All Fun MD Interview with Anna Bogdanova

Sep 16, 2009

Recently I was asked by Anna for an interview, to be a part of a new project of photographers in Moldova that was having.

I want to thank Anna for the opportunity and for composing such an amazing interview for me. Thank you!

You may see it by clicking here!

As it is in Russian, here is the english version, If you read it I would love to know your thoughts! 🙂


Tell us a little bit about Ross Tanner?
I'm 21, was born in York England, grew up in Ireland, Moved to Moldova to live with my beautiful wife. Currently run a web design and photography business. Love working with people.

Where is home?
I live in Chisinau, Moldova.

When did you start doing photography?
About 7 years ago, was the first time I started to do photography with a purpose other than snap shots.

Why did you choose to photograph couples?

Interestingly, it chose me – before shooting couples I did some simple journalism photography, and volunteered to a charity whereby i covered various projects, photographing mainly people. It was only when a few people asked me to take photos of them that I started to explore couple, and wedding photography. After a period of time, I found that i was inspired by the connections I was capturing between couples, and from there on, it just grew, so that is why i now specialize in that.

How are Moldovan weddings different than the west?

I get this question regularly – and it is very difficult to answer – as western style weddings all vary, just as weddings here do also – however from a traditional stand point, the main difference honestly is in the decorative style of how people have their wedding.

Do you prefer to photograph outside or inside and why?
Im very much an outside photographer, i love ambient natural light, and whilst indoor photography can be interesting, it is more about creating your own light rather than finding the correct light as outside, and usually this sadly takes away from natural moments as the photos are staged and posed rather than natural emotions from asking a couple to do certain small things. 

Do you ever find it hard to photograph 2 people, when usually 1 is very difficult?

Sometimes its really hard to make people comfortable to work infront of a camera, and really hard when its 2 at a time, whoms it more interesting and easier to photograph, 1 person or a couple.

I have rarely ever had this problem, but honestly it is easier for me to photograph a couple than a single model. Couples that hire me to photograph them, know from other shoots on my site, that they should feel comfortable with kissing, running, hugging, pinching each others bottoms in front of the camera – otherwise they would not hire me.

Why did you choose to move to chisinau?
Because this is where my wife is from, and my main business as a web designer provides me with the flexibility to live anywhere, so I was comfortable with the move.

How do models and clients understand if you dont speak russian?

We play copy me – i show the pose, they do the same. if it is couples it works fine. Some times it can be awkward but it never gets in the way of good photos – I usually show some example shots of positions and that helps the language barrier. As for weddings – I believe that when you are down one sense, it helps you sharpen others, and not understanding everything being said at the wedding makes you scared and more attentive to not miss anything, therefore helps to get better images in doing so.

im sure you had to photograph, not real couples – is it hard to photograph people not in love, but to make them look that way?

I meet all of my clients before their shoots usually, therefore I get a good feel for how they feel for each other. Thankfully I can honestly say I have never had that with my clients, yes various couples have shown their emotions differently, maybe more shy – but after some time, communication clients become relaxed and forget about me taking photos. They just get wrapped up in themselves.

How many weddings do you average per year?

How many images do you average per wedding and how many do you usually present to your clients?
I shoot usually 2500-3000 photographs, and provide between 800-1600 photographs usually.

What kind of rules do you have for your models?
I do not really shoot models – It isn't that interesting for me, but when I do – there are some clothes and makeup regulations which I provide to them prior to the shoot as an faq form, so they can know exactly how to dress, have their hair etc.

What other types of genre of photography have you done and which would you like to try and which is the most difficult?
I have done commercial product, food and commercial photographer, photo journalism and of course now weddings and couples plus families. I firmly believe that I have found the type of photography I feel most comfortable with out of all, and strongly believe when you find something you enjoy, it is best to work as hard as you can at it to specialize and be the best, rather than try to do everything and just be ok at everything, but not great at one thing. I do believe that children and pet photography is the most difficult, as it requires the most patience.

How important is a style for a photographer?
Very important, its like coca cola without a red cover… I strongly believe that a photographer should have a definate style, so people can recognise a photo as that photographers – if not, you just get lost in the sea of the other 1000 photographers.

What kind of style do you have?
Tough question 🙂 I feel my style is comtemperary, unique and passionate. I love to try new techniques, new angles and constantly learn, and test new editing styles and lighting, but still keepng the same feeling to my photographs.

What are you trying to tell people with your photographs?
A connection between a couple which leads to a long story.

Do you believe in people not being photogenic?
Sometimes people just don't like getting their photograph taken and therefore look bad in the photograph. However nobody is un-photogenic, but i do believe that for some people there are special ways to make them look better in a photo, it is just a matter to find that first.

Do you agree with the saying that very often the most important thing in the photograph is hidden in the detail?
I do and I do not, otherwise portrait and commercial editorial magazines will never have a story – as its usually a good looking model looking straight at the camera and smiling. That tells no story whatsoever, its just glamourous. Whilst other stories that are taken of an event, can have small hidden meanings to show peoples emotions, the situation at hand.

How would you rate the level of photography in moldova today?
I think there are a lot of very talented photographers who are becoming more and more well known, but keeping in mind Moldova is a small place it is hard to compare it to somewhere like the states.< br />
What do you think is the hardest for a photographer, and the hardest task?
For me, it is waking up in the morning. The hardest task – to get all of the photographs to the client on time, as Im so busy with 2 jobs.

Whats your source of inspiration?
There are many photographers I am inspired by, several are gabe from perspective eye, ben chrisman, jason groupp, apertura photo, jess newsom, and i regularly visit behance for inspiration also.

A picture for you is?
a connection.

Tell us about you+we?
Before you+we it was just ross tanner photography, and i was just one, but since my brother in law and wife has taken part in photography and weddings also, it was time to make it a memorable name, which would work for all of us. So we came up with you + we, standing for you being the client, and we being the photographers. Whilst I photograph mainly in europe, sasha my partner photographs in the states.

Do you remember your first photoshoot?
yes, i was really scared to not screw up.

What series of photographs, or picture do you like the best?
It always changes, as I try new things, photograph new people, I get new favorites – currently it is Alina and Nicks wedding, i had a blast – – In a week, it may be another 🙂

Do you like to have photographs taken of yourself and do you like how you look in photographs?
Most photographers rarely have photographs of themselves, but i dont mind getting photographs taken of myself, but i usually prefer photographers with other people, it says more than a single shot. I am not really concerned about how i look in a photo, i just prefer to have fun.

Alot of people believe that the best pictures are unplanned, do you agree with it?

What do you think about black and white photographs?
Great for bringing out the emotion in a photograph, and a lot of photographers use it when they screw up a color photograph 🙂 I personally really love black and white photographs, it gives a different depth to an image.

What camera do you prefer, film or digital?  digital

Whats your hobbies except photography?

Honestly I am too busy with photography, design and marketing and some sports that I have dropped alot of the hobbies i enjoyed behind like biking.

What would you advise beginners?
Be unique and true to yourself, experiment, keep practising, be inspired by others, but don't copy. My hardest issue when i first got started and still think this at times, is that when I compare my photographs to other better photographers in my mind, i think wow, i suck – but i had to continue to remember that in everything there will always be people better than you, and people who can learn from you. It is one of the great things about photography, that you can always learn new things.

by the marvellous: Anna Bogdanova