As I am getting a lot of letters with the same questions, I decided to write this little note. Here are 5 most frequently asked questions about the "practical part"of my work.
1. Do you photograph normal people?
For me it was always a strange question (and I do not like the formulation as well...). If you go to my website in the projects section, you will see a lot of people who are not models. For example, one of my most favourite girls, Becky White: http://alionakuznetsova.com/projects/firekeeper. For me, there is no such concept as "normal people". Every person I photograph is good at something, passioned about something, telling his or her own story. All my projects section is about bringing such stories to photographs.
So yes, it is my pleasure to also work with people who are not from the fashion world.
2. If you say you will be happy to work with me, why wouldn't you invite me to your creative project?
There are two different things: to show a person in the best way for him/her, and to show a story as I see it. When I have a person who ordered a shoot, I am thinking, what would highlight him/her the best: which light, place, wardrobe and make up will help me to tell the story about him/her to put his/her best face forward. When I do my creative projects, I am looking for a right attitude for the theme, a right body for wardrobe, a right face for the light. I am looking for the perfect match when the decorations are already fixed.
So yes, it is possible that I see how I can make you look amazing, but still I cannot involve you in my creative project.
3. Do you always take the job?
I do photography for 7 years now, I have experience that allows me to see in advance if the person will be happy with the work we could do together. Sometimes I see that people expect from me things that I cannot give them. For example, those of you who had been in my studio can say that it does not look glamorous. It is simple, not big, with all necessary equipment, but without any fuss... I make my models work very hard, giving them compliments just when they did something really amazing. So if you are looking for an experience of feeling like a start on set - I am not your person. I can get you really good pictures. If you trust me and if you work for it. That's what I am doing. If I see that a person has other expectations - I will not take the job.
So no, I only take the job when I see I can contribute to it and make my model happy with the result.
4. Do you give photography lessons?
Yes, with great pleasure. Only I am a bit "academic" - I need to make sure my students understand how camera works, how light works, how to use equipment and why do it this particular way. Only after you understand it you can start talking about composition, lighting, colors and then story telling. So if you plan to take a lesson prepare to work hard :)
So yes, I am ready to teach you if you are ready to learn.
5. What should I do to get good pictures?
I give my models a lot of advice during preparation to the shoot and during the shoot itself, but here are some main points:
a) Together with me, or by yourself, try to set the goal. Write 10 keywords about how would you like to look on pictures. Find a dozen of images you like for the theme. Like this, we can start a visual dialog and make sure we are on the same page.
b) Relax and prepare to have fun. As I said, posing is hard work, so to do it well you need to enjoy it. Don't overthink what you are going to do - it is more about feeling it and feeling the moment.
c) Trust me. You picked me, hopefully because you like my view. Let me see you in my way and show you how beautiful you can be.