Today I’d like to introduce you to a wedding photographer and videographer that we’ve fallen in love with. She’s managed to capture a realness about her subjects and the moments that her subjects will want to treasure for a lifetime. Please meet Vera Golosova!
Hello Vera! Could you tell us about your photographic journey and what sparked it?
Hello 500px, first of all, thank you for all the interview questions! Some of them really made me think why I actually do some of the things that I do. Speaking of beginnings, I think it was music that inspired me to photograph. Once upon a time, I was an active attendee of rock concerts, leading a fan-club of one of the local bands. We had this old school html site and of course we needed pictures from the gigs we visited. So that’s how I started. Taking pictures of guys with guitars and just pictures of friends. Basically, my love for photography is due to rock ’n’ roll.
Is photography your profession?
It is. After several years of shooting as a hobby, I started to get commissions for different types of photo shoots. For a while, I joggled both my full-time desk job and photography as a side gig. It was only two years ago that I decided to quit the office and pursue my dream of a career in photography.
What do you love most about wedding photography and could you share a memory from your first wedding photo shoot?
I value the simplicity and authenticity of love. For me, getting to witness and to document those true and remarkable emotions during wedding and couple photo shoots is the highest reward. It is so inspiring to see couples in love, respecting and caring for each other. You get the best pictures when you get to photograph love.
Every time I feel so flattered and proud that I was chosen by the couple to share their special history, documenting a day that will be forever remembered and cherished.
To be honest, I don’t remember my first weddings. I guess they were too terrible to remember (I mean my photography skills).
What equipment do you usually use when photographing weddings? Do you prefer hauling heavy equipment around or just use a few trusty lenses?
When photographing I use a Canon 5D Mark III as my main camera and a Canon 5D Mark II as a back up camera. I try to go in with a minimum set of fixed lenses, which are heavy anyway. Always having an external flash just in case, though I don’t fancy using flash on weddings at all. I also have an assistant, and I don’t have a full time second shooter.
How do you feel about having a second shooter/assistant? How did you pick your assistant (I can imagine it is hard to choose the right person who would resonate with your style of photography)?
As I have mentioned, I don’t have a second shooter. Instead I have an assistant whom I teach how to shoot. So maybe one day, she will become my second shooter. Her main job is to help me to perform my job in the best way possible (this can mean anything from shooting events to marketing to making sure that I get to eat during the day).
It was important for me to choose the right person for that job, and I was lucky with my choice. My assistant really understands what I need, so we have developed an effective communication method during the shoot. She is in charge of: arranging and taking care of my equipment during the shoot, providing me with new flash-cards, lenses, new batteries, and anything else I may need. She also does some backstage shooting, which I use in my blog late on, in order to describe my work. I hope that this year she will help me with some simple and yet essential photographs, such as decor & details or pictures of guests, while I will be able to concentrate more on the couple.
Why videography? Was it a natural evolution from wedding photography?
For me it was just like that. The still image simply wasn’t enough for me personally. I felt that I would be able to tell more of a story with the moving picture. Photos capture strong emotions, they are the both keys and anchors of the day. [There] are moments that a couple will remember and share with others.
While video gives viewers the possibility to relive that magical day through and through. Video shows action. Smiles become laughter, teardrops turn into crying, and adjoined lips become kisses. Music and ambient sounds also help to transport the viewer back into that day.
I know from my clients that they re-watch their wedding video, like really many times. For example, one bride told me that she watches it often on her phone before going to sleep. She said that it makes her even happier than she is, and she is already very happy I might say.
Kirill + Oksana: wedding day at the ocean from veragolosova on Vimeo.
What programs do you use to edit your videos? Any special filters or tips that could help out someone who is just starting out in wedding video?
Right now I use Adobe Premiere, but I also tried Final Cut and worked for a while with Sony Vegas. All of them I liked, each program gives endless possibilities of editing and colour management.
