PHOTO JOURNAL // Elisa Osols - Armenia
What moments are you trying to capture?
During my trip to Armenia, I loved capturing unexpected and raw moments, taken in the heat of the action. It felt like immersing into people’s intimacy.
I always try to reflect the authenticity of the environment and deliver a faithful homage by shooting typical elements and still, be me.
Do you have a good story from taking any of these pictures?
The man coming out of the bus did not seem happy to be photographed, he murmured something grumpy in Armenian, I felt like quickly moving on.
Apologies to this man, may his portrait touch people’s hearts.
Are you looking for anything specific when taking photos?
I am looking for the glimpse of a soul. Whether it’s a living creature or still life, I try to tell a story, provoke an emotion, captivate.
What makes the city you’re shooting so beautiful?
Armenia is not only beautiful for its breathtaking mountains and blooming nature. It is one of the world’s oldest civilizations with a powerful religious, cultural and political background that I could sense in the atmosphere : Deeply rooted and melancholic.
After enduring a devastating genocide, the soviet union and a recent war, Armenia always seems to arise from its ashes.
What I find fascinating about Erevan, the capital, is the unique mixture between ancient Armenian traditions, a still ongoing post-soviet vibe due to its architecture and some people’s appearances that seem stuck in time but also the will towards progress and independence. It has something beautifully proud and humble at once.
Why did you choose to travel there?
My sister is married to an Armenian and their family decided to move to Erevan for a year. My whole family got reunited there for a couple of weeks in October 2019.
Any complications happen on the trip?
I can’t think back on anything particularly complicated during the trip, serious complications occurred shortly after as the pandemic hit and a war started in Nagorno-Karabakh. I am grateful that I could visit Armenia at a peaceful stage and immortalize it with a modest Olympus AF-1 that broke only once the trip was over.
What’s the best memory you have with your camera?
Japan., the time I photographed a Geisha that was in a hurry in the streets of a tiny village near the Fuji Mountain. She was not consenting in the beginning but ended up accepting after some persuasive mimics as I do not speak Japanese.
Same story for a couple of sumo wrestlers. I knocked on the door of a sumo school while they were training. After some begging, they let me in to take 2 pictures. I was told after that I got very lucky. They have a highly sacred position in Japanese society.
Do you remember how you got your first camera?
The first camera I used as a child was probably a polaroid camera from my grandparents in the early 90s. The first camera I got given by my mother was the Canon AF35M as a teenager before going on a trip to Costa Brava.
Was there ever a photo that got away?
Photos that get away aren’t so rare. It’s unfortunate but I learned how to put in perspective that some precious moments can only be immortalized by the memory.