Hear It!

An Interview with Zdenka Micka

In our latest issue of Hear It!, we have the pleasure of interviewing Zdenka Micka - a (very hot) model-turned-photographer. Zdenka has experienced photoshoots from both sides of the camera lens and she puts her experience to good use - her portfolio is a generous showcase of alluring women, all very classy, feminine and sexy. Find out more about Zdenka and hear what she has to say.

Photographer: Zdenka Micka
Country of Origin: Ukraine

1. Production Equipment:
  • Camera
    • Canon 20D
    • Canon 5D
  • Canon Lenses
    • 24-75mm
    • 75-200mm
    • Sigma lens 12-24mm.
  • Lighting
    • 2 stand alone strobes
    • 1 ring flash
  • Photo Editing Software
    • Photoshop CS2

2. What do you think of photography these days?
I like the fact we can shoot digitally now. It is more accessible and cheaper for sure. I love stock photography because it gives me freedom of what I want to shoot and when. There is no boss looking over my shoulder.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a singer. When I was 8 years old, I started dreaming about becoming a model. This came true when I was 15. I did modeling for 15 years and I still continue doing it here and there.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
The first time I thought about shooting was on my trip in Thailand where I was doing modeling for swimsuit magazine for Toronto Sun. It was in February 2006 right after Tsunami hit Thailand. Alex Urosevic was the photographer working on this project. When he saw me helping him carry luggages and being interested in photography in general... he said: "Why don't you try photography? You are like a guy. Not afraid of anything.. not a princess"

That was the first time I started thinking about that. Shortly after we came back, I borrowed camera from my friend for a week just to try it out. I shot a friend of mine, who modeled on a beautiful farm with horses. The photos turned out so well that this friend of mine asked for his camera back.. ha ha...

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
You must have an eye for photography. You must have very good imagination and be some sort of dreamer. (I am a very big dreamer). Also, you must be very aggressive and great in marketing. Always be honest and truthful. Build a good name for yourself in the industry.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
I may seem like a very confident person. It is not true. I am pretty shy and my close friends know that very well. I didn't believe that I could take phootographs and for a long time I believe that my work wasn't good enough. I was and still am afraid of big professionals. I don't consider myself being a professional photographer yet. I have many goals I need to reach first to be satisfied. I am also always nervous... Am I going to get the result the client wants? What if something goes wrong?.... stuff like that... challenge me

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
I feel like a painter sometimes. I imagine some photo I would like to see and I can create it. I shoot mainly people.... models actually. When I shoot someone who never done modeling before and they see themselves the first time... and they are really happy. For me, this is undoubtedly, the best feeling in the whole world. I guess my perk is that I get to make people happy and I also meet all kinds of people and celebrities too.

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
Well... usually I don't plan them. I call one of my models, wait and see what she brings on her own and then I just create stuff as I go along. I hate planning. I love being creative. The first shoot that involved a high degree of planning was the snow queen shoot. Blond with white makeup and white boa. That is my favorite. I always wanted to do this fairy tale type shoot.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
I shoot mostly women. Sexy but very classy at the same time. I don't like shooting them trashy. I like Victoria Secret look and I guess this will always show in my work. Beauty, sexy, classy.... edgy.

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.
I definitely shoot what my heart tells me. I look through the lens, and just let my imagination take over. If I see something there, I just keep telling model what to do. Sometimes I am trying to get model focus on me and nothing else. I talk a lot, encourage her, get the best out of her. I get very tired after the shoot. Few models already told me that it was great how I made them focus and give the best.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
Since I shoot models, I can honestly say that I love working with models which never done modeling before. They follow very easily, listen to what I want them to do. When I work with a model which already has many years of experience then it is tougher. She has her own repetitive poses and her eyes are usually do not convey much excitement. Fresh models have that spark in their eyes... excitement.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
You will be probably be laughing at this one. I am a female photographer and I do shoot women. Why? I am NOT a lesbian. I am a female model myself and I know very well how to pose in front of the camera. Having worked on both sides of the camera lens gives me very good advantage. I am also good friends with my models. Every photo shoot is like us girls getting together to have some fun.

The hardest subjects... are men. Another photographer and very good friend of mine, Paul Buceta, had asked me why I don't shoot men. He said that there is a certain sexual tension between the photographer and model. This is the reason why. I get very intimidated and shy. I feel very comfortable shooting females. We are friends. My only male model so far is my fiancée. I think it will stay this way for a while.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
Capturing my own dreams and imagination. I cannot describe the photo or explain the photo... I show the photo...

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
This might sound a bit strange - Sometimes when I just drive my car and listen to music.. sometimes loud music... I start having ideas and dreams. My mind goes sometimes nuts. I just want to do so much but there is not enough of time. Everywhere I turn, I see a great location, great photo moment... just ideas everywhere.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
When I get ideas I start going nuts. Call makeup artist, call models... I have been afraid of going creative before because I didn't know my camera well, but now I am starting to really create photos. I think that my photos will only get better over the time.

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?
Well.. that happens most when I am driving my car. However, when I get home it is already over... ha ha.... sometimes it happens during the shoot. Then, I get all excited and run around like crazy.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
That I can do something I wasn't even aware I am capable of doing. I guess, I do have an eye and some sort of talent because I don't know too much about the more technical aspects on photography. In the company of other photographers, they'll start talking about numbers and such... and I am just quiet. Sometimes I don't have a clue what they are talking about. I use little lights and one homemade light... very simple... nothing complex.

18. Do you have a favorite image in your collection? Why is it your favorite?
I do have 3 images which are my favorite. Staci with a horse.. the first photos I ever took, then Tina in swimsuit because it is great swimsuit shot and also snow queen... my latest shoot.
Staci with a horseswimsuit

19. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
I am going to be honest and admit that I don't look around on other photographer's work. I create whatever I like and whatever comes to my mind. I don't want to follow everyone and be mainstream. I would like to have my own style.

20. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
Be patient and don't get upset when the stock agencies refuse your images. Get good camera and lenses. That is the absolute basic. I had very bad lenses at the beginning and was wasting my time. Experiment and have fun.
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