Critique

Portfolio: Yana Shcherbakova

Bird In Flight launches column "Portfolio" where young photographers display their work and answer our questions.

In column "Portfolio" the Bird In Flight staff shows photos of young photographers working in different genres, and asks them to share why they decided to start doing photography, what goals they are trying to pursue, who they learn from and how. In the first review - portfolio of Yana Shcherbakova.

Yana Shcherbakova, age 27

Graduated from the Graphic Arts faculty of Krivoy Rog National Pedagogical University. Works as a graphic designer for Sports Logistics, international company that specializes in branding and designing of stadiums worldwide. Four years ago she began taking interest in professional photography. Graduated from Victor Marushchenko's School of Photography.

When did you first start doing photography?

In 2010 I purchased a half-decent mirror camera to photograph with during my travels - nature, sunsets and other ordinary things. Later I gave a try to medium format film cameras, and photography became a serious hobby for me.

What do you shoot?

For myself I take pictures that could be qualify as art-photography. From time to time I photograph by order - mostly love stories, weddings, portraits and children. Besides all of the above, I started working on a social project dedicated to orphaned kids.

My study at the Victor Marushchenko school was what pushed me in the direction of social theme. I realized that I, as a photographer, am able to channel the attention of society towards the problems that are not easily detected within it. While photographing orphans I made a conscious attempt to look into their soul and to show exactly what they've gone through.


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What makes you think that photography is your thing?

Because I can express more through my images than with my words.

What makes an image complete, in your opinion?

Photography is born in your heart, not in your head. When you learn to invest your soul into it, your images turns out good.

What obstacles do you run into as a photographer?

Into the lack of a strong school of photography. There are very few educational platforms or galleries where works of other artists can offer you real inspiration. Therefore budding photographers have to learn and pursue their artistic ambitions in the dark. It turns into a waste of time and potential.

Whose experiences do you find appealing?

Sally Man, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Stephan Van Fleteren, Tim Walker and many others. Among Ukrainian photographers - Aleksandr Glyadyelov, Aleksandr Chekmenev, Denis Ilyin.


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How do you like to shoot?

Something meaningful, several of my projects I try to capture on film. A roll has just 12 shots, so it makes you pause, think and pay attention to detail. I can do portraits on film too, by order, - but only if I already photographed the person, researched their character and got inspired to shoot a certain image.
I shoot weddings and love stories digitally.

Do you profit from your photography?

I could never earn enough with just pictures to cover all my living expenses. Luckily, I don't need to worry about it as I have a full-time job, and in the nearest future I'm not going to change anything about it. I'd like photography to stay there as my hobby and not turn into a routine.

What else do you take interest in?

Design. I am presently working on the projects involving stadiums of Australia and New Zealand, where they will be hosting the World Cup in Cricket in 2015. While in photography one has to feel, in design you have to be able to analyze. When you deal with computerized images it's important to understand what they would look like on a huge scale of a stadium.

What goals do you pursue?

I'd like to participate in other serious social photo projects that have potential to be seen not just in our country but in Europe too.

Emine Ziyatdinova, a photo editor, Bird In Flight:
«Physical beauty, temptation and sensitivity are the main theme of Yana's photographs. You can detect a slight movement that draws you attention in her fairly static photos. However, it would be difficult to combine the images under one project as there is no mutual idea. The author should consider defining her informational space, bringing up the questions she's like to spotlight, choosing a subject closest to her and investing time into it».

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