Photographer /Natasha Yankelevich / @natasha.yankelevich
1. Can you tell us something about yourself?
I live and work in Moscow. I do a variety of creative photo sessions such as portrait, fine art, fashion editorial. I have been doing photography for about 4 years and it seems like this is just the beginning.
My main activity is the digital product design. Photography adds to daily life in the digital industry, introduces the necessary level of chaos. I think all production photographers are familiar with the stream of consciousness and secretly love these thoughts.
I like to invent and tell visual stories about people, emotions and benefits. Now I'm evolving in two directions - design and photography. Both directions teach me how to find new topics for storytelling and languages for their expression.
2. How do you define photography?
The main thing for me in photography, is to get a real emotion, that can be understood by everyone. All of my projects are about sensuality in each of us. They are little stories about thoughts, senses and invisible miracles, to each of us.
Photography for me is also the ability to draw. I graduated from the faculty of the graphic design and never touched the graphic instruments after the university, until I started taking pictures. So, we can say that I "draw with models". And of course such subjects are more about myself than about the personality of the model. But maybe this will change in the future.
3. How did you decide to become a photographer?
I took my first photographs quite a long time ago while at university. In the department of graphic design, we experimented with a lot of visual expression tools - in addition to drawing and painting, we worked with etching techniques, linocut, sculpture and photography. So the “shoot” format was already quite familiar for me.
A few years, after graduation, I reconnected with a classmate, who was already a talented stagged photographer. She first showed me the world of photo processes, which was full of concentration, chaos and adventure. I helped her during photo sessions and gradually began to take portraits myself: participating in photo meetings, showed at festivals and in travels.
After these experiments, it became clear that I did not have enough of a variety of subjects and details in the frame, and I decided to organize the photo sessions with the most inspiring models I could find. Then I assembled a creative team: model, makeup artist and clothing designer. The responsibility to orgazise everything was huge. Finally, the result of this first shoot had a huge response and is still on covers of books. I think this was the main impetus for continuing to photograph.
4. Since photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times?
I do not think that each photographer should always keep up with the times in technologies and there is a need to constantly update the cameras. Depending on the genre, photographers have different needs for cameras:
- wedding professionals need a great speed and good sources
- sports photographers need fast response and powerful long-focus lenses
- for photographers who work in portrait and editorial genres is not as important a technique as the ability to properly moderate the process. Therefore, I think it is necessary to change the technique if it fails or at the moment when the photographer has rested against its capabilities. And in fact it does not happen so often.
5. Who influenced you the most? Are there any other photographers that you considers as a kind of an idol?
Every day I see a huge number of powerfull photographs that add to my taste and vision. Especially Marta Bevacqua, whose works invariably surprise and captivate my attention. She works in 3 different slyles which I also love: portrait, fairytale and fashion. So her work inspires me by all means. I also like pure fairytale photographers such as Anka Zhuravleva and Ekaterina Plotnikova. They found a lot of beautiful new face Russian models and invariably relevant topics for narratives.
6. What has been your favourite place or subject to photograph?
I started taking pictures with an interest in non-standard types of models. Women's beauty will be a current topic for conversation today and in 400 years. I want females of our age to be remembered as real, dreamers and invariably deep personalities. Therefore, in each session, I think of a little story about the dreamer character and their relationship with themselves or the world around them. My excitement for each character grows each day and motivates me to meet and shoot more and more odd and spectacular strangers.
7. What is most challenging about being an artist?
Probably the lack of universally recognition in the creative path. No one will tell you exactly what you need to do to get it right and unique. There are people whose advice is valuable, but the basic ideas should be born and integrated in your own mind. Nobody will come up with anything for you. I think this applies to all areas of human activity.
8. Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers who are picking up a camera for the first time?
It is important to choose an interesting subject. For example, if a person immediately understands that it’s interesting to photograph people, then you don’t need to force yourself to go through all genres - it’s better to choose one thing and reinforce it. I also consider it important for the first couple of years to forget about money, and shoot like the last time)) So that every shoot should be important, beloved, and can form a strong portfolio.
9. What was the first camera that you received?
I still make photos on my first camera)) I shoot with a very simple camera, the Sony Nex F-3. I often get mixed reactions among colleagues, since the camera is mirrorless, crop framed and considered amateur. I do not really understand the desire of the beginners photographers to buy a top-notch technique, because the camera is a tool and can not do more than the photographer can.
10. How do you light the picture?
In general, I prefer to shoot with natural light, it is always predictable and good. But I also master the studio light gradually, because in Moscow there are not so many sunny days in winter and a daylight is so short.