Marta is a travel blogger who loves fashion and traveling and decided to combine both in photography. She shared with us how she decided to start her business and create a successful instagram account with thousands of followers. Enjoy her interview!
Can you tell me a little about you?
My name is Marta Romashina, I am originally from Penza, a city in Russia, but based elsewhere since 2006. I have a fashion background – I did my undergraduate in Shanghai and I hold a Master’s degree in Fashion Buying from Polimoda school in Italy. Before the pandemic I was a travel blogger creating content on @wheremartawent.
How and when did you get into your profession?
I took my first images quite a long time ago while pursuing my degree in fashion marketing in Shanghai. We had a photography class for few months and were learning the very basics. I was also curating several fashion campaigns there for local brands. Since then I got distracted by other opportunities and somehow forgot about this hobby.
I started taking it seriously only last year during the global pandemic. Out of boredom I’ve decided to try my chances and sent my picture to Vogue Italia. It was an image of my friend I took in Thailand when I just bought my first camera in 2018. It was published on Photo Vogue the same day. This gave me very strong motivation to continue.Because it was April lockdown in Russia, I started taking self-portraits every weekend at home with the window light. Eventually it got on the cover of a printed publication.
Later in June when we were allowed to go out, I contacted my classmate who I haven’t seen since high-school and offered her a photoshoot. She was based in Seoul before the pandemic so I was “lucky” she got stuck in Russia too. We spent whole summer shooting together and I managed to build a portfolio which allows me now to get commercial jobs.
What does photography mean to you?
It is my personal story with faces and places I love. The aesthetics that I can share with others.
Could you describe your style in three words?
Effortless, Dreamy, Storytelling.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I get a lot of inspiration from the past, especially cinema. I am currently watching films of French New Wave and enjoying everything about its aesthetics – unique artistic vision, lightings, bold editing. Plus it helps me to improve my French 🙂 I also love visiting galleries and get excited by observing the art. Something I really miss a lot these days.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?
For me it’s crucial to have a clear vision in my mind and the idea I want to covey. So I plan my shoots weeks in advance: searching for models, make-up artists, location and props. Ideally I would meet up with the team on a separate day to give a little presentation with a moodboard about the coming shoot. However, the real magic happens when on this basis you improvise and unexpected results come out. Those make the best pictures.
Studio, on location or both?
I love to shoot on location. However, I am currently in Russia and it is February so I am spending most of my days in the studio.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
It was last December when I was shooting fashion editorial for L’Officiel. I had a complex project in mind and understood I couldn’t do it by myself. Weeks before the shoot I started assembling a creative team: model, makeup artist, fashion designers and assistants. The responsibility to organise everything was huge. It was for the first time when I had a team working with me. Just knowing the fact that all these people gathered because they believe in my idea and trust me was the most special moment of 2020.
What camera do you use?
I still make photos on my first camera, Canon EOS 200D. I often get mixed reactions among photographers as it’s crop framed and considered amateur. But I said to myself in the beginning of a photography journey: if I can’t create great images with this simple camera, perhaps it doesn’t worth investing into expensive gear. My favourite lenses are 50 mm and 80mm; it gives me the quality I am looking for.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer to those looking to start their own business?
You definitely need to remember what makes you feel inspired and not to forget what you truly like. Don’t compromise your aesthetics for someone else’s convenience. Shoot as much as you can, be respectful to the people you work with and don’t forget to sign model release 🙂
Follow Marta on Instagram
Model: Anzhelika Arutjunjan
Photographer: Marta Romashina