Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty
© Anna Tabakova

ANNA TABAKOVA'S FRESH TAKE ON BEAUTY

ANNA TABAKOVA'S FRESH TAKE ON BEAUTY

Born and raised in the heart of Ural Mountains, Russia, Anna Tabakova moved to Boston to discover her genuine love for photography and demonstrate the infinite diversity of beauty.

Born and raised in the heart of Ural Mountains, Russia, Anna Tabakova moved to Boston to discover her genuine love for photography and demonstrate the infinite diversity of beauty.

Boston, Massachusetts

After undergraduate studies at Chelyabinsk State University, Anna moved from the continental climate of the Ural mountains to the USA. The shift and adjustment were challenging, but she happily leaped at the change finding a new career path and friends as a result.

“I did photography here and there for a couple of years in a row before I found my authentic voice in it and decided to stay with it only about two years ago.”

Anna got her first camera at the age of 18. The same year she found her dad’s old film camera in storage, which helped her understand the importance of light, composition and the significance of acting fast when shooting.

“In photography, each moment passes so quickly that you need to anticipate everything before it happens.”

When she moved to the USA, she started with model test shots and fashion shots in NYC, which she continues doing up to the present day in the Boston area, but she admits that it is not her cup of tea. Lack of creative control over the images diminished her enthusiasm. However, she is thankful for the experience. It helped her understand light, post-editing and discover her characteristic style that her clients seek. It helped her focus on developing the skills she needed to do what interests her: art direction.

Before she found her passion, she was ready to give up, feeling discouraged. But, now, she advises anyone to keep trying to find their niche. Sometimes, it is hard to believe it will happen, but that special moment when you think, “oh, this is something I really love” will come.

That is how Anna arrived at a beauty, commercial fashion, and product photography, which became her chief focus with occasional commercial lifestyle shoots.

Similar to talented Ismael Yunta, Anna is self-taught. “It is both blessing and a curse,” she asserts. “Learning things at your own pace can be very exciting, but there are times you miss a more comprehensive educational experience. I am a firm believer that the best way to learn photography is to be an assistant first. You get a solid grasp of the technical aspects of photography and learn networking and marketing.

When asked whether she prefers studio to outdoors, her answer is swift and straightforward.

“I am 100% a studio enthusiast; it is my safe space. I love one-light setups, but I will never miss a cloudy day shoot outdoors. I am not a fan of sunny days, but, as many do, I enjoy golden hour shots.”

Finding her niche made her want to stick to the style she found herself in.

“There are still so many things I have not tried in the photography I chose and a lot of dream clients I would like to work for; however, I expect my images to evolve and transform as I grow. If you looked at my portfolio three years ago, it is very different from the work I do now, so I intend to let my life and career evolve naturally. I am interested in art direction and might explore it in the upcoming years.”

How would she describe her style?

I always aim for great light, lots of colors, healthy skin glow, and emotional input from the model. All of this combined makes my style distinctive and can be applied to beauty, lifestyle, and product photography.

Born and raised in the heart of Ural Mountains, Russia, Anna Tabakova moved to Boston to discover her genuine love for photography and demonstrate the infinite diversity of beauty.

Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty

Boston, Massachusetts

After undergraduate studies at Chelyabinsk State University, Anna moved from the continental climate of the Ural mountains to the USA. The shift and adjustment were challenging, but she happily leaped at the change finding a new career path and friends as a result.

“I did photography here and there for a couple of years in a row before I found my authentic voice in it and decided to stay with it only about two years ago.”

Anna got her first camera at the age of 18. The same year she found her dad’s old film camera in storage, which helped her understand the importance of light, composition and the significance of acting fast when shooting.

“In photography, each moment passes so quickly that you need to anticipate everything before it happens.”

When she moved to the USA, she started with model test shots and fashion shots in NYC, which she continues doing up to the present day in the Boston area, but she admits that it is not her cup of tea. Lack of creative control over the images diminished her enthusiasm. However, she is thankful for the experience. It helped her understand light, post-editing and discover her characteristic style that her clients seek. It helped her focus on developing the skills she needed to do what interests her: art direction.

Before she found her passion, she was ready to give up, feeling discouraged. But, now, she advises anyone to keep trying to find their niche. Sometimes, it is hard to believe it will happen, but that special moment when you think, “oh, this is something I really love” will come.

That is how Anna arrived at a beauty, commercial fashion, and product photography, which became her chief focus with occasional commercial lifestyle shoots.

Similar to talented Ismael Yunta, Anna is self-taught. “It is both blessing and a curse,” she asserts. “Learning things at your own pace can be very exciting, but there are times you miss a more comprehensive educational experience. I am a firm believer that the best way to learn photography is to be an assistant first. You get a solid grasp of the technical aspects of photography and learn networking and marketing.

