Siyana is a 21 year old photographer and retoucher based in West Midlands UK.she's originally from Bulgaria but moved to the UK almost 3 years ago to undertake a photography degree. Since then her interest in fashion and beauty photography has greatly developed and she is! hoping to do this for a living one day
I had the opportunity to ask Siyana few questions to get to know her creative process a little more..
What is your ideal camera (doesn't have to be real)
My ideal camera is one that is easy to focus (shooting wide open is not easy you know) and which is very light - the weight of the camera I shoot with is killing me sometimes, especially after an all day long shoot.
Do you prefer natural light or flash?
I shoot with natural light mostly - I love the softness of it. I like playing with it - using shades, backlighting, playing with shadows. I hope to master natural light looking studio lighting skills one day
Indoors or outdoors
Definitely outdoors. I am not a fan of low light situations which are often inevitable when shooting inside. I love bright indoor spaces - for example a room with huge windows - the light is very soft and even and helps produce interesting results. However I am a fan of outdoor shooting. I love nature so being outdoors helps me combine my love for photography and my love for flowers and greenery.
How important is hair and make up to you?
Hair and makeup are essential for fashion shoots even though I've done many without h&m. Some of my shoots such as the "Summer in November" editorial I shot in June were created with me and the model only - a team of two. I like to shoot unplanned sometimes and see what I can make out of it - in most cases it works. But this is for personal work only - if it's a commercial shoot or a campaign hair and makeup are a must!
What do you look for in a model?
Expression in the eyes and unique features. It's the face that is the most important to me - the model should be able to show different emotions and get into different roles.
Describe your favorite image taken by you and an image taken by another photographer The favourite image I have taken is of a girl named Mila. It was her birthday and we went out to take some photos in a sunny April day. We found some cherry blossoms and climbed a fence to take the shot. It's a portrait image filled with colour and cherry blossoms and Mila in the middle with her pretty face, looking mysteriously. It's my all time favourite from all the images I've taken so far.
Favourite image by someone else?
This will be difficult to answer… I have so many favourite photos it's impossible to narrow them down to one. One of them is "The escape of the flora" by Bella Kotak - a girl in red cape and with flowers in her hair is running in a mystical colourful forest - it's such a magical image.
If you could be anything other than a photographer what would you be?
I would be a fashion designer - actually that used to be my "when I grow up" dream job when I was little. I would probably design dresses such as those of Ellie Saab or Dolce and Gabbana. Hehe. Only if I had the talent to do so!
Do you read any photoshop related books/articles or watch any online tutorials?
I read a lot of online tutorials mainly on Retouching Academy and FStoppers. Also, Vibrant Shot Photography's youtube videos are my favourite - very well explained and straight on point
Did photography effect your fashion style?
It absolutely has. Since I started developing interest in fashion photography I started paying more attention to how I look, what I wear, what the current trends are.
If you can photograph anyone or anything who / what would it be?
It would be really interesting to photograph myself as another person. It's impossible, but I am really curious what it would be.
What inspires you the most?
Nature, light, faces, colours.
Who inspires you the most?
Emily Soto, Lara Jade, Sue Bryce, Bella Kotak, Julia Kuzmenko McKim and many more - seeing how well they handle their photography businesses keeps me moving forward - I am looking up to them so to say. Plus, their images are beyond beautiful.
How can you describe your style?
Dreamy, colourful, whimsical.
If you had magical powers (breath underwater/ fly/ be invisible) what kind of pictures would you be taking?
I wish I had magical powers that would protect me from spiders (unfortunately I have arachnophobia :/) Then I would be able to go deep into the woods and take beautiful portraits of beautiful faces in the beautiful bushes.
What types of photography you know you'll never do?
Sports photography, automotive photography, product photography..
What do you like to do on your free time?
Read, do yoga, go for a walk in the park or watch a fun movie (sometimes I like to wash the dishes and clean the house too :D)
Colors or black and whites? Colours!!
Can you share a before and after
How important networking to you?
Having other Internet friends from other sides of the world. For me networking is one of the most important things. In 2014 I have managed to make many new internet friends and also managed to meet many of them in person! There is no better thing than communicating with other creatives with all different backgrounds!
Can you name photographers you admire.
Ella Ruth, Lara Jade, Emily Soto, Julia Kuzmenko MacKim, Michael Woloszynowicz, Bella Kotak, Sam Goodridge, Jessica Larue and so many more.
What would you advice young Siyana that picked up her camera for the first time?
To look straight into fashion photography and not waste all those year trying to figure out what she likes.
What is next for Siyana?
I am graduating this year and I hope to take up photography full time. I hope 2015 will bring me lots of new adventures and I will be inspired to create and develop my skills
Find Siyana at: