Tina Sokolovskaya: “In order for the shots to fascinate, you need to be born with a special vision of reality”

Recently many young people, especially people from the post-Soviet countries, dreamed of becoming lawyers, economists or, in other cases, doctors. Since childhood, we have been told that this is stability, high income and success. Today, trends have been replaced with creative professions: photographers, designers, advertisers.
Photographer Tina Sokolovskaya did not choose her career path, this direction was not her dream. She was chosen. Now Tina is a successful photographer of international level, she is building her career working with famous designers, models, magazines and celebrities. She has been successfully working in this field for over 10 years, and her photo “On the Wave” won in the international competition “Top 35 Awards”. Today, Tina Sokolovskaya shares her story and experience in the industry with online magazine The Vmeste

– Tina, tell me, please, how did your photography career begin?
– My career began a long time ago, I sometimes think I don’t remember myself being different! About 10 years ago, I started earning photographing, and I consider this the beginning of my career.

– And what affected to decision to become a photographer?
– It all happened somehow by itself, like a puzzle. As a teenager, I had a half-broken camera, on which I shot my dog, flowers and classmates (smiles). Over time, I moved to Donetsk, entered the university to become a philologist of the Russian language and literature. My parents did not support me financially and I had to look for a job and distribute my budget.

– Do you remember your first earnings?
– Still would! I saw the announcement of Geometry (portal about the nightlife of the CIS countries – ed.) That they were looking for a photographer. It is very funny that everything is come around and after 10 years the portal Geometry helped to hold my event in New York. At that time there were practically no youth photographers. Then I photographed in one of the most popular clubs, “Tribune Lounge,” in which all the wives of football players were hanging out. People liked how I take pictures, they started ordering personal photo shoots, and so I started to build a client base.

– And if not a photograph, what would you like to do?
– Journalism. I used to work in this area, wrote articles. I really liked it. Or dance.

– What was your first technique?
– My first camera was a non-professional. Then I had a semi-professional camera with a broken lens, it did not have autofocus, but I continued to work with it. I bought a new expensive camera only this year! Before that, I always bought used cameras.

– What type of photography do you do?
– I am now interested in commercial shooting, shooting for magazines and celebrities. This is something that brings both pleasure and money.

– A wedding photo? As far as I know, this is one of the highest paid areas in the photo industry?
Sometimes I do, but I don’t promote this much. I agree to the wedding shoot only if my clients, with whom I have been working with for a long time, who asked me about it. This is a big responsibility, and I myself is not positional as a wedding photographer, this is a whole separate area.

– Tina, are photographers being born or becoming? Can you teach anyone to photograph?
You can teach a person some technical points. But in order for the shots to fascinate, you need to be born with a special vision of reality. It seems to me that the photographer sees more than an ordinary person.

– Tell us what is special about your personal style?
– You know, I can not objectively describe what is my style. This is more visible from other people. The only thing that I know that distinguishes me from other photographers is the speed of work. Now people really value their time. Therefore, it is important for them that everything be done efficiently and as quickly as possible. And in this I have no equal.

– How difficult is it to find contact with a person? People usually understand what you want from them?
– Basically, I have no problems with the contact. I easily find a common language with people. There are very difficult moments, but rarely. If a person is comfortable with you, then everything will be fine. He will behave naturally and the photos will be alive.

– Are there often capricious or strange clients?
– Of course it happens sometimes. But now they come across less and less, because 90% of my clients are people with whom I have been working for a long time. We have contact with them. I really feel people, I have an incredibly good intuition. Therefore, I can even simply by correspondence understand what kind of person it is and whether there will be problems with it.

– What are the most important components of a good photo? What is needed for this?
– 80% is light! Also, makeup is very important. You can never neglect the services of stylists and makeup artists, I was convinced of this hundreds of times. And more important is the mood of the model.

– What is photogenic? When you see a person for the first time, can you immediately determine if he will look cool in the photo or not?
– It’s always a mystery. It happens very beautiful girl, and in the frame looks too normal. And there are girls inconspicuous at first glance. But when we start shooting, real magic happens.

– How do you feel about black and white photography?
– Oh, I really like black and white photos. It seems to me that this is generally a separate direction in photo art, which is not accessible to everyone. My own famous work was done exactly in b / w.

– Which pictures are better: spontaneous or staged?
– Again, never guess. It happens, you think it through, you think it through, but it turns out not so much. And sometimes spontaneous so cool are obtained, which is not expected at all! My best photos are still spontaneous. But I think it also depends on the nature of the photographer. I recently watched a portfolio of a Russian photographer. He made a series of pictures for the orchestra, thinking through every frame and every little thing. And they turned out really fantastic.

– How do professional photographers think of paparazzi? Do you consider them colleagues?
– When I worked in the club and was in this role, I had to photograph the guests, although they did not ask me about it. And I was very uncomfortable. I consider paparazzi to be colleagues because it takes a lot of work. Everyone earns as he can. I do not judge anyone.

– How did you start flying to America and New York in particular?
– Everyone has dreams that seem unrealizable at some stage. And I had one. When I started shooting, I dreamed of getting to New York, because this is the capital of photography. We were all brought up in Western culture, for us Hollywood and New York are a kind of Everest, which can be conquered only by the strongest. I never dreamed of living in America, until in 2012 my girlfriend suggested that I go here under the program Work and Travel. I decided to try, but then I was rejected in visa. It is because of this fact that a naughty child woke up in me, who responds with a rebellion to the word “no” and wants to get what they want by any means. For 5 years I went to get a visa and come to New York just as a FAMOUS GUEST PHOTOGRAPHE FOR AN IMPORTANT EVENT. Life is unpredictable.

– Recently, your first show in New York. How did this idea come to you and what was its embodiment?
– I spontaneously arrived in July last year in New York, and from there flew away on business to Chicago. At this time in Instagram I was signed up by a guy who turned out to be an artist. We talked, and it turned out that he was organizing an exhibition of his works. Sorry, I thought that it would not work to get there. But suddenly an UNCLEAN incident happened to me, after which I immediately returned to New York and miraculously got into this very exhibition. We became friends with the artist and he offered to do something together – I agreed without hesitation. And in two months we managed to make a joint exhibition. The concept was that in 10 of my photos this artist had to WRITE 10 paintings with his own vision of what is depicted in each photo.

– How was the exhibition itself?
– Two days before the start everything was on the verge of collapse. We were told that on this day there should have been some event in the same room that we rented for our exhibition. And we spent a lot of money on advertising. But still we managed to hold it where it was supposed to be. I was delighted with the fact that a huge number of people came, whom I did not even know. Many simply passed by and went to meet. My acquaintances and friends also flew in to support me. I only secretly dreamed that the reaction was so positive, it turned out to be a new source of inspiration for the following, even more audacious, creative plans!

Tina Sokolovskaya: Website IG
Photographer Denis Rubenchuk: Website IG