The first traditional question is how did you become a photographer?
My father was an amateur photographer. Some weekends he would turn our tiny bathroom into a photo lab for a few hours. I helped him to develop photos, but I did not want to take photographs myself.
At that time, I liked to draw more than to take photographs, and I was preparing to study to become an artist. However, I realized soon that such a career did not appeal to me.
I dreamt of the theater and was educated as a drama director. After graduation, I worked in television and a little bit in the movies. Everything ended after moving to Slovakia, where I had to start all over again. At first, I was seriously engaged in the design of clothes and, at the same time, returned to drawing and painting again. Then I got a digital camera in my hands and understood that all my skills can be embodied in the art of photography. I can be an artist and director, designer and stylist. After all, I need to create a certain image, to teach clients to relax, to sit or stand beautifully, to look amazing and natural, and later I can develop the raw images in postproduction and correct what camera could not catch.
So, you just took a camera in your hands and started photographing clients?
Of course not. At first, I photographed everything and thought I could do everything. Then I began to compare my photos to the famous photographers’ works and realized that I can not do anything – absolutely nothing! I started to study and ever since have been studying constantly. My current mentor is one of the best portrait photographers of our time.
Why did you decide to become a portrait photographer?
I realized that all people are beautiful, but not everyone sees it. Some people don’t notice their own beauty, some people can not accept age-related changes, some people live with an insecure partner, who doesn’t let them to believe in themselves, some people hate themselves after a loss. I see the beauty and show it in my photos. The greatest happiness for me is to see how people flourish after seeing themselves in photographs in a new way. They find new confidence, the desire to love themselves and even more, the desire to love life again.
Most of my clients are adult women over forty. If you notice, most photographers choose young girls as models. It is no surprise – they have perfect skin, flexibility, they look almost perfect from any side.
And what about adult women who have gone through major changes and even more, emotional trauma? Do we sacrifice her on a cross? Our beauty does not fade, it just requires more attention.
My oldest model is 86 years old. This is my Mum, who never believed that she was a beautiful woman. My portrait of her made us both cry. I am very sorry that I was not a photographer when she was young and insanely beautiful although she didn’t think so.
My oldest model in boudoir style portrait is 64 year old. I respect adult women who never lose faith in themselves and their sexuality!
How do you manage to show everyone so beautiful?
This is quite a serious job. Firstly, I have to meet the client to observe what needs to be highlighted and what needs to be hidden. Clothes, light, posture come to the rescue, but the most important thing is relaxation. I am constantly learning those skills from portrait masters and my directing education, working, and skills helps me a lot.
My photo shoots are in collaboration with my clients. I explain to them how to pose properly, smile and look the most advantageous. The most beautiful models are spending countless hours in front of the mirror to learn how to show themselves in the best way. But we only have a couple of hours to do it. I do everything so that everyone gets an extraordinary enjoyable experience and comes back again and again.
Do you use Photoshop?
Yes, I do! I love Photoshop very much! Firstly, it reminds me of the times I spent with my father developing his pictures. Secondly, to use it is a necessity of our modern digital world. Modern digital technologies are very precise, the camera picks up everything that we usually do not notice – wrinkles, uneven skin tones, wrong positions. It is great that everything like that can be corrected. You can add tones and create a special mood. All this I do for my favorite customers to look amazing. Some people say that Photoshop is cheating, but it is normally those who love photojournalism. I classify photography
as fine art. Artists also improve and correct reality as they see fit.
What are your plans for the future?
First of all, to continue learning and improving. I want to find stylists and artists for collaborative projects and experiments in photography. I really want to participate in international workshops and competitions. But the main thing is to make people happy!