Looking through the lens with Sidney’s Anya Tompa

Local photographer talks about the connections in people she shoots behind the lens.

Anya Tompa with her photograph titled The Takeoff.

For Anya Tompa, photography is all about connecting with people and seeing the people in her lens connecting with their passions.

Tompa, who runs Anya Karita Photography at her studio The Way We See it, began art at the age of 20.

She was living in Finland (her mother is Finnish) in a small southern town and worked in the photo lab and did layout for a newspaper company.

“There was a photographer there who was very well known at the time … and he sort of took me under his wing and taught me how to use the dark room, so we would go out and shoot together in black and white film … and then go back and process everything …” she told the PNR during a tour of her studio on Beacon Avenue.

Having traveled quite a bit, a lot of her work is of travel photography, particularly of her Mexican travels.

Since moving to her studio, Tompa has developed an interest in photographing people, which she never had before.

“I am obsessive by nature so once I start something I just go full on into it,” she said, adding that a lot of her work right now is portraiture.

Currently, her sessions are by appointment only and they will go for coffee, meeting to discuss what her clients would like to do.

“It’s whatever they want to do creatively.”

Tompa had one girl come in who wanted to be photographed with a python, so she photographed them together in black and white.

“I get connections on a deeper level with people,” she said, adding that the type of portraiture she does is not surface portraiture. “It’s whatever their passion is.”

Tompa said it’s also about the process and not just the end result.

“It’s the process also. It’s not just the end result, it’s fun to do.

“It can be heavy and deep and it’s whatever people are connected to or need to get out of their system in some sort of creative way.”

In the Fall, Tompa will be taking a trip with her mother Christel to northern B.C to do a series of photography on totem poles, which will be for display and sale at her studio.

Tompa also rents out the space to other photographers who wish to use it.

To book the studio or schedule a photoshoot, people can call 250-812-2840 or email anyakarita@gmail.com.