Technical aspects of my work

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   Firstly, I would like to thank you all for paying so much attention and interest to my blog. I had received a lot of question, so for today’s blog post, I resolve to answer them.

   Before diving in, I would like to further explain something relating to my previous blog post, in which I had said that you need to choose one path in photography and move forward. I didn’t mean that you need to ignore all the other paths. No, of course not! You are a photographer and your heart’s desire may turn to many paths. If you are photographing fashion and you experience a time during which you want to take live and colorful shots with children, go for it! Shoot! You can shoot anything that you want, it’s just that having a determined purpose and path is needed when you need to connect photography with work. If the situation relates to earning money, then of course it would be beneficial to focus your efforts towards one path. If the situation concerns the heart, then there are no limits or barriers. You all can understand everything for yourselves.

   Alright, lets go!


   -For example, how does one get started doing fashion photography? I mean do you just set up a studio and buy all equipment, like lights, space?



   No. In order to get a start in fashion photography, you don’t need to start with purchasing the proper equipment (but then again, in the long run, that is important and you would need to obtain it) You need to firstly figure out your own goals.  This is fashion. Some photograph with an old, plain camera outside and end up with incredible pictures. A fashion shoot doesn’t need to necessarily be in a studio. It could be outside or at home, wherever. The model is one of the important aspect. I have already told you about the importance of a model in fashion shoots in my previous posts. That’s why I won’t discuss the matter further. Basically, in order to start working with fashion photography, all you need is the desire. You are not approaching this topic from the right angle. You can buy a light for $200 to $300, put it in your house and keep taking pictures against the wall.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way so grab a camera and a model and start shooting.


-Second, to learn about proper lighting and angles, do you just look up information online and learn that way? Did you go to school for photography?


   I have written a little bit about this before. In my opinion, experience and time is the best teacher. Take pictures of something new everyday. Keep trying and keep learning. You take a model, adjust a certain lighting, take a picture and the photograph comes out bad. In that case, change the angle and try again. If it still doesn’t work, try again. You’ll get it with the 10th attempt. The beauty of this type of learning is that you didn’t just read about how to take the shot, but you understood yourself from personal experience why it has to be this particular way and not any other. I have watched many video tutorials and read some books, but I have never tried to completely copy what I learned. When I fully copied all these lessons, my pictures came out a bit flat. They really weren’t my style. I began to just take certain pieces of advice (pieces that, without a doubt, were incredibly helpful) and just added them into my already established routine. Sometimes, I would find pictures or videos from some photographers backstage. These would be works that I found inspiring and I carefully examined the “how and what” of these photographs. I paid attention to the lighting and the positioning within the photos. Then I would find the finished shots from all these photo shoots and saw the final results that these photographers had achieved. This is the best type of learning style for me. Develop yourselves continuously. This is much better than having a teacher just simply tell you how to press buttons and how to place the light because otherwise, you will not understand the proper things needed to be successful. I didn't go to photography school because I view it as a useless waste of time and money. I’ve written about this before. In my opinion, you need to go to school if you want to become an economist, doctor, or lawyer etc. School is for a profession that is connected with a technical, sharp discipline.


   - Third, before you start shooting with a model, do you already know what kind of vision you want for her? Do you prepare the scenery and character that you want her to be on film? Or do you realize the unique beauty of each model during the photoshoot and focus on that?



   This is all very individualized. Firstly, if you are doing commercial work, then you always have some prepared, finished concept that you must obtain and you strive for it during the photo shoot.  If this is just work with models, then here it all depends on you. Sometimes my ideas come to me and I want them to materialize. In that case, I look for a model that fits the bill for that shoot. It can also happen the other way around. I can sometimes see a model and then an idea materializes in my mind since it’s her likeness that pushed me towards that idea. Also, sometimes a model arrives and everything unravels during the photo shoot. This is a creative process. Nothing is set in stone and there are no concrete rules about how to approach it. You create the rules yourself.


   Fourth, if a photographer is for example, a landscape photographer or is just an "abstract artist" photographer, how does he/she get his photos out to the public?


   Did you just make a website for all of my photos? How did you start to be known by the public?


   I will combine these two questions into one. In order to become well-known in the industry, you just have to work a lot. Shoot, shoot, shoot! Constantly release something to the public, update posts, write blogs and people will start noticing you. Don’t think that if you take 10 photo shoots and create a website, that everything will fall into place and wait for fame to fall upon you along with a bunch of propositions. You can never stop. You must always continue to work and work. The more you work, the more people you meet, the more people begin to notice you. Everything is very, very simple. There is nothing special or unusual here. Try publishing your work. We live in the 21st century. Nothing is impossible. It is because of the Internet that getting what you want became a whole lot simpler than it used to be.  


   I tried to explain everything concisely and in a manner that everyone can understand. Thank you again to all of you for reading. Please send more of your questions via email to

Emily Towner Behind the Scenes:

   I love working with the Models WebTV! They add great energy to my photoshoots while they capture the behind the scenes footage of the models. The resulting videos that we have collaborated on have added great value to the model, myself and everyone on set.

   And special thanks to Film Annex for the new blog platform that allows me to carry my ideas.


Alena Soboleva

Alena Soboleva WebTV

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About the author


Alena is a Russian born, New York City based fashion photographer. Currently 21 years of age, Alena is one-of-a kind, with a number of notable career achievements under her belt. Alena is well honed in the field of fashion photography shooting amazing models from top agencies in New York City…

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