Today we featured 22 year old Sasha Lebedeva from Kiev in the Ukraine. For someone who as only been shooting for 3-4 years she has some absolutely amazing work. Enjoy.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Sasha Lebedeva, photographer from Kiev, Ukraine. I’m 22 years old. Currently, I’m studying architecture, soon will get master degree. Also I’m working as designer at digital agency. Photography is my passion for 3-4 years already.
What inspired you to get into photography?
Actually – my friends at the university. First I used to picture all around me (stuff, nature, architecture), but then I was encouraged to try picture people. That’s how I came to this point.
Are you self taught or did you study photography?
All by myself – Google and practice are the best teachers=)
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens could you not live without?
I’ve got Canon 7d + two simplest lenses – kit 17-55 and 50mm 1.8 – that’s my basic equipment for every shooting. And that’s quite enough for me.
Flash or Natural Light?
Can you describe how you use a flash, reflector, natural light when your shooting your portraits?
In my situation reflector is only used for close-up pictures, to show eyes and smooth the light. Natural light I try to use in many ways and directions. For flash – I prefer it without impulse – stable, but they’re lots of situations when flash is necessary.
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
I can’t pick up 1 photo, and my taste changes from time to time. Maybe I could say few words about this one.
It’s backstage photo, taken when the flash didn’t work, and it was really dark with small light from window. But still I wanted to play with it editing – i added few actions (brightness, gradient map, noise, curves) – and that’s the result. It’s all against photography laws, but it reminds me about the shooting. We had only 1 hour to shoot 6 looks – and thanks to the model and stylist we made it successfully.
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was shot and how you edited it?
Okay – I’ll tell about one of the latest.
That was a commercial shooting, we were taking pics on the street with unpredictable weather. The sun should appear for 15 seconds, and then it could be rain for another 15 seconds=) Particular this picture was taken while the sun was softly shining behind the building. I didn’t use reflector, lens was kit. During retouching I used a lot of contrast, few colour look up tools with different layer blending mode, of course curves, saturation and brushes. Also I had to cut a hand and change all adjustments of it independently, because it was much darker then all other details…guess that’s it=)
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work?
I use only Photoshop (It might be stupid but I don’t take RAW). As for me camera makes the foundation of photo, retouch makes a picture from it. I can’t imagine my works without editing – I don’t use film, don’t have passion for making pure beauty of shot without any production.
Do you crop in camera or during post?
How do you go about learning new techniques?
From time to time I try new things
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and where?
It doesn’t depend on my willing – mostly – online. And if choose – still online, as I’m kind of a digital person=)
Do you ever get photographers block, and if so what do you do to get inspired?
No I don’t
How much personal work do you shoot?
Half of all shooting work is personal – so I guess enough
Do you plan on purchasing any new gear? If so what are you eyeing off?
In far far plans I’d love to get some video gear
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
I guess I should have started to work with models earlier (I remember I was afraid to shoot models, because I wasn’t sure in good result)
Which photographers inspire you and why?
Roversi, Mert & Marcus, Steven Klein, Erwin Olaf – for their style, techniques
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
Web designer, architect or 3d artist
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
Never stop and be opened for all new.