Photographer: Olga Freedom @olgafreedom.photography Model: Korolevich Yana @_liizard Model/Photographer: Marina Romanova @ph.marielka Model: Novikova Irina @ogosmotri
When did your passion for photography start and what were the main milestones that turned you into the artist you currently are?
Since early childhood, I was a creative child, but I got interested in photography only in 2017. Before that I had a pretty quiet life. I was born and raised in a provincial city in Russia, moved to Moscow at the age of 17, got two degrees (one in economics and one in law) and started working as an ordinary bank employee.
I found myself in the creative profession by chance. Once, at an event of my friend, I picked up a SLR camera for the first time and immediately realized that this is my passion. Of course, at first it was my hobby. I worked in different genres — family or children's shooting, photoshoots for pregnant women and also had a lot of creative shootings with beautiful girls. It took me some time to find my favorite field, which is Fashion photography. I was so hooked on this genre that I gave up my office work for it and now I devote all my time to it.
I like that photography opens up a world of great possibilities for me. I constantly meet and communicate with interesting people — models, stylists, designers.
You have a very unique style. How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
I am a visual type of person. I am inspired by the beauty captured on camera, the self-expression of my inner world, feelings, and images. So photography is a part of me. I put my soul into it, and I can also show the beauty and history of the people I shoot.
What is one last impression you want to leave in your photographs?
I believe that photography is the best way to share your worldview, story or meaning with others. And I want my works to attract attention and be remembered by everyone who sees them. So that everyone can not only admire them but also feel like a participant in the plot, dream and maybe think about something important.
What inspired you to get into fashion photography? What fascinates you about fashion photography most?
The main source of inspiration, of course, was my passion for fashion and the Fashion industry.
After working in a bank, I had experience in selling branded items. I always liked this field, I was inspired by fashion shows, followed new trends, and also admired the works of famous photographers in Russia and abroad. Working with modeling agencies, designers, and stylists is amazing. After all, only a fully professional organization of photoshoots in a large team gives a great result.
During my work, I have assembled my own team of professionals: makeup artists, models, and stylists. And we often work on the shooting of catalogs for online stores and marketplaces together.
You bring a very high production value to your work. What is your retouching/production philosophy? How important is Photoshop in your final images?
I started learning Photoshop a long time ago. From the age of 15, when I was still a teenager, I constantly studied this program, developed and improved my skills.
I'm a perfectionist. And I love it when every shot looks perfect both in the original version and with the editing. I like to bring photos to perfection, paying attention to every small detail and color. But, of course, I don't want to turn models into perfect dolls. I want to keep the naturalness, the sparkle in the eyes, and leave the personality in people.
What type of projects is dearest to your heart? Why?
I feel good about working in the studio — it is always comfortable, there is a large field for experiments. But I also love unusual, well-organized, and stylized turnkey photoshoots. These include shooting lookbooks for clothing stores or interesting creative tasks from customers. For example, it may be an unusual location or an idea. Shooting on the roof of a house with a view of the whole city, in a country house with ancient architecture and beautiful interior, in quarries on sand dunes in very hot or, conversely, windy and cold weather — all this is very interesting and leaves only a bright impression and cool emotions. When in my normal life would I still be able to work or just find myself in a similar situation, if not at my job?
Is there something you always ask yourself/think about just before you press the shutter button? And...what is going through your mind when you're behind the camera?
Before I press the shutter button, I always carefully check the frame, light, and camera settings. It happens that you have to change the lighting schemes in the studio several times to experiment and find the most suitable option.
And, of course, I always pay attention to the model and her posing. After all, you always want the shot to be perfect. That is why it is so important to control everything and have an opportunity to change something.
In your opinion, what are the ingredients for success with fashion photography?
In general, the profession of a photographer in the Fashion field is now very relevant. After all, in our time, beautiful photos and content are an important component for many people.
And in my opinion, the success of fashion photography is to keep track of the latest trends. Many experienced photographers who have been working in this field for more than 15 years often lag behind modern novice photographers, although they consider themselves the best in their field. The main thing is to constantly learn, follow the changing trends, the experience of colleagues, and never be afraid to try new things and experiment.
From your own experience, what are the biggest challenges for an independent photographer?
The main problem of an independent photographer is the lack of days off. Sometimes you have to sit from morning till night and edit photos, solve organizational issues and almost never sleep because the photographer is always responsible for the final result.
Of course, with such a schedule, sometimes there is burnout. The main thing is to replenish your strength, recharge with new energy and relax. I like to travel, change locations, go to exhibitions and museums. This helps me to relax my soul and get a portion of the inspiration for new projects.
Outside of photography, what else blows your mind?
Of course, my main passion is photography. But I also really like the work of videographers. Creating beautiful and memorable videos, backstages for photography, clips with meanings — all this reminds me of a certain part of the movie. By the way, video shooting is also very popular now. Some photographers sometimes create beautiful videos after shooting in the studio.
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?