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Interview: Photographer Oksana Oksi (Ukraine) Winner of the Month

Can you tell us a little about you?

My name is Oksi (Oksana). I’m 22 years old.

I was born in small town in the west of Ukraine. When I was 16 I moved to Kyiv and I’m based there till now. I studied philosophy in university and for living I was painting portraits. Art was always my passion and huge part of the life. After I graduated from university I started traveling for modeling. So now it’s my main job but from the autumn photography become my new passion and part of the life.

How and when did you get into photography?

I paint from the early childhood. I was raising up with the love for art. In art school I studied composition, colors, perspective and other main things that I use in my photography.

I shooted with my eyes before I even got my phone and then camera. Life around seemed to be so cinematic. You know, when you see not the reality but pics around. You feel the connection between objects, you observe and even can predict what would happen.

Generally saying I wanted to start shooting long time ago but I wasn’t sure that I have enough time for really doing this with all my heart so I waited to the right moment but I knew that will happen anyway. It was this august when I got my first camera and just started shooting everything around. I almost never leave my Sony at home. It become part of me. It changed the way I see things now.

Also as a model I always meet photographers. I see how they work, what technical things they use. That’s very inspiring.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography for me is a way to survive in this world. It’s my motivation to wake up in the morning and do something.

Doubtless, It’s very powerful tool to influence people and make them feel. Of course for that art should be real. I personally love to show something provocative and aesthetic sometimes because I love it my way and find it very attractive.

More than that photography means truth for me. That can be sincere smile or strong anger or sadness, anything that is real in our life.

I’m convinced that photography can also make people happier, make them smile or motivate do something. I enjoy so much when my models smile. More than that through photos person can become more self confident and get rid of complexes.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I’m still looking for my style but what I have now I would call raw, sometimes rough, pure. It always sincere and can make you think. At least I always try to make you think. I’m looking for this special 5% in the photo that distinguish my pics from just nice shot.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Everything around is an inspiration. It’s just all about your attitude.

I personally love observing people just on the streets, in the subway, shops, cafes. Last years I was ofter sketching in the subway. If you look deep you see so many stories around. It inspires and gives new ideas and scenarios.

Also I read many books about history of art and different photo/art books, philosophy books and just fiction. I attend many museums, exhibitions and other inspiring places everywhere I go. I watch documentary movies about people who inspire me, read interviews, biographies. So for me its barely anything I see is a source of inspiration.

Think you in advance what you want in the picture?

It depends. If I do street photography I just shoot, I feel when to click. I train my eye every time I go out with my camera. Hard to explain this, I just feel when to click. It’s like magic for me. I feel adrenaline sometimes, real one with strong heart beating. I can spend hours and hours like that but also can make only one shot but I’m always sure that I’ll get at least one interesting photo.

But sometimes I have exact ideas, I see whole pic in my head than I write down my idea and start looking for the model to my imaginary shot. Or opposite I jut see someone random on the street and can feel that person in the pic.and then if I’m brave enough I can ask the person for the shoot in the future.

And the last thing that maybe for you will sound funny but very often I have ideas coming from my dreams. I just wake up and already see the pic. For now I have big list of ideas for my future projects.

Studio, on location or both?

For me everything around is already a location. You just need to look in creative way. I believe there is no bad place or bad light. Connection between photographer and an object you shoot is more important.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Now I consider myself as a hobbyist because I just started and I shoot just for me mostly.

I prefer collaborations to money. But in my future I plan to make photography my main income and as I already have commercial offers and nice responses from great artists I have no doubt that I will succeed.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

I think the most memorable for me was shooting in Barcelona. I came there just for two hours before my next flight. Part of this time I was shooting from the car. By the way its my favorite type of shooting now with my zoom lens. It was amazing. So many nice people and places. It was only one week after I got my camera but even though results I got were amazing. I still have so many that I didn’t post.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I think it does not matter much which camera you use if you have good eye.

I personally use Sony a6500 and the lens 18-105mm. I enjoy it so much. I can take my camera always with me everywhere, I can shoot from far, stabilization on video is great, focus etc.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Find something that is 100% you. Try to be an artist and after think of money. Don’t try to lie through photography. Discover art, improve your skills, meet like-minded people.

What do you think of our new magazine?

I think this magazine gives great opportunity to all kind of artist. I find it very special and sincere. This magazine is full of beautiful pictures and inspiring articles.

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