Alena Sadreeva is a Russian photographer and doctor from Tver, a city northwest of Moscow. Alena’s commercial Licensing portfolio is rich with photos featuring intimate moments between couples, creative and conceptual beauty portraiture, and authentic lifestyle photography.
Q: What was it that first inspired you to pick up a camera and pursue photography?
A: I started taking photos as a child, using my parents’ film camera. I always liked taking funny photos of my friends and loved the anticipation of waiting for film to be developed. The feeling that I can capture a moment and forever keep it in my memory, exactly as it is—that’s what prompted me to first pick up my camera as an adult and start taking photography more seriously.
Q: How would you describe your personal photography style and the themes you incorporate into your work?
A: I’ve shot many of my models many different times. I would call my style “photos about people”. I see them at different periods of their lives, in different locations, in different clothing. In fact, through my photography, you can follow the life story of my models.
Q: While you shoot a variety of content, you have a common theme through them all—people. What excites you the most about working with your models?
A: I love talking with models and communicating my ideas with them. I think communication is one of the most crucial skills for a photographer. All the models I’ve shot have told me that it’s very easy to work with me because, throughout the shoot, I actually become their friend. This always inspires me to work harder.
Q: You have a softness within your portraiture that captures a sense of warmth and familiarity, often utilizing your model’s gaze and natural lighting to create a romantic setting that feels feminine and calm. Can you describe the feeling of knowing when to click the shutter?
A: I would describe it as I get a feeling deep inside, that tells me that in a moment will be the “edge of happiness” or “peak of emotion”. I’m always trying to capture these expressions and happiness in my models.
Q: When working with models during a shoot, do you heavily plan out your process or take a more improvised approach?
A: I approach my shoot with an approximate idea of the snapshots I want and a rough plan in my head on how to achieve them, but I also feel that improvisation is always a big part of photography.
Q: Based on your experiences, what would you consider to be three golden rules for creating a well-composed photo.
A: I would definitely consider my golden rules to be to always try to capture and find beautiful lighting, great composition, and always aim to capture natural emotions within the frame.
Q: Beyond composition, what are some ways you see yourself trying to improve or build upon in your photography, whether through technical skill, production, or post-production?
A: With every photo I shoot, I’m trying to come up with a frame that is unlike any other photo in my portfolio. I’m always inspired by the works of other photographers, and I go through training on the technical side of photography. I really adore working with color in my photos through post production. I think that in a way, I’m able to show people my personal vision of the world.
Q: When we look at your photo, “Reflections”, from your 500px Profile, it stands out for its psychedelic kaleidoscopic style—the model’s image is fractured, repeating again and again. Can you discuss the layered concepts within the photo and how the kaleidoscope complements your intended message?
A: Photos composed entirely of reflections are very different from the average image. I feel that the fractures and reflections are a symbol of the versatility of one person. I also feel that the kaleidoscope effect enhances the overall composition of the photo.
Q: Not only a photographer, you’re also a doctor. Do you find your experiences in the medical field influence or inform decisions you make creatively with your photography?
A: Yes, in addition to being a photographer, I’m also a dermatologist. I feel that I’m able to retouch not only a photo, but also real life, and it’s very inspiring. I think problems associated with skin disease is a very important issue in the modern world, and I would really like to create a photo series featuring my patients.
Q: With social distancing becoming a global trend over the past few months and shoot opportunities limited, how has this affected your creativity and photography?
A: It’s gotten me looking more at a distance within my photos. I’ve also begun paying more attention to the backgrounds. I enjoy the style of photos shot at a distance, as I get the feeling from these kinds of photos that you’ve accidentally spied on real people—it’s mesmerizing.
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