I used Magic Bullet Looks plug-in when I worked in Sony Vegas, I loved it! Recently I discovered that it is possible to use VSCO filters with video. I love VSCO, so I think of trying it out. Here
is a link to the article, the method works, but I didn’t experiment enough to give my own opinion on it. Also here
is a link to many filters for Final Cut, I haven’t tried them, but found them interesting and promising.
I always search for new things, my friends and colleagues send me links, I try to share them around as well. As for Adobe Premiere, I think that it is an immensely powerful instrument which gives amazing possibilities in terms of color corrections. So I mostly that’s what I do for now, but maybe later I will install and try out some plug-ins.
You have such an honest and candid style in both photography and video. Do you think it is something that can be learned?
Thank you! And well, I guess, it is me as a person which is reflected in my style. I really do love people, I am interested in people, I am drawn to them, visually, intellectually and emotionally. And I learn constantly. So I think that everybody can do it. You just need to be interested enough. It is more of a process than just a result. I try to be attentive, inventive, thoughtful, passionate, respectful and kind. I guess, this is that mix that affects my work.
What visual aesthetic are you drawn to? What photographers or artists inspiration?
Speaking of a wedding domain, I absolutely adore Sam Hurd photography
. And if we talk of wedding videography those guys are absolute top in my heart: Paperback Weddings
. Aesthetically I am drawn to warm and simple works, which reflect the Love. I don’t like overcomplicated things as mostly they look unnatural.
If we broaden our field then I do love the approach and works of Joey L.
. My eternal inspiration since the very beginning is Anton Corbijn
And if we speak generally of art then I do love works of those artists: Amanda Louise Spayd
and Silver Saaremaeel and Kaija Rudkiewicz
Those three are my recent findings, so the links were ready, but I get inspired by the great amount of artists of different art fields, some of them are my friends, some are some distant inspirations. World source of inspiration is basically endless. Drink of it, it doesn’t hurt.
What are your global hopes and dreams? What can you see yourself doing 5 years from now?
Huh, complicated question. My dreams are big and hopes are high, of course. I am proud of the work I am doing right now, but I would love to accomplish more. In 5 years I hope to work internationally, doing wedding videography all around the world. I shot an Ukrainian wedding last year. It was fascinating! I thought that besides classic modern weddings I would love to shoot videos of all nations of the world to learn all the traditions and folklore. To make a documentary research of it maybe? Or release a multimedia project? To write articles about my experiences? I could free my mind further, but we will see how things would work out. I also love to shoot portraits.
Could you tell us 5 things about you that aren’t related to photography?
1. I do practice capoeira (Brazilian martial art), sometimes I do yoga, crossfit and running.
2. I am an absolute book-worm and music junkie
3. I am nerd/geek, it means I am into fantasy things, science-fiction, comics, movies and world of warcraft
4. I love traveling and exploring the world
5. I fancy cooking a lot
How did you find out about 500px and how do you like it here? What is your favourite feature or thing to do when you are on 500px?
I have discovered 500px very long time ago, I guess on the beginning of its glory. What I love the most is the possibility 500px gives for non-tech people as I am in building their stand-alone photography portfolio site - like mine
. Then I do like the blog of 500 which is an endless flow of useful material, and finally I love that 500px consists of so many talented contributing fellow photographers from all over the world who inspire me every day.
Last but not least, could you share any photo wisdom or tips with beginner photographers? (it can be anything from equipment to post-processing to mistakes which you have made in the past and could be avoided)?
Be respectful to other people, to yourself and to your gear.
Don’t stop learning. Be patient. Don’t stop learning. Don’t be afraid of doing mistakes.
I think you can’t really avoid mistakes. You will not care for an emergency cam if you never failed a shooting at the field. You will not have spare flash cards of batteries if you never run out of these on the shooting. You will never look around if you never lost an opportunity to make a superb picture. You will not do back-ups properly if your storage never got broken. PS: Again, do back-ups. Please.