Eva Zar is a Russian-Austrian photographer currently based in New York City. Revealing, playful and sometimes intimate, Eva’s photographs always push for self-love and empowerment. She was named “Photographer of the Year” by Vfiles and had her work shown on the renowned Nasdaq building on Times Square. She’s had the pleasure of working with artists such as Ari Lennox, Nathalie Emmanuel, Noah Cyrus, Michelle Wolf, Kim Petras, Dinah Jane, Aleali May and Tommy Genesis.
I’ve been a photographer for five years now and have been specializing in lifestyle and portrait photography since I started. I grew up with three siblings being the oldest in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Vienna, Austria. I didn’t want to become a photographer since I can remember, but think that I always needed to express myself in a creative and mindful way and photography gave me the tools I like working with to do so.
There isn’t only one shooting technique, it really depends on the space and resources you’re given on set. I always bring a lot of different cameras (both film and digital) to be able to adjust as quickly as possible to whatever comes my way. Sometimes you have the luxury to review locations before the shooting day but most of the times you don’t. I’d say one of three elements is being flexible and creative in the way you create. Another element is to always show up prepared: bring enough film for three shoots, be on time, pay attention to small details, put your phone on flight mode as long as you’re on set and so on. The last element is to really know your gear. This applies to shooting both film and digital, but I think it’s especially valid when you can’t view the photos.
I think film is such a beautiful and romantic way of photographing, and it allows you to really get to know the subject you’re photographing because you’re not looking at a screen to figure out if the photos look good, you look at the person in front of you and that’s really powerful. Film is a preference because I’ve worked with film my entire photography career. But I do shoot digital when we’re on bigger, longer sets.
I don’t have one really big influence but rather so many different people and artworks that inspire me every day. I’m really inspired by powerful women around me, whether that’s my mum, my sister or powerhouses like Mindy Kaling, Ari Lennox, Daria Kobayashi Ritch, Amy Poehler, Sasha Samsonova, Emily Weiss and so many other women I could name. I listed the first eight women that came to mind but there’s hundreds of women I listen to and get inspired by daily.
Yes, my newest series is a personal project called “I Remember The Sun” and comes from a very vulnerable place. They’re self-portraits shot in my bedroom during Covid-19 lockdown, which I’m spending in New York, a really tough place to be during a crisis like this. I also had surgery during lockdown and couldn’t move for a couple of days while creating this series.
There isn’t a favorite session because I shoot so much on Fujifilm that I’d have to pick a favorite shoot of all my images, and I don’t play favorites! I will say though that the shoot I did with Ari Lennox for her album cover and all of her press for “Shea Butter Baby” and my recent series “I Remember The Sun” have both left me very touched. Even though they’re two completely different projects, the emotional side of them feels very similar.