Olga Zavershinskaya is an award winning, worldwide published Russian fine art nude photographer and Photoshop artist.
The basis of her work is an idea closely associated with the method of realization, emotional and aesthetic principles. The balance between concept and method of expression is the most significant characteristic of her work.
Olga combines lines, form and light scrutinized in order to convey the idea to the viewer, while keeping the aesthetics of visualization. One of the main topics of her work is the human body, its expression and perfection. Olga uses the human body as an instrument to manipulate and construct impressions, shapes and thoughts.
I am absolutely honored that Olga found some time to disclose more of her work’s backgrounds to our readers and myself in answering my questions and explaining her point of views.
Interview by Dan Hostettler
Where are you living now and for how long have you been a photographer?
At the moment I live in small village in Czech Republic. I came into photography almost 6 years ago.
Did you go to school to study photography?
In Voronezh (the city I was born and grew up in Russia) we do not have any professional photography schools and education.
The only opportunity is a photography course at the Faculty of Journalism at Voronezh State University and as you understand this course is only small part of education program and dedicated to journalistic photography.
And I was always interested in art.
How would you describe your vision and visual signature of your style?
Actually I’ve never thought about it, I’m photographer not writer, so I prefer to speak with my images 🙂
What was the first photograph that meant something special to you (by you or anyone else), and why?
It was the portrait of me in the age of 2 made by my father. It was one of the last photographs made by him.
How did you get started in shooting the nude-oriented work that you are into right now?
I suppose human body to be one of the most perfect nature creations. And I just can’t ignore this fact!
How do you find the models to work on your projects?
Sometimes models write to me, sometimes I do. As we have internet now it’s no problem to find and meet people, even if they live a little bit far away from you.
How do you – in today’s digital world – earn money with your adult photography? Client work, exhibitions, retouching jobs or education?
I’m focused fine art photography. This means prints, exhibitions, auctions and art festivals.
Do you prefer shooting indoors, in a studio or rather outdoors?
I’m studio photographer and I like to control everything like light and room temperature. Controlling weather conditions is not really possible while shooting outdoors. I do not like surprises from nature during the shooting.
Many photographers would like to explore nude work but just don’t know how to get started. Do you have some advice for taking the first steps?
Don’t be too shy, nudity was an art object since the moment art was born, even in medieval ages there was nude art. And: respect your models!
You are working very strongly in the “inseparable” combination of photography and photo post-processing. Do you see yourself more as photographer using Photoshop or as an artist using photography as basis for your art form whereas the realization of your work is only possible thanks to image processing?
I’m a photographer not digital artist. Very often I see a kind of biased perception to digital retouching, like it makes photographs not photographs anymore. Analog retouch has the same possibilities and sometimes even more impressive result.
First book dedicated to retouch appeared in 1844 but people just look at analog photos and enjoy, nobody says: Oh Lord, it was retouched! They do not even pay attention to this fact. Retouch is absolutely natural part of photo process.
You do not present negatives as finished photo to the client, do you? And RAW is a digital negative.
Also a camera’s possibility is much lower than possibility of human eye and perception. A camera does not show what you see and feel.
Tech QNA: Olga’s Gear DNA
Do you work solely digital or also analog these days?
I’m a solely digital photographer.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
Hasselblad HD3 and Nikon D700.
What lighting equipment do you set up for a shoot?
Several Elinchrom flashes with light modifiers such as strip and soft boxes.
I know that Photoshop is very important for your final images and realizing your concepts. How intensive do you integrate the planning of retouching and composing work into the concept phase?
It depends on a concept. I do always know what results I want to get. And divide what I need to do before, during and after shooting. But I try to keep my photos as photos, not a composite form 1001 images 🙂
Are you rather a Mac or a PC lover?
Both 🙂 But more often I use my Mac.
Olga, thanks a lot for joining us and the time you dedicated to my readers!