around you becomes noise and that's all they will ever be. You don't really have to listen to other people's opinions about what you do, what you look like, and what you wish to share with the world. Once you accept who you really are and own your confidence, everything turns into an afterthought.
“I strongly believe that both women and men should have the freedom to express themselves at their best, in every form of art possible. Nowadays we have forgotten our true essence to become something that society accepts, but we just can’t let society control our choices! I always say “If it makes you happy, DO IT!” So be free, express your spontaneity of being and don’t be afraid to hide anything.”
That's what makes Renata's vignettes of her simple life even more beautiful. She throws all caution to the wind, lives life the way she wants to, and expresses herself through her film photographs. We sometimes neglect to ask ourselves the reason why we shoot in the first place. The photographs we take will always be a reminder of times past and we should value them because we're the ones who made them. Those photos are for us and that's all the reason we need to keep on shooting.
We would like to thank Renata for letting us feature her images on the Magazine. She shares her daily life and more on her Instagram and is currently planning to do an analogue take on one of her previous projects titled “Nature Skin” wherein she explores the essence of people and nature in unity.