At 500px amazing photography is at our core, but these photos would not be possible without the talented people behind the lens. The 500px Spotlight series highlights the global and diverse photographers that are part of the 500px Community. This week we are excited to introduce you to Licensing contributor Olha Dobosh.
Olha Dobosh is a Ukrainian photographer currently residing in Catalonia, Lleida.
Her 500px Licensing Portfolio features stunning lifestyle photography that the 500px team is constantly impressed by. Olha has a talent for capturing details and visually illustrating a story through her photos.
Q: Hello Olha! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I’m a 30-year-old freelance photographer from a small town in the west of Ukraine, Drohobych. Ten years ago, I moved to Catalonia, Lleida. I like taking long drives, music on vinyl, and oil painting.
Q: What inspired you to get into photography and make it your profession?
A: My passion for photography began 18 years ago. At first, I took pictures of my friends at school discos and enjoyed taking rather funny portraits with my PowerShot A20 camera. When I met my husband, I became inspired by his photos taken with his Canon 550d camera, which I later took from him.
Q: Originally you resided in Ukraine but moved to Spain a couple of years back. Can you share a bit about your experiences in Spain? What inspiration have you found in your new home?
A: In general, moving to Spain was initially difficult. I moved after graduation, so there was pressure to find a job, in addition to finding myself in a completely new community and different language. Mentally and culturally, I experienced some alienation.
We live an hour from nearby mountains and the sea, so it was a salvation for me to visit and spend time in nature. In the first year, I was saved by trips to beautiful places in Spain, where I was inspired to photograph more and could understand why I am still here.
Q: The 500px team loves your Licensing portfolio for numerous reasons, but one thing that really sticks out to us is your use of natural light that gives a cohesive, energized, and airy feel to your portfolio. Can you share any tips for working with natural light when shooting indoors?
A: Thank you so much for your kind words, it motivates me a lot.
I didn’t consider my work using natural light to be particularly special. I’ve always thought it was possible to shoot better, but I work with what I have available to me. My apartment gets a lot of natural night until mid-afternoon. I take advantage of that and shoot in front of the window in the morning. I also shoot with the light-sensitive and very sharp Zeiss distagon 35mm f/1.4 lens. I also find it helps to shoot without any reflectors and auxiliary accessories.
Q: In the past you have worked with the 500px team on Licensing briefs and have won some of our contests and Quests. We feel that you are particularly skilled at capturing a theme through visual storytelling in a genuine and relatable way. Below are examples of photos from the same shoot to illustrate our point.
A: In fact, thanks to the 500px team, the contests on the platform, and the briefs created for Licensing contributors, I learned to shoot lifestyle details. Before that, I mainly shot outdoor portraits. Thank you for the ideas for the development of my creative practice.
Q: Can you give any tips to emerging photographers on how they can pre-plan and direct their shoots to capture a narrative through their lens?
A: The most important thing is the desire to create!
When there is a task, ideas come from the visuals of viewers, interesting people, and social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram. It also depends on the mood. I think everyone understands what I mean when nothing goes right.
I think it’s much more interesting to look at the variety of plans in the photo. It’s not necessary to have many different lenses—with a 35mm or 50mm, you have an unlimited number of ideas. Small details make a series of photos more beautiful.
Currently, I am taking pictures of my family, friends, and colleagues. I am fortunate that I have many people who are happy to let me photograph them to submit to 500px Licensing.
At the beginning of the year, I tried to make a list of photo sessions that I would like to do. Last year I managed to complete almost everything on the list. I hope this year I’m as successful.
In my work I photograph details that convey the atmosphere of the picture. I also shoot portraits and reports in silent mode—this helps the model to relax and reflect movements and poses more naturally.
Q: Another stand out quality in your portfolio is how you integrate technology. Tech is often hard to capture in positive and creative ways. Your approach humanizes technology and shows how the user and the device work together. Can you give any tips to Licensing Contributors for their tech-inspired shoots?
A: It seems like a difficult task until you try.
The main thing is to find the right lighting in the location where you are shooting, then bring in some extra gear. I shoot mainly in places where there is a good atmosphere and friendly people, so the models I photograph will feel comfortable and open to ideas.
I try to explain in advance how the shot should look and where I will stand at the same time (for example behind someone’s head).
Q: What are some issues you have run into when shooting technology-themed shoots? How did you work around these?
A: In most cases, artificial lighting is not the best and, of course, there are places where there are many brands/logos around that may be hard to edit out. This happens in cafes and shops. I try to choose establishments with large windows and minimalist design.
I also find It is easier to shoot tech at home.
Q: What are your thoughts on the changes we see in present day commercial advertising?
A: I think it’s wonderful, and that everyone should associate themselves with the products and brands they use, places they go, and businesses they visit. Advertising should resemble ordinary everyday life.
I’m extremely glad that we are finally seeing less retouching and photoshop in commercial advertising that represent non-existent ideals of people.
Q: We love when our Licensing Contributors use their own pets in their shoots. The 500px team has come to love Pepa after seeing him in various shoots over time. Do you have any planned shoots with Pepa in the near future?
A: Thank you. We are glad that you like her! She is a very cute and gentle animal of the Husky Dumbo breed. Pepa is already our third rat. She likes to eat and sleep in our arms. We try to take pictures of her when we can.
Q: Are there any projects you have on the go or in the near future that you can share with us?
A: I recently bought a new 50mm f/1.4 Zeiss planar lens and have already managed to post a couple of new photos with my friend Laya from a clothing store.
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