We had the good fortune of connecting with Tania Kaaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tania, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is very scary, but it’s absolutely necessary in order to live a fulfilling life. What’s so frightening about risk taking for me is the fear of rejection and failure. There have been many times where I have taken risks in my life where things haven’t worked in my favor, such as submitting photography for a show I really wanted to get into and I didn’t make the cut. That can be very disheartening and make one scared to put work out there for critique again. The thing is that you have to brush the rejection off and face that fear of failure and keep moving on and taking risks and living life fully because those times when risk taking pays off are priceless and potentially life changing. I have regrets in my life and they are the times when I played it safe and didn’t take risks. I try to keep this in mind when I’m faced with the fear of rejection or failure.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a film photographer and I take photos on vintage cameras. Often, I alter my film by soaking it in different substances to get surreal effects. I also run a magazine that features photographers from around the world who also practice alternative processing techniques with film. I’m most proud and excited that I showcase and celebrate film photographers and help them get more exposure though the magazine. I also get very excited by creating things that viewers have never seen before when I practice these alternative film techniques.
I got to where I am today regarding showing my art with the help of some amazing people in the Denver art community, especially the women in the community who embraced me and encouraged me to show my art and be in shows. Denver Art Society and Next were great places that I was lucky enough to be a member of and participate with fantastic artists.
The main challenge I have found as a photographer is dealing with the disappointment when the work doesn’t sell or I get rejected for shows. I overcome this by staying positive and continuing to create work and pushing myself to keep submitting and staying involved in the art community.
Regarding the magazine, that took a lot of initiative. I had a dream to make a magazine, so one day I made a website and corresponding Instagram and Facebook page and asked for submissions. I was surprised at how many submissions I got and soon, print issue 1 was created. It wasn’t always easy. Collaborating with others on the magazine has been a learning experience. A lesson I have learned is to be in constant communication with my collaborators. When I haven’t been, that’s when expectations go awry and there has been trouble.
I want the world to know that film photography is not a relic of the past. It is alive and thriving with practitioners all over the world creating wonderful imagery and it’s definitely worth checking out!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Spectra Art Space would be first on my places to visit. Spectra’s immersive art experiences are amazing and there are so many great finds at the gallery.
First Friday’s in the Santa Fe and 40 West Arts Districts would be other definite art destinations. All of these galleries are filled with spectacular art and you know you’re helping support local creatives.
The 16th St Mall is iconic and someone checking out the city has to visit its bustling center. It’s a place I photograph often.
The Baker neighborhood is a must see. There are so many incredible locally owned shops and restaurants. It’s really fun to spend the day wandering up and down Broadway checking everything out.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Grace Noel gracnoel.art
Grace has been my mentor in the Denver art scene since the first day I started showing my art. Her encouragement and strength in the face of adversity has been such an inspiration. Her art is so life-affirming and full of positivity. She contributes so much of her spare time volunteering for the arts. The art community is so lucky to have Grace!