Interview with Self-Portrait Photographer & Artist Muse – Ciaobella

When did you first start your Instagram page, and what was its reason?

I remember vividly the first official date of Ciaobella’s birth, February 1st, 2021. It was so significant to me because it’s the only ‘female’ month in the year (in Croatian) but was 3 months in the making, so since Samhain of 2020, through close friends’ stories on my regular profile, I started to express through sensual photography of myself to start getting a dimension of many feels and desires swirling in my head. I’m gonna try and do my best to summarise the reason for it, so here is the rough deal; Ciaobella rose from the ashes of a few years-long internet affair which I had abruptly ended by my husband’s confrontation of it. That was actually such a blessing in disguise because I was very much so outgrowing the faults for being in an affair; I just couldn’t unglue myself out of it. That was such a turning point for both of us, the catharsis of our marriage that showed such growth, love, support and trust that month after that was revealed. My husband fully supported my participation in one local sensual page with my images. I realised my reasons for the affair as a thrill of validation that I lacked within myself. Images that I shared were my first artistic look at myself, through which I started to develop actual love of self. I never considered myself sensual; for many years, I lacked the desire for intimacy, which really devastated my dotting husband. He adored me from day one and always complimented me, but it was of no use when I myself didn’t feel remotely so from within. So the reason to start this Instagram page was to discover, or rather uncover, the sensuality within me that brought appreciation and love for this now 48 year old mom of 3 body.

Do you remember your first post, and what was it of? 

I most certainly remember my first post, veiled in my now famous red spilling-into-pale-pink scarf, as if dreaming, greeting all who gave me wind beneath my wings until then through close-friends stories on my regular profile. 

Copyright – @_ciaobella_0007

What camera do you use to take your photos, and how do you edit them?

I only use my mobile, which in the beginning was Samsung Galaxy, and now I have Huawei nova mini 5t. Since nature photography is my first passion, I kinda skilled my eye there prior to focusing it on my self-portraits. In the very beginning of it, some 4-5 years ago, I may have emulated some poses that I could have only dreamed of in my earlier years and grew stronger with my own vision of self. I loved that newfound tenderness, and dreaminess from within, considering how insecure I was about it. Never really considered myself all that feminine and gentle and never felt comfortable with compliments of that sort, so photographing myself through various gestures and situations started to present all marvellous facets of me. I’m absolutely high on life, and incorporating my huge love and admiration towards nature’s moments brought me to perfecting my captures with respect to lighting because the ambience is what I care the most to present well; therefore, only occasionally do I use Snapseed application to tweak the images. 

In addition to your photos, I can see you have been captured by some incredible artists; how did that happen?

Just before starting my Ciaobella profile here, a few months prior, through that local sensual page where I contributed images, I became a muse to a wonderful artist that I call a dear friend by now. Was so lucky to have such an amazing understanding, respect, and humour from the start, that set some guidelines for other possible future collaborations, and boy, did they pour in…! When I started posting his works, the other artists started to inquire too, but many happened spontaneously; just sending me a dm was an utter delight. And those I value the most when the inspiration is THAT strong, and of an image that doesn’t require to be censored, which kinda translates to me the overall impression of the successfully brought emotion of my post. I am not a model; therefore, those spontaneous bursts of artwork I really appreciate the most, which basically defined the way I collaborate here. I never choose or ask; only upon a decisive artist’s desire to draw certain images does all happen. It took a while to reaffirm that, due to many enquiries and ‘ooh, could you possibly do this/that.. send me your favourite.. I want what nobody else drew… etc, that found me in Abbeys of too much energy wasted, so only when they are decisive in a certain image is a go, and of course, perfect manner of communication and respect that preceded. 

Copyright – @_ciaobella_0007

Going through your Instagram feed, you have some powerful photos. where do you find your inspiration for your photos?

I’m mostly inspired by natural light effects. Living in a peaceful natural environment, I am most fascinated by sunrises, sunsets and other various glorious nature appearances that I grew to incorporate here. Such a sincere connection and surrender with nature really heightens my sensuality, so I gladly drop anything I do to capture it, myself in it preferably.

Also, I cherish my spontaneity, which carries me through some amazing frames when feeling so passionate about certain mundane moments in daily activities that by artistically capturing it, I feel like sending message ‘magic is exactly in those mundane daily activities when you chose to see them, feel them, be fully present in them, and moment by moment you realize how you can be a master of your own reality, create it to your own liking and see how it opens up new horizons. 

I see you take photos outdoors, are you ever worried someone might walk past?  

Yes, there is always a concern if someone will pass by, but in small measure generally since I live on a small island. My sunrise moments I capture very early when no one is awake but true, I am on high alert for a random fisherman or a dog walker. 

Copyright – @_ciaobella_0007

Can you tell me the most embarrassing thing that has happened while you have been doing a self-portrait shoot?

My most embarrassing moment was when my daughter burst into my room while I was shooting on the bed, but I rapidly covered up and managed to answer her inquiry. She was unphased, but I was pretty stirred.

If you could plan your ideal self-portrait photoshoot without any restrictions, what would it be, and what message would you want to tell? 

My ideal photo session… I never think of it because I feel this is my own thing. I cannot possibly imagine a photographer telling me, ‘move here-move there, lift up your left arm, bend your right leg, hold this, pull that..’ I’m not thinking ever of it. I strongly feel of deriving my own creativity from within through my own lens, both physically and mentally, in the surroundings given. 

Funny, because really many photographers approached me for collaboration, but I got out of all due to my location. 

Copyright – @_ciaobella_0007

Is there a message you would like to say that your photos cannot?

A message that I like to send through my photos is generally in a sensual aspect is CARPE DIEM; I am so high on life, appreciating all the little things that add up to those 24 hours given. I am not some high-strung ‘be positive! Be positive!’ nerd, but someone that always sees something good in everything. That’s the difference. I am expressing my self-love, appreciation and acceptance that I lacked a few years back, and through it revelling in those little mosaics of life along the way. To my knowledge from the majority of my active followers, it is visible and tangible 

Do you have goals that you want to achieve in the next 2 years? 

Uuh, not losing my sleep over something 2 years from now; I feel we are greatly missing out on NOW imagining what we’d like in the future. I’m trying to be fully present in NOW, explore all that I have and am, and work on that consistency of authenticity, which will lead me eventually somewhere magnificent.

Copyright – @_ciaobella_0007

2 thoughts on “Interview with Self-Portrait Photographer & Artist Muse – Ciaobella

  1. A woman as beautiful in spirit as she is in body, who captivates me with every image. Her images touch my soul…


  2. Very much a fan of Ciaobellas page and art. Her images have magic and can temporarily whirl you away from the mundane leaving one feeling invigorated! Thanks

    – Sincerely Mark aka wolf421


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