Hear It!

Tatjana Strelkova a.k.a vedmezulik, is our featured photographer in the latest edition of Hear It! This passionate photographer hailing from Latvia, is a passionate soul who believes that to succeed as a photographer, one has to be expressive and true to oneself, and a little street-smart resourcefulness would certainly help. Find out more in this edition of Hear It!

Photographer: vedmezulik / Tatjana Strelkova
Country of Origin: Latvia

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Lenses: Canon EF 50mm f/1,4; Canon EF 28-135mm f/3,5; Sigma 12-24mm EX DG, Lighting: Canon Speedlite 430 EX; Bowens Esprit Gemini 500

2. What do you think of photography these days?
Everyone can take pictures nowadays, cameras aren't luxury, everyone can buy them. But the photograph is nothing, until you put your soul in it.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to become a sculptor, used to make sculptures of men and all kinds of animals. A little later I made them from gyps. My mother has them in her house standing on shelves.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I started it in the institute, where I was studying on design faculty. There was a subject called Photoart, it was my favourite. I'm glad that I bought my first camera then.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
It takes creativity, resourcefulness, artistic look at the world, and of course a help from friends (potential models)

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
My unfriendly relationship with my computer. It was hard for me to process photos in Photoshop in the start, but with the help of friends and teachers I got thru it.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
Really good photographers are creative artists, they can take pictures anytime and anywhere they like. They make money doing the job they like. I want to become a real photographer in the near future ;)

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
1. Come to an idea in my head     2. Write it down
3. Find properties       4. Make arrangements with models
5. Go and do it

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
It's not only work, it's more like hobby. You put the soul in it and in return it brings you profit.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex check list in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/check list.
There are some subjects, that are popular and claimed, so when I decide what to shoot, I go thru themes, then make up every image in my mind

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
It's most pleasant to make portraits of people. Once I took photos of my friend, she's a very beautiful girl, so there were at least 400 of photos taken, it was very hard for me to stop. It was what I'd call creative madness, 10 costumes, 10 different make-ups, 4,5 hours of photographing. At the end we went home very tired and hungry :D

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
The hardest is to work with children from 3 to 5 years old. In this age they are so lively and active, so sometimes they're unstoppable, and even the parents can't settle them down. Little ones do what they want, instead of doing what I need them to. But there are always ways to make them calm. Candies and toys are my helpers in these uneasy situations.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
Don't hurry, it takes time and attention to take real good picture!

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
Good weather inspires me a lot! My soul feels very light, so with camera in my hands I feel like flying high above this world on the wings of creativity.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
I relax, gather all my thoughts, make strong green tea and drink it and eat chocolate! If it doesn't help, I go to the sport club, work out and sleep. In the morning my brain is full of creative juices again.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
I put all my energy in my work till the last drop of it, during these moments I feel it overflows me from the inside.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
I found that photography is the good way to express my feelings about this beautiful life in all its ways

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
I admire the most the works of my father. He used to be a photographer, when I was very young. There was no digital cameras then, so he took pictures with his film camera, and took me with him to develop his films. I watched the process from the beginning till the end. It was very interesting and creative work. He even used to make some effects on those pictures.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
Read books about photography, and don't be ashamed to ask people, like who "ate a dog" on photostocks as an advise ;)

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