Capturing genuine emotion and feelings is crucial to creating a compelling portrait that others connect with on a personal level. Russian photographer Vasilisa Koroleva is constantly striving to catch the most inner moments of her subjects to share their beauty through photos and video.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Since childhood, I’ve been interested in investigating and discovering the world and the people around me – I still do it. I kept every feeling from my childhood inside and it now inspires me a lot. I share it with people in other forms (photography, videography, artworks). I’m from a small town in Russia, not far from Moscow where I grew in a very innovative and creative atmosphere. My mother has always worked in creative industries and my father worked as an actor as well as a photographer and videographer. So my childhood was full of Zenit camera, theaters, cinemas, and exhibitions. This formed my love of art and being myself.
When and why did you start taking photos/video?
I can`t pinpoint the exact date but one day a small point and shoot camera appeared in my hands. I began taking photos of my friends, neighbors, family until I got a real digital camera with a video recording function. That was the most exciting time of my life. I photographed everything around me and became even more annoying for people surrounding me!
I always liked digital work. I played a lot of computer games with good visualization such game as Siberia II or Mysterious Island. All these games were so realistic but with kind of utopian script. That’s interested me even more than the process of the game. I respected the graphics in games. That’s how my love of digital started.
What subject matter or type of photography/video do you shoot?
I like to make portraits and sometimes I shoot abstract things. But to be honest I don’t stick to an exact type of photography. I shoot everything and anyone that can change my perception of the world somehow, and that wonders me. I like to catch the most inner moments and senses in our life and share them through pictures or video. I also always make photos and videos during my journeys and adventures. One day when I was traveling Greece I met a handsome guy and his sister from London. I couldn’t resist and made several photos of them.
You’ve taken some beautiful portraits. What do you think is the most important thing to consider when capturing these kinds of shots?
I believe that it’s important to catch the real feelings of the person and share this feeling with others. Another important thing is to catch the real beauty of the person. I want to show each person that he/she is unique and truly a piece of art. I simply just enjoy the process and each individual who is in my viewfinder at that moment. When I shoot portraits I don’t dictate a pose that person should follow. I just create the right atmosphere and sometimes crack a couple of jokes or play some good music. That way I get to see that person in their comfort zone and acting naturally.
What do you want your photographs/videos to say and/or convey?
As I mentioned, I want to capture real feelings and unique moments of life. If it’s a picture of a person – I want that person to be balanced and feel comfortable with themselves. I want to feel the inner part of the model’s soul and my goal is to catch it in a picture. This is the most fundamental thing but I don’t forget about the best angle for a particular person, of course.
If I make a picture of nature – I do the same. But of course, I don’t make the atmosphere myself – I don’t tell jokes to nature! I simply take pictures of the most unusual and abstract forms of nature.
What inspires and motivates you as an artist?
I’m inspired by other creative people, my favorite music, journeys, my friends, and the works of different modern artists from different styles like Daniel Arsham or Dain Yoon. Of course, I’m also a big fan of Salvador Dali. I am motivated by my friends and models who enjoy my work.
How were you first introduced to Lensbaby?
I was searching for extraordinary lenses for my camera for several years. I wanted my photos and videos to be more unusual. Four years ago I discovered one of the most magnificent and silly ways to photograph and record videos with a strong bokeh, holding a 50mm lens out from from the camera. Then one day my friend Ann introduced me to a photographer from Siberia. She wanted to sell one of her lenses – a Lensbaby. I wondered about the name of this lens since I’d never heard of it. I looked at some sample photos and realized that it was exactly what I was trying to create in my photos. I was so excited so I bought the lens and started to shoot immediately.
Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens? And why?
The Composer Pro with Double Glass. It shows the real world in the unreal forms and allows me to be the real creator and concentrate on the details. I also want to try the Twist 60 in the near future.
In your opinion, what makes a great photograph?
Dynamic, colors, people eyes, real emotion, as well as the right composition. It’s a good mix of inner feelings, mood, and beauty of the model.