Q: Hey Elena! We are enormously happy to have you here! You won The First Place in Lifestyle Category in the First Half of B&W CHILD 2017 Photo Competition! How does it feel to be the category winner on our competition?
A: I am happy and of course, it is very unexpected and pleasurable! This victory gives me confidence that I’m moving in the right direction.
Q: Tell us more about the winning photograph “Weekdays”!
A: It was our usual ‘family day’. In the photograph are my children and our cat. The story had started as I entered the room after lunch and saw an amazing light and this inseparable trinity. I realized that it was going to be a great picture. I gave a command “Don’t move!” and ran to grab my camera. That’s how the shoot was done.
Q: Please introduce yourself in 5 words.
A:Curious, emotional, irrepressible, sociable, cheerful.
Q: What is your life story? Where are you born and raised?
A: I’m 40 years old. I was born and raised in the Far East of Russia in Khabarovsk. I had a happy childhood and a freaky youth – I was an athlete, went to some extreme hikes surrounded by great people. I met my husband when I was 14. We’ve been together since then and now we have 2 children. My career as a dentist started 20 years ago. Many years Later I started doing photography as a hobby. I was taking photos of everything I liked. Friends started telling me I was good at it. I began to read photographic literature and to study works of the masters for myself. Also, I went to different courses and master classes. Ever since photography has become a large part of my life. I’m constantly trying new things. I do experiments, I learn. I’m just finding myself in photography.
Q: Why photography?
A: Atmosphere of a place that surrounds me is really important for me. I always try to surround myself with nice looking things and to visit beautiful places. Photography let me see usual things from different corners and it also gives me a chance to express the way I see the world around us. Moreover, I often get the feeling that if I don’t capture the moment I am living in then the moment is not real. I’d say photography is my way of remembering things.
Q: Do you photograph every day?
A: Usually, yes. During weekdays I take photographs with my phone and on weekends with my camera.
Q: What’s in your camera bag?
A: My camera, couple of lenses, water and a brush for cleaning equipment.
Q: How would you describe your style in photography?
A: I can’t say I have my own certain style, but I would definitely describe my work as documentary. Now it is a mix of genre, street, lifestyle and pictorial photography.
Q: Do you have any personal favorites from the first half of B&W CHILD 2017? If you hadn’t won the lifestyle category who would?
A: I really like Natalia Kharitonova’s work. I would give the victory to her photo “Wind in hair”.
Q: Who are your favorite photographers?
A: My personal favorites are Alain Laboile, Angela Bacon Kidwell, Izabella Urbaniak, Pedro Luis Raota.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I am really inspired by the smell of coffee in the morning, favorite music, right cinematography, children’s hugs, rain’s noise, art’s masterpieces and the sunlight!
Q: What Would be your advice to other photographers?
A: I would advise them to try out different genres of photography, to get the knowledge of the work of masters, and not to compare themselves with others.
Oh, and the most important one – to photograph!