Suitcase

© Photographer: Friday | Agency: Dreamstime.com

My only communication with other photographers is online and most of them have been through microstock sites. I met Tana 8 months ago on Dreamstime. She informed me on how much she liked Bali, in her own words “I am in love with Bali”. I started to go through her portfolio and I was seriously impressed. I look at a lot of portfolios on microstock sites, not to get ideas or inspiration, I just like looking at images. However, her portfolio really stands out for me, maybe because we both like travel photography, but also because I think her portraits are outstanding. Tana has a very warm personality, which I think shows in her photographs, particularly as you can see her models looking totally at ease.

Last month I met Tana for the first time in Bali, it was also the first time I have met a Microstock photographer. We spent a day going around to various places. After a full day of shooting, well not exactly a full day, the barbecued prawns for lunch and the Balinese massage took some time off our busy schedule, hey this is Bali, it’s always difficult to get into work mode. Anyway, after the busy day, Tana kindly agreed to be interviewed.

Tana is Russian and speaks Russian very well 😉 , she says that most of her knowledge of English has been acquired since she started doing microstock. See how handy those keywords are, don’t you just love ’em! I am not Russian and my knowledge of the Russian language now amounts to just one word, which I learnt when Tana spoke to me in Russian, momentarily forgetting that I’m not Russian. The word is ‘Magazin’, which means ‘shop’, a word which I thought women intuitively knew in every language 🙂 . Anyway the point is, the interview was not too easy for either of us, and I thank Tana for her patience and helping to improve mine. Here’s what she had to say.

Q. When did you start photography and when did you start submitting photos to microstock sites?

A. I got into photography 20 years ago. My interest in photography began when I started photographing my baby. I first started submitting photos when my friend referred me on fotolia in 2006.

Q. What subjects interest you?

A. People, all kinds people. I also photograph animals and nature. I really enjoy taking photos of living things, not still life. Taking photos of women is a favourite of mine. I’m determined to make the women look very beautiful and appealing in my photos. When I take photographs, I put my passion into the photography. I really concentrate on the heart of the person, the soul of the person and I try to get the best shot I can. I don’t just look at something, I really look deeply into the subject or the person, if I try to see them more deeply, I find the photographs come out much better.

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Old apartment

© Photographer: Friday | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Q. What difficulties do you face with microstock?

A. One thing is my English. I have to think of  keywords and write descriptions in English. I spend a lot of time using my translator on my computer. However, my English has improved a lot since I started microstock photography. Also in the beginning, I could not understand why my photos were being rejected by the agencies. They would say my photos had low commercial value or that there were quality issues. However, I would often send my rejected photos back to them, sometimes up to two times, and often they would eventually be accepted. And not only would they be accepted but the photos would sell very well. Initially, most of my rejections came from Dreamstime and Shutterstock, and even until today my accpetance ratio is only at 50% on these sites.

Q. How do you feel about rejections?

A. No, I don’t care too much about the rejections now, I just take the view that it’s the agencies problem, not my problem, as if an agency rejects my photos, the chances are that they will sell or are already selling in another place.

Q. Do you recall any special moments in your time working as a photographer?

A. For me the special times are when I do weddings. As it is a very special day for the couple, it’s only one day and it will not be repeated. So I am so determined to get the best photographs on the day for the couple. I myself have been married and on my wedding day I had a bad photographer, so the photographs for my own wedding were not good at all. Therefore, I really understand the importance of getting it right at weddings.

First dance

© Photographer: Friday | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Q. What advice can you give to other photographers?

A. If you love photography, just keep going, don’t ever stop. If you feel like crying, don’t cry, go and take more photos. I always take my camera with me everywhere I go, it’s with me 24 hours a day. Also you must be brave to do this, especially to take photos of people. When you ask to take photos of someone, you can not be afraid of getting rejections from them, and you can not be afraid of having your photos rejected. Being brave is so important. Also, whatever camera you have, whether it is a Canon, a Nikon, a Pentax or whatever, they are all friendly. It doesn’t matter about the device, the important thing is getting the photo, you can take a good photo with any brand of camera.

Tatiana Russian microstocker

To see Tana’s portfolio click on any of the 3 Dreamstime images above, once the page opens click on ‘Friday’, Tana’s username.

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