Interview: Photographer Olga Nicolaeva Helea (Republic of Moldova)
Can you tell us a little about you?
Hello! My name is Olga Nicolaeva (Helea) It may seem strange, but my first profession was archeology. I practiced in this area for over seven years, but soon I realized that photography and human's interaction is much more closer to me and then the final choice of profession became obvious))
How and when did you get into photography?
I photographed everything around me, like all beginners. But I was very lucky at that moment. I wanted to train in portraits and there were many beautiful girls among my friends who posed for me and gave me the opportunity to practice. Even then, I realized that simple fixation of the moment was not enough for me and I began to practice more in retouching. We have so many ways to make our dreams come true in the modern world, but it is important to understand what is close to you. And I realized that I want to shoot fairy tales.
What does photography mean to you?
I understand how quickly time flies (as a historian) and I try to immortalize every moment in photography. It means an opportunity to show someone how beautiful he is in the eyes of others and prove it for himself. When I hear from my model that she did not even suspect how amazing she is, I understand that I am doing everything right))) But photography is a collective work at the same time. You cannot make the model pretend to be someone else, but my task as a photographer is to understand what the model would like and look deep into her heart. The finishing work of such a collaboration is often a surprise even for me.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I guess my work is at the intersection between photography and digital painting. I have always been attracted to drawing, especially watercolor. Soft transitions of colors and special airiness make watercolor works unforgettable. I really wanted to combine digital photography with traditional art and my style came from this desire.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Every artist has his own source of inspiration. The main themes of my photos are beautiful girls and flowers and such areas are really inexhaustible.
I like to create a completely different world of surreal, but infinitely beautiful young girls. The inhabitants of this world are ephemeral, airy and all of them are in close contact with nature. Inexhaustible sources of inspiration are paintings by old masters and new ones, such as Cornacchia and Miho Hirano.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
Yes, usually I shoot an idea that has been already formed in my head. I mean, first I come up with a vague image and then look for a model, dresses and props for it. The idea starts to grow and gains precise details in the process.
Studio, on location or both?
Both! In the studio, I usually shoot on a black or brown background, which makes the photos look like old masters' pictures.
But only in location one can achieve the effect of a dreamy photography.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I honestly considered myself a hobbyist until clients started booking for my photoshoots for a few months in advance. And yes, probably when you have your own customer base and schedule, you can already consider yourself a professional. However, I devote a significant part of my time to unpaid creative photography and experimentation, it helps me to grow.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
There were several) One of these was when my friend and I were shooting a model in a red mini dress at a bus stop at night for a photo contest. There were so many cars stopping next to us that we seriously feared that our model would be kidnapped)))) But this shooting ended well in the end
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I was a Pentax fan for a long time and only this year I changed the equipment to Nicon D750 and sigma 70-200 f2.8.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don't be afraid to penetrate your innermost feelings and understand what you really like. You will be surprised how much energy you have when you are up to something that attracts you. This power and this fire will make your life fulfilled.
Start working on your new skill (photographing and retouching) now and do it daily. Many of us know this feeling when we don’t even want to start because the finish will not be perfect. But even the best diploma and the best equipment cannot make your skills better without your daily work. Don't be afraid of imperfections and mistakes, perhaps they will lead you to understanding of your style and reveal weaknesses that will challenge you to work harder.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Thanks to your magazine, I discovered new amazingly talented people. I am honored to be part of this community. You are doing a great job!