Vagus Magazine Summer 2022 Feature Story
Anastasia is a still-life, editorial, and commercial photographer who makes images using plants, flowers, fruits, and other accessories.
Yes or No
Her images are thoughtfully composed, with each element delicately placed to demonstrate balance and harmony between nature and humanmade items.
How did you learn the principles of photography?
I have an education in graphic design, which helped me a lot in the beginning.
I’ve learned how to work with colours, textures, shapes, and different materials by studying graphic design - but everything about photography, and its possibilities, I’ve learned by myself.
Why does photography appeal to you?
In photography, I found an opportunity to create my own world and language.
Of course, you can make your world in other mediums, but for me, photography has its own magic — to show the invisible.
When did you begin making photographs?
I started to make pictures in 2016 because I felt a need to convert a huge amount of feelings into images. For me, it was something like therapy. At that time, I made pictures in different styles in order to find something that suited me the most. Then, I found still life and felt that it was a match.
What is your vision for the work you create?
I believe we live in a big world full of objects, and I am here to give these tiny things their voice. My approach is to send kindness, love, and positive emotions through my pictures. I want to change perspectives and draw attention to our surroundings and what we feel about them.
From where do you obtain the plants and flowers?
I obtain plants and flowers everywhere: in stores, the garden, the street, and the forest. Everywhere. Of course, it depends on the season, sometimes it is hard to find something on the street in the winter, for example, so I would need to go to a flower shop. In any case, I am always thoughtful about how I use it and what I will do with it in the end.
When you plan for the production/set design, what influences your decision about which elements to include?
The idea itself always influences my decision. If I want to show a particular emotion, I rely on the characteristics of the chosen object, like shape, colour, taste, and smell. Also, I often analyze how all the objects work together: do they fit together or not, do they work well for the idea?
How does your setup process differ between shooting in an indoor studio and shooting outside?
My setup with instruments is the same in general, but the preparation is different. So, for example, if I want to shoot something outdoors, I need to find a location to check how the light works there. I need to check the location twice if I want to integrate the sculpture into a natural background - I make a test sculpture to see how it looks in the environment. Of course, it is not always like that, but it is better to be sure of the result. In the studio, I have static backgrounds and can control lighting, so here I can be more relaxed.
Have you run into any difficulties with the photos taken outdoors?
This February, I was doing a project in an artistic residency in Spain. I made pictures in the mountains and faced a lot of challenges there. It was quite hard to make pictures on the stones of the mountain because you never know how the ground will behave, so you need to check everything twice before you go.
Another situation also happened while I was in the mountains. When I arrived there, I calmly prepared for shooting; I laid out all my props and went to make a test sculpture. When I turned around, I saw a rabbit, and it saw me. I continued my work, but then I heard a crunch! I understood that the rabbit liked my props, especially the beans, so I had to share them with the rabbit.
Portrait of Lake Kezenoyam
Through creating art, what have you learned about yourself?
I’ve learned that I like to share my thoughts with different people; it is important for me, like a breathe. I’ve also learned that I like to explore new things and have fun with them.
Check out more of Anastasia's work on their Instagram profile (Instagram: @vaasialis) and their official website: anastasia-fainberg.com/ This interview was originally published in Issue 6 of Vagus Magazine: Velvet Magic. A longer version of the interview is available in the magazine.
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