AP: Tell us something about yourself. Your short biography.
OZ: I have finished gymnasium № 524, drawing has always been a great pleasure for me, I have been keen on artistic embroidery throughout my school life except the last few years. I simply didn’t have enough time, besides, new interests appeared: cynology, in this area I received diploma and became instructor in it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a dog yet, because I dream about eastern-European shepherd, and it needs a house, not a flat. Anyways, during these two years, while I was training on the ground, I acquired great experience and got lots of pleasure from communication with people and their pets. When I needed to choose my future formal education, I decided that photography and recording materials technology would be the best, and chose specifically digital photography. To enter university on this specialty was not a big deal for me, because I was very well prepared and had previous experience.
But I found it unbearable to wait until 3-4 year just to start learning aspects of photography that interested me the most, and I decided to find professional photographer who would speed the whole process up. Internet truly is a miracle, and I found such a person. His name is Kirin Denis. Thanks to him, I started to shoot, and lots of ruses and nuances were revealed to me, they still help me in work. So, I first took professional photo camera in my hands in 2007 and so far I don’t want to leave it!
AP: Your first works. What did they look like?
OZ: Art is quite a broad subject. If I try to strain my memory a bit, mother once told me that in the age of six months she would let me do anything with my hands and paint! Father has finished artistic school. That’s why it’s not surprising, that most of my childhood was spent in different drawing, painting and embroidery groups. But when I discovered digital world, I only took chalks in my hands when I needed to explain my son that they are not for eating, but for drawing! 🙂 As for inspiration, I try to find it in my clients brides and in the love that newlyweds radiate! In my wonderful city, St. Petersburg, I adore it! In the beauty of the nature, that surrounds me. If I need to get into some special mood for certain photo session, than I take fantasy book in my hands and emerge myself in unusual world of adventures.
AP: Do you have any formal education in your sphere or were you self-taught?
OZ: I rejected formal education in university, because it became boring and stopped bringing me satisfaction. Instead, I attended master classes in the studio Photo Kub, but still I prefer practice better, practice, practice and practice one more time!!!
AP: What genre are your works?
OZ: I mostly work in the genre of wedding photography. I tried to shoot business parties, but I soon refused, because there is nothing artistic in that. I shot pregnant women, and I hope I will do that in the future, too. Especially, I like love stories, there are almost no limitations, you can shoot whatever you want and you can organize session according to scenario, I like it very much. What is more important, guys are more relaxed and real during such sessions, than during the day of their wedding. At the moment I am interested also in studio sessions and artistic eroticism. But so far I only gather ideas and plans, who knows, what will be the outcome of this all?:-)
AP: How would you describe your works?
Taking into consideration the vast number of wedding photographers it is really hard to say anything about originality of the wedding photography itself, better these qualities are projected by people who are in love, because each pair is really unique and gorgeous. Generally, I don’t like to talk about my own works. People who are ready to understand them will feel their beauty.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in this sphere?
OZ: At the moment I do not think that I belong to the number of the professionals, maybe in 10 – 20 years, when my experience will correspond with this status… But of course it’s a great pleasure for me to be put on that pick by people, I hope that one day I will become a real master in photo art.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use?
OZ: I use Canon, prefer fixes for artistic shots, exception: zenitar-m2 8/16 fish-eye, I absolutely adore its fantastic distortion of the reality and the way it perceives the space. Sometimes I use detachable light, lamp and also umbrella, and reflectors, of course. I usually edit pictures using Lightroom2.
AP: Is there someone who helps you in your creativity?
OZ: My number one helper is my husband Kirin Denis. He once handed me photo camera and I am endlessly thankful for his patience and love. Most of all, I love our joint sessions, when he assists me and gives me that inspiration, and of course his proficiency improves the quality of my shots. However, our preferences in editing slightly differ, because each of us is an individual and sees the world in his/her own way.
AP: What is your success formula?
OZ: Stay clear of anyone who imposes their opinions on you. Something new, inimitable and surprising can emerge only where there are no restrictions. I cannot say, that there is some special goal that I’m anxious to achieve, I simply live and try to enjoy every day and hour, every moment and event. I like to meet new people. My job and my family are very important for me. I do not take part in competitions, because everything that I do, I do for myself and people who are on these shots. I do not seek recognition or fame, however, yes, I love to talk about myself and it’s a pleasure for me to share my views with those who are interested.
Photography by Olga Zamelyuk