We asked how she got started as a contributor, why she specializes in food, and how she stops herself eating her delicious creations before she photographs them!
Victoria Petrashova: Hello, Fotolia! I am a software engineer working in web development in Nuremberg, Germany. I am native Russian and studied computer science in Moscow, but moved to Germany several years ago.
Fo: When did you first discover your love for photography?
VP: I have always loved to take photograph. I learned a lot from my father, who is a skilled hobby photographer. When I started contributing in 2006, I was an amateur, taking pictures only for private purposes.
My first submission to Fotolia was about 30 images and only one picture was accepted. Oh, that was very upsetting!
Fo: And how did you get started with Fotolia?
A colleague of mine, a web designer, introduced me to Fotolia in 2006. Soon after that I started to contribute my pictures occasionally.
In late 2008 I decided to start working towards earning more money that way and began to work more intensively, taking more photos, and trying to understand the microstock market.
Fo: How would you describe your style or technique?
VP: I like a natural style, without too much post-processing. The main subjects I photograph at the moment are of food and portraits. My photographic style changes constantly under different environmental influences, and in my opinion, photography is a lifelong process of learning.
There are so many inspiring photographers to learn from and very many techniques I’d love to try.
Fo: What advice would you give to new photographers thinking of entering the microstock business?
VP: I think it is important to understand general trends, taste(s) and needs of microstock customers. I long to create a wide range of different images for my portfolio because customer buy pictures for different purposes.
For example pictures with good composition for postcards or covers, or images to cut them in pieces and use for their web-site layout, or isolated images for the flyers or catalogues and so on.
I knew I had to work hard to improve myself not only to bring my pictures through the selection process, but then to sell.
Now photography is my second occupation, thanks to Fotolia! Actually, I think it is a very good way to bring yourself to a professional level: try to sell your images on stock.
Fo: How do you go about creating a fantastic image? Do you follow a particular method…?
VP: In my opinion the key ingredients to creating fantastic photograph are: a great idea, heaps of motivation, a handful of skills, a good mixture of gear (I use a Canon EOS 6D) and lot of hard work…
Fo: And finally, what inspired you to start taking pictures of food?
VP: I cook and bake and style food myself and have read several books on food styling; there are many inspiring food blogs and I try to improve my skills in this subject too.
Fo: Thank you so much for your time today, Victoria. If you’ll excuse me, I’m just popping out to the cake shop…