Tell us a bit about yourself…
My name is Siyana Kasabova and I am 20-year-old photographer. I was born in Varna, Bulgaria, but now I study and live inCoventry, UK. I am interested in fashion and portrait photography, and in showing people how beautiful they really are.
Who, or what, influences you?
I am following hundreds of photographers on Facebook and am inspired by all of them. However the strongest influence on my work have Lara Jade, Emily Soto, Brooke Shaden. Lara and Emily are the photographers who made me choose fashion photography as my subject and Brooke is the most inspirational photographer I have seen so far.
What is the appeal of photography?
Photography is a form of art; it is meant to be beautiful and thought provoking. People like photography because it’s an artistic way of showing inner and outer beauty.
Describe your work in one sentence….
My photography is natural, warm and elegant.
Do you think that anyone can be a photographer?
If they let themselves be creative – why not?
I have already gained so much! And it’s only the beginning of second year. I hope to learn how to be more confident – this is a quality I don’t have at the moment.
You are originally from Bulgaria. How has coming to England influenced your photography?
Well, coming to university took me to another level in my work. I became more involved and managed to define the field in photography that I was interested in. Before coming here I knew I would be doing photography, but didn’t know I would fall in love with fashion photography.
My country is small and doing photography there would be even more challenging. The truth is that in Bulgaria there is no proper market for what I’m doing. England will give me the chance to stand out and prove that I am worth it.
How do you ensure you keep your work current?
It’s hard to keep both university and personal work running smoothly, but what I’m doing is just going out to shoot whenever I can. I try to grab every opportunity to expand my portfolio and perfect my skills.
If you weren’t a photographer, what career would you be doing?
Fashion! I used to draw clothes when I was little and I wanted to be a famous fashion designer. In my art classes I was always drawing dresses and other outfits, but my drawing skills weren’t so good so here I am – using other method of capturing them.
Overrated – no. It’s even underrated. Most people don’t understand the importance fashion photography has on their lives. Nowadays fashion photography is everywhere and without it fashion designers wouldn’t be able to establish trends in the way they do now.
What do you do that makes you different from other fashion/portrait photographers?
Well, I’ve only worked with one professional model so far, everybody else I’ve photographed are just friends or people I’ve met here and there. I think that what I’m doing best is transforming ordinary people into models and just making them realise they are beautiful.
Do you use post processing and how does it affect the final image?
Yes, I do. This is something essential for every fashion photographer out there. Post processing helps me better present my creative vision and deliver beautiful results to the people I photograph. A post processing program helps you enhance colour and get rid of temporary blemishes on the model’s face, thus presenting more clean and aesthetic image.
How do you come up with concepts for your photographs?
I am constantly observing the world around me, looking for locations, looking at people, looking at magazines and Facebook photography pages, looking for inspiration. I save pictures on my laptop and keep looking at them. I try to be inspired by everything around me. But most inspiring to me are people – every one of us is unique and beautiful. In most cases I come up with a concept based on the model and their personality. Sometimes I fall in love with a location and try to base my story around it. Even clothes can make the story for me.
Models that are natural and charming inspire me. I don’t care about their size, height or whatever. Every person on that planet is beautiful. The most important thing I look for in a model is their individuality and attitude.
Outside photography, what are your other interests and hobbies?
Ha-ha. I will tell you something funny. I really like reading, but when I start reading a book, I cannot stop. I read till the morning, at school, everywhere. This is why I try to stay away from interesting books when I have other jobs to do. If I could, I would be reading all day long, every day.
I love travelling and exploring new places. I love walking. The usual stuff. 😛
Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
Never stop learning. No matter how – by attending a course, watching YouTube videos or by experience – just don’t stop.
More images by Siyana: