I am so excited and honored to participate this year once again as a guest speaker in the A Friendly Workshop by Anna Roussos ! It was an amazing experience for me and such a great opportunity to meet amazing photographers from all over the world. I am definitely looking forward to the her workshop in Athens and can’t wait to see what Anna has in store for us this year! Today we are going behind the scenes and finding out more about this amazingly creative person behind all the pretty weddings we most definitely adore!
How did you get started in wedding photography?
“Like most beautiful things which happen in our lives, the love between me and wedding photography started by accident. Back then I was working in fashion photography when I was asked by a friend of a friend to photograph her wedding in Greece. I remember so well when I landed in Santorini, full of excitement and anticipation. It was the first wedding in my life and I had a very blurry idea about how to photograph it. I used all my skills from fashion photography and my tv directing experience. The photos turned out great and I enjoyed being a wedding photographer more than I expected. I had fun to work with non-professional models – real couples. It is their wedding day, they are “so in love” and the only thing I had to do was to guide them into beautiful light and tasteful compositions”
“Very soon I opened my photography company in Athens. It was fascinating to find out how big the industry behind weddings is and how many creative people, magazines and blogs and involved in it. I knew very quickly I wanted to be part of this world. I did everything I could to promote myself and connect with professionals around the globe. I guess some marketing skills and intuition were good helpers and within the first 2 years of my professional activity I became a member of the best international listings of wedding photographers, the “Little Black Book” by StyleMePretty”.
“Today I photograph weddings mostly in Greece,UK, Italy and France. I managed to push my business to higher levels in a short period of time. Of course there is a lot of hard work behind this success and there is a lot more to be done. I never stop learning, and improving is my number one goal in my work and in my personal life. I criticize my own work a lot, and my husband often tells me: “ You are too hard on yourself”, but I know that being like this today helps me to become a better artist tomorrow”
What made you start the “A Friendly Workshop”?
Organizing my own workshops was my dream. I love sharing experience and knowledge, talk about photography, and what I enjoy the most while teaching is to help others improve. That’s why I launched a separate site www.annaroussosworkshop.com which is only dedicated to photography workshops. Wedding photography today is a very complex profession. It is much more than just documenting an event, it’s also about creating a collection of beautiful images, capturing emotions, style, details of the event and wrapping them all in beautiful compositions. It is about connecting with your clients, guiding and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera. And of course besides the artistic part of our job, a wedding photographer has to know how to promote his work”
“You can be a great artist, but if you don’t know how to advertise yourself, no one will never hear about you. And I am not talking about paid advertisement, I am talking about marketing and pr skills you need to let the world know about you. If you want to be a successful wedding photographer today, you need to be constantly up to date with your art and manage your social exposure. It is all about the balance between growing as an artist within yourself and growing your marketing skills”.
Based on my personal experience from Tv directing studies, I can say that the best way to learn is to learn from a professional. I graduated from a well known University of TV and Radio production in Moscow, and these studies gave me a lot of knowledge of course, but I learned mostly when I started working in tv production. Learning in practice from experienced people is priceless – you get a lot of useful tips and can put them in use immediately.
What should photographers attendees should expect from such an investment?
“A Friendly Workshop is designed for wedding photographers who want to improve their artistic and marketing skills. The workshop lasts for 3 days. Day one covers a lot of topics about using natural light, creating beautiful compositions, organizing your business, branding and marketing, building relationships with your clients and more. It will conclude with a One-On-One session with me, where I will go through each participants portfolio/web-site, giving some advises and tips on how to make it better. Day 2 will be dedicated to styled shootings, I am preparing several concepts such as “Bridal preparation”, “Wedding Ceremony”, “Bride & Groom portraits”, “Shooting of details” so we can try everything we talked about in theory. One of the best wedding planner in Greece Anna Sourbati from The Event Company will help me to style our photo shootings and make them look unique. Photographers will be able to use all the photos they took during the workshop in their portfolios and web-sites and also submit to wedding blogs. It is a great opportunity to refine your portfolio or even build a new one. Day 3 we will welcome our special guest speakers: Anna Sourbati, who will give some advise about how should a photographer cooperate with a wedding planner, so both can benefit from this tandem; Eleni Balkouli from Love4Wed.com who will give some advise on how to get your wedding published on wedding blogs and finally a third guest speaker will be a psychologist who will give tips on how to set goals and achieve them”
“I called it “A Friendly Workshop” and “friendly” is a key word here. Spending 3 days in a small group of creative minds is very inspiring and moving. I do everything to make this experience special for each attendant and to make sure she/he improves during these 3 days.I wish I had attended a workshop like this when I was starting my own business, it could have made many things happen much faster than they actually did”
Do you have a signature photo that you really love
“As I mentioned earlier, I am criticizing my own photos a lot. So I don’t have a photo, which I would call a “signature one”. My taste always changes and hopefully grows, so the photo I liked a lot yesterday I might not like today. But what didn’t change over the years is the goal to have the same feel in my photographs: romantic, airy, filled with light and love. Once one magazine said: “When you look at Anna’s photos, it is hard to believe that this romantic duo are not professional models”. And that’s what my customers like about my work: the combination of editorial look and real emotions & captured moments. That’s what I want my signature to be”
Wedding blogs absolutely love your images and you are highly publicized in wedding blogs. Tells us more about your photography style in weddings?
Wedding blogs are an amazing tool to promote your work. I love seeing my work published on international blogs and magazines and my clients appreciate it too. Like in any industry there are certain trends which publishers are looking for when they select weddings for their magazines and it is important to know these trends and incorporate them into your work, if you want to see your photos shine on the pages of famous blogs or printed magazines.At the beginning of my career the hardest thing was to define my style. During wedding shootings, photographers have to adopt different genres: portrait photography, candid photography, lifestyle, details etc. and the most important is to be consistent in all of them to create a harmonic collection of images. A few years ago, I discovered fine art wedding photography and you can’t believe how everything became more clear when I could finally give my style a name.
“So what is fine art wedding photographer? The fine art approach involves a lot of interaction between the couple and the photographer. For me it is very important to document the real emotions of the couple. I concentrate on this a lot. It is not easy because the couple has to feel comfortable in front of me, and they have to be themselves. And this is part of my job – to make them feel at ease. But fine art wedding photography is not only about documenting real feelings and emotions, but also about wrapping them into beautiful compositions and colors, and filling them with glow and light. Making beautiful even more beautiful – this is my credo. If you are able to manage both the emotional part while creating a perfect set-up, which will only enhance the true feelings of the couple, then the pictures will stand-out.”
Thank you Anna for being our wonderful guest today!
See here for information about the “A Friendly Workshop” by Anna Roussos and how to reserve your seat. See you there!