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Conversations with Ecaterina Leonte

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ecaterina Leonte.  

Hi Ecaterina, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
Through no merit of my own, I was born to loving parents, and through no fault of my own, I was born in a communist country. I was five at the time of the Romanian Revolution, not old enough to be distressed by the rationed food and rationed freedom, in great part because my parents’ sacrifices to keep me well fed and well read. Like most people, as I grew up, I learned from listening to my parents’ life experiences. One element, something many of us take for granted, was a common theme in their stories: Freedom. Whether they did or did not have the liberty to choose became a permanent part of who they were, which of course, would have an influence on me. My parent’s stories, their books, and their own unfulfilled dreams of exotic travels instilled in me an unmitigated desire for the freedoms they were denied. I deemed myself as free so long as I could travel far. 

After 4 years of university and halfway through my master’s degree (in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy), it was becoming more apparent each semester: if I stayed, I would never leave. Against everyone’s advice, I abandoned my master’s and went to Peru to fulfill a life-long dream to see Machu Picchu. In my eyes, Peru was the epitome of exotic. Somehow, as a 26-year-old Romanian who didn’t speak a word of Spanish, I found home in a boisterous, exuberant, chaotic, and beautiful new country. Over the next few years, I would further explore my love for travel, seeking out experiences and finding more beauty than I can express. The desire to capture that beauty is what led me to photography. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My biggest challenge as a photographer was presented when I moved to Utah. I was coming to the US after living for eight years in Peru. My main subject used to be the ocean and the creatures who lived there. In Utah, I had to learn to see different things with different eyes. Thanks to this challenge, I picked a new subject for my photos, more compliant than dolphins and whales: flowers. Examining flowers became a form of meditation, and for the first time in my life, I observed flowers with determination. 

“Lula’s Petals” started as a small quarantine project when all I had was a prism, sunshine, and all the time in the world. I wanted my subject to be impossible to ignore: completely detached from context as if floating in space, bathed in natural light yet reflecting unearthly colors. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a photographer specialized in photographing flowers under spectral light coming from a prism. I’m mostly known for my “rainbow flowers,” and close-up photos of flowers lit in creative ways. I’m slightly proud of a few photography awards (2nd, 3rd place, and honorable mentions) at different international photography competitions. Photographing flowers under light filtered through a prism is quite unique; I have yet to see another photographer use the same technique. I have been generous with the technical information when other photographers come to me with questions, and I hope we’ll soon see more “rainbow flowers” coming from other creatives. 

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Salt Lake City welcomed me with open arms, no one knew who I was, and I knew no one. As soon as I applied to art shows, I was accepted and supported. The artist community in Salt Lake is vibrant and inspiring, and I love feeling that I belong. 

What I like least is that nothing is within walking distance and the poor air quality. 

Pricing:

  • The price varies according to the type and size of the prints. From paper prints to acrylics, prices range between $50 and $3000.

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Ecaterina Leonte

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