Contributor Spotlight: Anastasia Kazakova

Image source: Anastasia Kazakova.

by Adobe Stock Team

posted on 03-15-2018

Adobe Stock contributor Anastasia Kazakova is a Russian native who began her career in photography when she relocated to Spain. Without any friends and not much knowledge of Spanish, photography gave Anastasia a way to express herself, and make meaningful income. Here, Anastasia shares some of the challenges she’s overcome, and the lessons she’s learned as a stock photographer.

Adobe Stock: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Anastasia: I was born in Russia, and had a long career in advertising in Moscow before I decided to move to Barcelona four years ago. That was the beginning of my stock story. I never thought to be a photographer. It happened serendipitously when I came across a professional camera and fell in love with how different objects looked through it. A week later, I bought my own camera and began learning how to use this magic box. I took inspiration from magazines, and learned how to set up lights by studying classic paintings. These days, I’m inspired by beauty and fashion.

Image source: Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock: How did you make the switch from advertising to stock?

Anastasia: In a sense, it was a necessity. I moved to city where I did not know anybody, did not speak any Spanish, but still had a huge desire to live in this place. So stock let my dream come true. In the early days, I took on some retouching work for agencies, but since then I’ve stopped to focus on stock. It’s the best job I’ve ever had — there is no stress, no boss. Nothing that can distract me from my work and creativity.

Adobe Stock: Was it a difficult transition? What are some lessons you learned from the switch?

Anastasia: It was a complicated period in general, because it coincided with my moving to a new country. It required a lot of discipline, but ultimately, it helped me improve as a stock photographer. I began by making a weekly plan to shoot, and my sessions became more productive, and more methodical. Without organization and planning, you lose valuable time and resources. Working methodically let me see photography as a profession rather than just an expression of my creativity.

Image source: Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock: How does your background in advertising help you as a photographer?

Anastasia: My background helps me understand how the buyer wants to see a final product. My photos need to be commercial. Buyers are looking for a special characteristic. It’s a mix of quality and trends, but the idea must also be strong. In general, the most popular images have a basic concept that can be used for a variety of different purposes. For example, a beautiful portrait of a smiling woman can be used in a lot of different campaigns to sell a lot of different products. So my ability to imagine these kind of images — thanks for my experience in advertising — is a big help in stock.

Image source: Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock: What do you like most about being a stock photographer?

Anastasia: Freedom. I can plan my day as I wish. I can work when I have inspiration, or not work if I don’t want to. And in my case, that creative freedom is an important part of the success of my stock images.

Adobe Stock: And what’s most difficult about stock?

Anastasia: Stock is a dynamic industry, and to be successful, you have to generate content consistently. Sometimes it can be difficult to find motivation, or to find something that inspires me.

Adobe Stock: How has your stock career and portfolio grown and evolved since we last interviewed you in 2014?

Anastasia: Now I’m concentrating on footage. I found video to be a very interesting and complicated process, so now I’m learning to control this process.

Video source: Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock: Can you tell us how you define beauty, and how you strive to portray your version of beauty, on camera?

Anastasia: I love human imperfection. I try not to change that too much with makeup or with post production. There is a big difference between a model trying to imitate someone else, like another model or a celebrity, and a model who is natural and being herself.

We love famous models and actress because they have a unique look. They have something that we can not find in another person, whether it’s their manner of posing, their look, or the way she speaks. This is the hardest task for the model — to find what it is that makes her unique. But when she finds it, that is when she truly starts to shine.

Image source: Adobe Stock.

Adobe Stock: Do you think the beauty standards in the advertising/stock industry have changed over the last few years?

Anastasia: Yes, and I like it much more. I’m happy to see models’ faces in advertising, that some years ago was called out for being “unusual.” Beauty is not about ideal proportions, or perfect hair and make up. I hope the fashion industry see it finally and will be use more models with strong identity.

See more of Anastasia’s images on Adobe Stock.

Topics: Creativity, Photography

Products: Stock