As part of my marketing strategy to promote my blogging business, I spend some of my time networking. As a result, I have met some wonderful people working in all sorts of businesses. With my innate interest in “all things business” I invited Asya Barskaya, studio portrait photographer, to tell me her business story. Here it is…
Asya Barskaya’s love of photography, and her career as a photographer, stem from her love for travel and her flair for languages. Asya grew up in Russia; as a child, she had a yearning of travel which, in those days, was not possible. She learned Chinese from the age of 8, which sparked a childhood dream to visit China. At the age of twenty, her dream was realised. She was one of only a handful of Russian students who were given permission to visit China on an exchange programme.
How did her love of photography start?
On leaving for China, Asya was given a camera by a friend so she could capture and share her life-changing experience. During her visit, Asya came to see the immediate connection with cameras and photography – and the power they have to give. Through taking and sharing photographs, Asya found she could inspire “super-positive” and joyful emotional responses from the family and friends she shared her photographs with.
Later on, when she had settled in the UK and after her son was born, she decided to take a professional photography course. She then started her business as a portrait photographer from her home in Twyford, Berkshire.
Who does Asya photograph?
Asya specialises in professional studio portrait photography for children, families, expectant mums and newborn babies. She can also take headshots for people’s business and personal online profiles.
Asya believes all parents deserve to have great pictures of their children. Kids grow up so quickly; photography gives them a positive way of capturing them in the moment. This philosophy goes to the root of her business. Asya would like studio portrait photography to be accessible to everyone, meaning she will happily take just one photograph of a child in order to keep costs low. That way, everyone can have the same access to high quality portraits from a professional photographer.
Her skill as a portrait photographer is in understanding lighting, setup and family dynamics. She can make everyone relax, which results in great photographs. She focuses on the positive and brings her subjects’ beauty to life. She wants everyone to enjoy the experience, even if they might be a bit reticent about being in front of the camera.
Have you and your family visited Asya’s photographer’s studio?
Yes! Yes! Yes! As parents, my husband and I are so busy juggling our family lives and activities, we often forget to stop and look at how wonderful our children are right now. We wanted a family session with a portrait photographer to record the here and now – even if our youngest girls had lost their front teeth to the tooth fairy!
How did the portrait photographer’s session go?
Asya sent a photographer’s information sheet ahead of time, so we could plan what to wear. We were also encouraged to bring any personal items with us; for our family, that meant hockey sticks!
On entering her studio, Asya took individual photographs of each of the girls; this was their ‘story’. After that, she took photos of us all in different combinations. I particularly liked the time the three girls were together playing hockey.
They were also free to introduce their own ideas into their combined story. Anyone who knows my girls would know this meant singing and dancing. However, they also decided to do the bunk bed balance which was a new one on me…
How did the session differ from a high street portrait photographer’s studio?
I’m sure the fact Asya’s photographer’s studio is based at her home added to how relaxed the kids were. There was no formality; the session was easygoing right from the start.
Asya’s style is relaxed, friendly and patient, but there is much more to it than that. My husband and I were struck by her liveliness, enthusiasm and energy throughout the ninety minute session. She communicated perfectly with the kids, getting them to tackle for the hockey shots, cheer as if they had scored winning goals and to tease each other.
It’s clear Asya derives a lot of satisfaction from the fun that comes to life in the privacy of her photographer’s studio. I lost count of how many different individual and family poses she set up in order to take photographs we would treasure for years to come. One of my favourites was of our three girls in a star shape which she took from above.
Were you happy with the result?
As a family, we all enjoyed the photography session. In our busy lives, it was lovely to simply have fun together in front of the camera.
As for how I felt about the pictures… Before I sat down to write this article, I posted a few of Asya’s pictures on Facebook. Such is the power of social media, I now have loads of ‘likes’ and positive comments for the photos I’ve shared. I think that speaks volumes!
However, I was in for a bit of a surprise. Asya sent me my very own family portrait slideshow just to blow me away… You have to see this!
When you have had a chance to look at the slideshow, let me know what you think of the pictures. I’d love to know which are your favourites. Please leave comments in the box below and feel free to share, retweet and ‘like’ this blog post to your heart’s content!
If you would like to know more about Asya Barskaya at ABL Photography please visit her website or visit her blog. Alternatively, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call on 07793 937192.
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