Would you mind introducing yourself? I'm Anna - a scientist, a light chaser, a beauty collector and a film photographer. Ever since my childhood, I've always been artistically inclined and tried myself in different types of art like drawing, music, poetry and finally photography. I also have a more rigorous, analytical and mathematical side to me that helped choose a more stable career path. Currently I hold a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and work in the cell therapy field. Film photography is an activity that I do on the side just because I feel a need for creating art.
Anna's Instagram - @annadoshinaphotography
Where are you from, and where do you currently live? Originally I'm from a very romantic and bewitching city that I dearly love, Saint-Petersburg (Russia), but I've been living in Belgium for more than 15 years. I'm based in the French-speaking part of Belgium, which is located south of Brussels.
Your photos are always full of light and positivity. Is there any specific way you like to describe your style of photography? I believe that my personal style is still evolving, but the current look of my photographs relies on a combination of film photography, a passion for light and an unceasing craving for inspiration. Film photography helped me to achieve a soft and airy look that is so inherent to my vision. Another important factor that I believe truly shaped my style is light. I like playing with natural light and plan my shoots accordingly. For instance, I wouldn’t be able to imagine my photography process without making good use of golden hours. Last but not least, I always try to keep myself inspired by following the work of other artists, listening to music, reading books, going out on walks, travelling.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? My photography journey started back in 2008 with a digital DSLR that my parents offered me for my school graduation. I've never been formally taught on how to photograph. Indeed, trials and errors were my teachers and that’s where digital turned out being so useful to me – I had a lot of room to experiment while trying to reach a certain result. I started shooting film in 2010 and I believe that it’s film photography that really made me grow as an artist and helped me find my photographic path.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? All my shoots and film photographs have a special place in my heart. Since film requires so much tailoring and concentration, every frame is important to me. Looking back to last year, I have a couple of photographic moments that really struck me. I reached the apogee of inspiration when shooting a magnificent sunset on Hauckland beach during my Lofoten trip, and truly enjoyed styling a Dutch masters black background still life together with my florist friend Emily (@fleuropean).
What inspires you to take these wonderful photographs? I try to constantly challenge myself with beauty no matter the source: photography, music, art or nature. In terms of visual content, I use Pinterest a lot because I love how it brings together so many pretty things such as photographs, illustrations, colour palettes, art objects and textures. Light is also something that excites me – sunsets and sunrises are probably my biggest sources of inspiration.
What kind of camera do you use? For the moment, I mainly use the medium format film camera Contax 645 with the Carl Zeiss 80mm 2.0 lens. This lens has an outstanding reputation – it can be very sharp when used at maximum aperture and very soft when used wide open.
What's your editing process like? One of the main advantages of shooting film is that it requires almost no post-editing. I slightly adjust the exposure and the colours of my photographs in Photoshop. That's basically it!
Are there any tips you would like to give for anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Even though currently a lot of editing filters exist that mimick the film look, nothing can be compared to the beauty of a true film capture. So I guess my advice would be – shoot film. Nevertheless, I believe that it is important for each photographer to identify his or hers unique vision and artistic path, and follow this path no matter which shooting medium/gear he or she choses. Another important advice would be to learn more about light and keep on analyzing it.
What are some of your passions/hobbies other than photography? I enjoy going out for walks, travelling, playing board games with friends, gardening. I'm also a big fan of 19th-century novels, in particular English ones and BBC series.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? Actually, it's a very tricky question! Most of the time I fall in love with certain photographs and not necessarily the entire portfolio of a particular photographer (I save a lot of the photos that speak to me on my Pinterest account). However, there are a few photographers that really inspire me - Robert Doisneau and a couple of modern fine art film photographers, Jen Huang and Erich McVey.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you love and wish more people knew about? Of course, Instagram is truly a talent-treasury. For instance, here are some accounts that I would like to recommend: @inesperkovic, @malgorzata_kosik, @cupofherbaltea, @sbrathen, @helloimwild, @meinfilmlab.
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? I have so many, it's almost impossible to choose! If I ought to highlight only one, California is definitely on the top of my list. From what I hear and see, I get the impression that light in California is just different from what can be found everywhere else in the world. Moreover, landscapes there are so varied and hypnotizing. I really hope to get the opportunity to visit California in the nearest future.
Landscapes or portraits? Do you prefer one over the other? Both are equally important to me but I guess I have a little preference for landscapes. Probably because I have less experience with portraits and still haven't managed to find that right portraiting style that fits perfectly with my vision.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? In Belgium the only season when I really lack inspiration is winter because most of the time it's very rainy, dull and grey (I do love shooting in snowy and frosty conditions though!). Otherwise, I believe that a good photograph can be taken anywhere and at any time as long as there is good light.
Anything extra you would like to share? My photos! They speak more about me than any of my words (I must admit that I’m not a very talented writer).
Don't forget to follow Anna on Instagram if you haven't already! (@annadoshinaphotography) If you get a chance be sure to check out her website + blog as well! (www.annadoshina.com) And if you're a Facebook user, you can find her on there by clicking right here! If you've liked the floral arrangements that can be seen in some of Anna's photos, be sure to check out Anna's florist friend - @fleuropean.