Zuzana Breznanikova. Vogue published fashion photographer living in London. She specialises in editorial and commercial fashion photography for fashion campaigns. In the age of the Instagram celebrity this luxury photography influencer is bringing traditional photography to social media. We at Those London Chicks are so pleased Zuzana has taken the time out to chat with us.
Had you always wanted to be a photographer or had you other ambitions growing up?
I first studied and worked as a Psychologist which was the ‘safer’ or more traditional career option. However I did not feel the same passion and fulfilment as I do with photography and with having my own photography business.
What has been the journey to get to this point?
I started with photography as a hobby when my dad gave me a camera at the age of 13.
Photography has been my passion since – I get in a flow and fully immersed in it. I did get my first work published at the age of 16 in a national newspaper but it was not until 2010 that I started my business.
I was lucky enough to be selected for an advertorial for Harrods early on which helped my career a lot. Following the feature I got booked for shoots, shooting some very high profile people. I also did a lot of testing with top model agencies to develop my portfolio and I’m currently photographing a lot of actors and actresses and developing my celebrity and actor portraiture portfolio.
Did you have doubts, fears or challenges along the way. If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
I started the business while in a permanent job in my spare time initially and with my own money. Of course I had doubts that the business would take off so kept my full time job for a while. However I was very motivated as photography is my passion and I am entrepreneurial and driven. I set myself a goal and worked very hard. I gave it my all. Once my business picked up I resigned from my job and ventured into my business fully.
You work with brands, fashion editorials and (as an actor myself) it’s good to know you also work with actors. What are your favourite type of shoots?
I love shooting actors and actresses the most as they are very expressive and creative. They always have interesting stories from film sets as well. I also love creating some dynamic actor portraits for them that can be sent to casting directors for a specific role to help them stand out from the crowd. I think those kind of images are more helpful for actors than traditional actor headshots that do not show any character or personality – they can help casting directors to visualise an actor for the specific part.
Who or what are your inspirations and why?
I get inspired by the subjects themselves as well as cinema and art.
What, would you say sets you aside from other photographers?
My psychology background I think helps me to get to know a person and in trying to portray their personality in the photos. Also I have also developed my own unique style and lighting.
How do you primarily see yourself; as an artist, entrepreneur or influencer?
I don’t really see myself as an influencer, despite the larger following on social media. I use my Instagram to showcase my photography/ art and talent that I photograph such as actors and actresses as well as fashion shoots and models. I do not try to influence anyone to buy anything. I think I see myself more as an artist / entrepreneur – I’m lucky enough to be able to create art and earn money on the way while helping others such as fashion brands, models and actors along the way. It is the most rewarding part of my job.
Many professionals in the photography industry argue that the medium devalues the photography. What are your thoughts?
It is true that anyone can pick up a camera or even an iPhone and take photos. To fashion brands it is often the influence that matters more these days than the quality of photographs, but why not combine both? This is where I come in – I can deliver quality with a wider reach and photos that can be used not only on Instagram and social media but also on websites and for press purposes.
You’ve seen the world change in terms of the Instagram photographer; you’ve adapted. What are your objectives for the next 5 years?
My main objective is to create some great work while providing value to my clients. I also see myself shooting more celebrity portraitures, especially of actors.
If a brand or an individual were to book you, what is your process?
I have a website www.londonphotoportfolios.co.uk where clients can select the package that suits them best and book directly. I often get booked months in advance so always advise to book early.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?
Being able to have a positive impact on someone, whether it is helping them to increase self-confidence and helping them with their career or business goals.
In 3 words how would describe your work?
Moody, Cinematic and Eclectic.
We at Those London Chicks are all about positive thought to make things happen. What would be your dream ‘gig’ and why?
Working with Tatler to photograph some top actors.
Finally, what advice would you give to an up and coming photographer?
Forget the competition and concentrate on being the best you can be and adding value to your clients. Enjoy what you do and be creative!
Thank you so much Zuzana xx
Interviewed by Karen Bryson
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