Q: You have a robust Licensing portfolio that features a variety of genres. Is there a reason you gravitate towards certain genres over others?
A: I like to watch and to capture moments. I do not like to follow a strict script because something always goes wrong. Mostly, I like to photograph what is happening around me. I find I don’t have a favorite genre since there are always new events happening around me, and new surroundings to explore, so new genres appear. I try to take pictures in any format.
Q: You have a great eye for capturing everyday situations and turning them into beautiful, commercially viable photos. What role would you say observation plays in your photography?
A: Observation is what started me in photography, noticing a moment, and capturing it. Observation makes you great at finding the right moment. I learned the basics of composition, and, after that, I practiced. I’ve loved to watch the world since I was a child—I was a very inquisitive child.
Q: You photograph a variety of cute critters within your Licensing collection. Where do you find such photogenic participants for your shoots?
A: I love animals. We have two cats and a dog. We also have many friends who have animals, and they are not against photoshoots!
Q: You do a great job of portraying the relationship between people and their pets. Do you have any tips for photographers who want to try and capture this type of relationship?
A: When shooting animals, interaction with the owner is always key. It is important to follow and keep up with your furry friends. Give them some freedom and use the ideas that animals suggest as you watch them. Animals also need to get familiar with the environment.
Do not rush them, and do not use pressure or aggression. Animals love to explore new places and objects. Create a brief for your models and leave some time to be able to capture the moments that arise. Don’t forget to bring favorite treats and toys for your pets. Get to know your models before shooting, spend time with them.
Q: You also shoot weddings and everyday milestones. Have you been able to apply some of the learnings from participating in 500px Licensing to these types of shoots?
A: Yes. 500px helps a lot by talking about trends in photography and showing you the best of each trend. This creates specific guidelines that help photographers evolve, take fresh photos, and get new experiences and new opportunities
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers who want to grow their own photography business?
A: Take more pictures and doubt yourself less. Attend interesting events and always take a camera with you. If you want to take a shot, immediately take it.
Keep track of the highlighted photography. Watch the work of the winners of photo contests and participate in them. Attend workshops. Learn the rules of composition and get to know classic photography by trying to shoot on film. The best camera is the camera in your bag, do not pursue technology.
Q: What would you consider to be the foundation of a strong commercial portfolio?
A: Following the trends but also being unique. High quality is also important. Creating a big body of work and adding new content to your portfolio regularly. Also, developing thematic content is important to add variety to your portfolio.
Q: You have a number of new photos in your Licensing collection. Can you tell us which one you enjoyed shooting the most?
A: I think a good frame is a frame with an interesting composition (geometry), movement (action), and real story (emotions, scene).
After shooting, I go through my images and try to identify any mistakes so I can improve. Each frame could be better than the last one. I try to evaluate my photos objectively.
I think there’s still a lot to learn, so victories in photo quests are often surprising.
Q: What are your plans for your Licensing portfolio in the future?
A: I do not plan to stop. It seems to me that my path is close to 500px—here I got an unexpected jump. My work was noticed and hit different shortlists. The first time I won a Quest was very important to me since I realized that I was moving in the right direction.
Q: If we were to look into your bag during a shoot, what would we find? Is there anything in your camera bag that you can’t go without? (aside from a camera of course)
A: My bag has a pen for cleaning optics (lens cleaning), a bag of silica gel (to guard against moisture), a macro ring, and a prism (for optical effects). I also carry a bag with an elastic band (in case it rains). Routes and timetables are printed on paper. A spare camera if this is a commercial shot. Flash Cards for 16GB and 32GB so as not to lose all the material. Sometimes a tripod.
For each shoot, I try to assemble a minimal set of equipment so I can travel light and be more mobile.
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