Where are you from? What is Lithuania like for you as an artist?
My name is Linas Vaitonis and I was born and raised in Vilnius. It is the capital of Lithuania. You can Google it. The city of Vilnius is small, cozy and relaxed. I'm lucky to live in its medieval old town which is very beautiful and inspiring. It has a huge influence on my work and who I am.
Why do you make what you make? How did you get started in photography?
Because I can. I certainly don't have the classical art school background because technically I'm an ecologist. I started taking pictures just for fun. When I was 20, I took my mother's Nikon D80 and started to shoot. I took pictures of literally everything. It was like an obsession!
What is your process like? How do you decide what to photograph and when?
I just try to take pictures that look really cool. Locating what is beautiful is a challenge but the biggest difficulty I encounter creating my pictures is in making sure that the final images are just like I imagined them in my head. For this reason, I sketch model poses sometimes, but I am not very good at drawing woman, so I end up drawing misshaped men. I like to play with unusual locations, trying to tell a story. In my opinion, the overall feel should be like in a movie, where the atmosphere plays an important role in transmitting the message. I want the feeling that there is something yet to be revealed to come through in my work.
Do you have a favorite photograph?
Not really. Not yet.
Why do you think photography is so powerful?
I don't really know. Maybe because it allows someone to code their concept of the world and to turn those concepts into images.
How do you set up a photo to get it just right?
I don't waste too much time thinking and posing and setting up. I know when something I've done is good. I don't suppose everyone would agree with my critical decisions though.
Do you have any anecdotes about a certain photoshoot that was really crazy, exciting or hard to pull off?
Random stuff happens from time to time. Perhaps it is good that I have a poor memory.
What inspires you in general?
I get inspired from a variety of sources. The most powerful inspiration I guess is when somebody or something surprises you.