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iselinoftordarroch

Interview with Iselin Shaw Of-Tordarroch

Interviews

18 September 2014

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Iselin! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I'm a 23-year-old Arabic & politics-studying Scottish Viking (half Scot, half Norwegian) whose main interests are the Middle East and photography. The Middle East because of hummus and falafel, and photography because it has yet to bring me a single moment of boredom.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AThere are numerous to chose between, but the first that comes to mind is probably being at The Taj Mahal where the Indian visitors were more interested in snapping pictures of my blonde friend and I than actually appreciating the Taj. People would take 20 selfies with us and then shake their head vigorously when I asked if I could photograph them. It was weird to feel more interesting as photo objects than one of the most famous places in the world, even in our dirty backpacking outfits, greasy hair and sunburnt skin.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI'm not very technically strong, so my gear has never been that important to me. I started photographing seriously with a Canon 60D and a 50mm 1.8, which have both accompanied me through three continents, been almost destroyed by dust, colour-dye and rollercoaster-Jeep rides and made me an extremely happy photographer. I have now upgraded to the full-format 6D, which is just as light and pretty... I've also got my eye on an 85mm.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

ABecause I mostly take pictures of people, I would have to say TALK and LAUGH with those you are photographing. Make them feel comfortable. Especially when travelling. I always try to think about how awkward I feel when being photographed, and that the gear I am using can seem very intimidating to people. It might sound obvious, but it is so easy to forget this and ruin potentially great photographs as well as memories and friendships. Oh, and of course, sign up with Picfair!

'I think I have to go for this one as my favourite pic. Simply because it was one of the first pictures I took with my 60D and every time I look at it I remember why I love phot... Read more

'I think I have to go for this one as my favourite pic. Simply because it was one of the first pictures I took with my 60D and every time I look at it I remember why I love photography. I was working on a human trafficking project in Ghana when I took this picture. We were in a fishing village outside of Accra, interviewing families who were related to trafficking victims. I felt it very difficult to be a photographer in this situation. This girl however, instantaneously transformed the energy with her vibrant smile.' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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'I met this wonderfully charismatic woman whilst walking along the beach near Hoi An, Vietnam. She was selling peanuts and immediately caught my eye. Whilst taking her portrait,... Read more

'I met this wonderfully charismatic woman whilst walking along the beach near Hoi An, Vietnam. She was selling peanuts and immediately caught my eye. Whilst taking her portrait, we had for a lengthy conversation, consisting mostly of hand movements and giggling, due to the fact that we didn't share a mutual tongue!' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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'This is one of the first pictures I took after properly getting into photography. I was on a study-trip at the time in Jordan, and this picture was taken in the sandy red wilde... Read more

'This is one of the first pictures I took after properly getting into photography. I was on a study-trip at the time in Jordan, and this picture was taken in the sandy red wilderness of Petra. It inspired me to take pictures of people in their natural element, unaware and then to seek contact with them after the picture has been taken.' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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'Jerusalem. This was simply being in the right place at the right time. Just as my Palestinian guide was telling us the complications and despair this wall causes, we witnessed ... Read more

'Jerusalem. This was simply being in the right place at the right time. Just as my Palestinian guide was telling us the complications and despair this wall causes, we witnessed these two young men climbing the wall. Taking this really made me think of the ethics behind photojournalism and whether or not a picture has the power to make changes.' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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'This was a scene I simply couldn't resist photographing. The fact that I was at what is believed to be Buddha's birthplace, made the moment even more majestic.'

'This was a scene I simply couldn't resist photographing. The fact that I was at what is believed to be Buddha's birthplace, made the moment even more majestic.' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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'Taking pictures in India was amazing (except the Taj Mahal). People were so keen to talk, pose, laugh, smile and look at the photographs you had taken of them. Taking portraits... Read more

'Taking pictures in India was amazing (except the Taj Mahal). People were so keen to talk, pose, laugh, smile and look at the photographs you had taken of them. Taking portraits I feel is so much more enjoyable and fun when you have proper contact with the people you are photographing.' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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'A man who greeted me at Angkor Wat. He made a few pennies from tourists by showing them the echo chamber. He would thump his fist on your chest and stand back to let you listen... Read more

'A man who greeted me at Angkor Wat. He made a few pennies from tourists by showing them the echo chamber. He would thump his fist on your chest and stand back to let you listen to the echo of your own body's sound.' Read less

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Iselin Shaw of Tordarroch

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