Lensational Magazine: Hello, Maria Potashova. Great to have an interview with you about your fabulous work. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Maria Potashova: Thank you for having me! It is a great honor for me to have this opportunity and present myself. My name is Maria Potashova. I’m fine art photographer. EvaMaria Photography Studio is named after my daughter’s name Evelina, who is my principal model and my name.
I work very hard and live in my magic world of photography. I’m Canadian, Montrealer, professional photographer, specializing in fine art portraits, children, and family photography. I enjoy capturing families, pregnancy, newborns, babies, and kids in a way that is arty, real, romantic, and full of life.
Nothing gives me more joy than to spend my time creating stunning photos to decorate my client’s homes, memories they can pass down throughout the generations. I enjoy indoor newborn shoots, as well as outdoor family and maternity photography.
It is already 10 years that I have my own company in photography. I am so happy since I work for myself and doing what I love… Fine Art photography is the fantastic world in which I live and express myself.
Lensational Magazine: What led you to photography field?
Maria Potashova: I graduated from Dawson College (Montreal, Quebec) in Illustration and Design. The program was very complete, and I mastered all the techniques used in design and advertising. Photography, technical drawing, illustration, animation and much more. So, it was always my passion to take pictures and draw.
Photography has always been my passion and I have combined my skills in photography and illustration what we can name fine art photography. It’s my artist’s vision as a photographer.
Lensational Magazine: How do you personally access creative inspiration?
Maria Potashova: Each photo shoot is unique! Everyone must be well prepared. I work with details, clothes, accessories, decorations. Everything must be well arranged! I have a lot of clothing for rent. It depends on the subject. During my sessions, I like to use the accessories, to create a universe or a theme.
Lensational Magazine: How would you describe the creative process behind your work?
Maria Potashova: I’m inspired every day! Photography has become as much a part of my life as the air I breathe. I absolutely fall in love with every single family who trusts me to capture them. Since I’m a visual person, I find it is always easier to describe feelings, ideas, and emotion through imagery in my fresh, fine art style.
Many people are sure that the camera has magical ability, and the photographer just needs to press the magic button and finish! The masterpiece is ready. I often must explain them that the photo-shoot process itself is only a third of a photographer’s work. Retouching takes a big part in the work process and transforms the images into artwork that they see in my portfolio. I no longer see anything but my models and the subject. I don’t even notice how time passes.
My sessions are never limited in time! For themed sessions, I look for movement, smiles, the interaction of the child with what surrounds him. During a fine art session, it is a question of striking a pose, like a model for painter. It is then necessary to be patient, and to listen to understand what I expect what is called “perfect” image. It is very important to have a good connection with my models during the photo shoot.
Lensational Magazine: What cameras and lenses do you use?
Maria Potashova: I started to study photography with Canon EOS 70D Camera. Now I use Canon EOS 5 DSR. I have various lenses:
Tamron 35 mm f/1.4 USM (my favorite in studio lens)
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 SP (my favorite outdoor lens)
Canon EF 50 mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 24-70 mm f/4 L IS USM
Lensational Magazine: Tell us about post-processing. What programs are you using? Are you doing the post editing yourself?
Maria Potashova: Photo process (retouching) and art editing (RAW frames in Lightroom and Photoshop) the client’s final selection, to transforms the images into the artwork that you see in my portfolio. Each photo in artistic processing takes approximately 5 to 7 hours of work, depending on the number of faces, details, and subject.
Lensational Magazine: How do you describe your photography style?
Maria Potashova: I use very colorful and magical fine art style to chow the beauty of nature and my models. The goal of my photography is to express an idea, a message, or an emotion. My message often is: Spend time with your children and your family. Imagine a beautiful family portrait that finds its place on the living room wall. For all generations to come, for all your descendants, this portrait will represent all that is most important in life: the family.
Lensational Magazine: What inspired you to pick up a camera?
Maria Potashova: When I became a mother, my camera became the most necessary thing in any place and even at home. Time passes too quickly, your children are growing up quickly, without you realizing it. Through family photos, it is easier to discover all the change over the years. Now it’s your turn… to create your memories!
Lensational Magazine: What is your precious moment or achievement in your photography career?
Maria Potashova: Last years, I participate in many important photographer contests such as 35 Awards and One Eyeland. I’m Canada’s winner at the One Eyeland Top 10 Fine Art Photo contest 2022. Also, my works entered the Top 2% and 3% at 35 Awards photography theme contests “Children & Autumn 2022” and “New Year and Christmas Stories 2022”. My works are published in many magazines and many of them are on covers. I’m very pleased to know that my work is admired, it gives me wings to the soul and flight to the imagination.
Lensational Magazine: What professional development would you like to see for the future? What do you wish for yourself?
Maria Potashova: I would like to become one of very popular and master photographer. It will be great if one day I will have big studio of my dreams and followers from all around the world.
Lensational Magazine: According to you – what makes a “good photographer”? Is the vision, the sharpness of the image, or the chance…? What advice can you give our young photographer’s readers trying to succeed in the field?
Maria Potashova: For me, being a good master of your craft means giving yourself completely to your favorite occupation. This is important in any profession. You need to continue to study during all your life and find pleasure in this. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. It is my advice for young photographers who wants to succeed in this field.
Lensational Magazine: What role has photography played in your life?
Maria Potashova: Photography helps me a lot to relax and forget about stresses and problems that we have in everyday life. I plan my sessions for the year, so my life is well organized. My spring outdoor sessions start in May with blossom apples gardens, magnolia, tulips, and lilac gardens. In summer lavender fields and at the end sunflower sessions.
I love autumn, the season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it. From November I usually starts my in-studio Christmas Holiday Sessions and from January winter outdoor themes. Photography discovered the wonderful and positive world to me. The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.