When asked whether she prefers studio to outdoors, her answer is swift and straightforward.

“I am 100% a studio enthusiast; it is my safe space. I love one-light setups, but I will never miss a cloudy day shoot outdoors. I am not a fan of sunny days, but, as many do, I enjoy golden hour shots.”

Finding her niche made her want to stick to the style she found herself in.

“There are still so many things I have not tried in the photography I chose and a lot of dream clients I would like to work for; however, I expect my images to evolve and transform as I grow. If you looked at my portfolio three years ago, it is very different from the work I do now, so I intend to let my life and career evolve naturally. I am interested in art direction and might explore it in the upcoming years.”

How would she describe her style?

I always aim for great light, lots of colors, healthy skin glow, and emotional input from the model. All of this combined makes my style distinctive and can be applied to beauty, lifestyle, and product photography.

● 2013 Anna moves to the USA

● 2015 Anna starts to explore photography

● 2018 Anna picks up photography professionally

Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty

Anna is a freelancer, which is sometimes a challenge. As a freelancer, she might have a busy week with three projects and two weeks with no work whatsoever. How does she handle it?

“You can never rely on a stable pay-check. The whole industry is changing now due to Covid-19. Creatives try to adjust swiftly and develop new fresh ways to deliver their services and satisfy their clients. It can get rough; sometimes, you are on your own, doing everything from shooting, retouching, bookkeeping, and marketing. As an in-house photographer, I cannot be as flexible as I’d like and do many test shoots. I have a 4-year old son who requires attention and lots of love. It keeps me on my toes. But, if you choose professional photography for a job, your life will never be dull, and that is worth exploring.”

Her advice to those who start in photography is: “Shoot as much as possible to get a consistent style; your portfolio needs to demonstrate what you can do for your clients. Marketing is a crucial matter; being talented is not sufficient these days. Get ready for being upset, falling apart, and always remember that it all happens to pros as well, just as much as it does to newbies. It’s just a different scale of the drama.”

Anna recently moved to a bigger space where she can produce photography remotely, and when a need to work with models occurs, she keeps the team small.

“It’s a constant hustle, but I believe it pushes the creativity level up and gets your brain to reflect. Whenever I hit the wall, creatively speaking, I take a step back and never rush to hasty decisions. I like planning my shoots thoroughly and have other team members help me out. Observing the work of other photographers also helps me to get back into the mode.”

Anna is a freelancer, which is sometimes a challenge. As a freelancer, she might have a busy week with three projects and two weeks with no work whatsoever. How does she handle it?

“You can never rely on a stable pay-check. The whole industry is changing now due to Covid-19. Creatives try to adjust swiftly and develop new fresh ways to deliver their services and satisfy their clients. It can get rough; sometimes, you are on your own, doing everything from shooting, retouching, bookkeeping, and marketing. As an in-house photographer, I cannot be as flexible as I’d like and do many test shoots. I have a 4-year old son who requires attention and lots of love. It keeps me on my toes. But, if you choose professional photography for a job, your life will never be dull, and that is worth exploring.”

Her advice to those who start in photography is: “Shoot as much as possible to get a consistent style; your portfolio needs to demonstrate what you can do for your clients. Marketing is a crucial matter; being talented is not sufficient these days. Get ready for being upset, falling apart, and always remember that it all happens to pros as well, just as much as it does to newbies. It’s just a different scale of the drama.”

Anna recently moved to a bigger space where she can produce photography remotely, and when a need to work with models occurs, she keeps the team small.

“It’s a constant hustle, but I believe it pushes the creativity level up and gets your brain to reflect. Whenever I hit the wall, creatively speaking, I take a step back and never rush to hasty decisions. I like planning my shoots thoroughly and have other team members help me out. Observing the work of other photographers also helps me to get back into the mode.”

Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty

We know work with people can be a challenge. In her most recent promo interview for the MasterClass, Annie Leibovitz stated that she does not believe it is the photographer’s job to put the subject at ease. It might not be, but if it was, Anna indeed masters it.

“I find it pretty easy to work with new people. I enjoy making them feel comfortable and establish trust on the set. I think it is vital for the general vibe during the shoot. I am proud of reading people’s personalities with high accuracy, and I quickly understand what can make them feel at ease as I go. A little music, some chatting while the makeup is being done, sharing personal stories, and showing interest are the keys to building up trust, a bond, even if only for a couple of hours on the set.

When not working or running after her four-year-old, Anna enjoys movies.

“I am a huge movie buff and still rent DVDs! I also enjoy reading detectives and mystery in Russian, going for long walks, thrift shopping, and taking care of my houseplants. I LOVE making lists for the day, writing down my short and long term goals; it’s a weird form of therapy for me.”

When asked for any other passions apart from job, testing, family, and every day’s buzz, she says: “I honestly think that my only other interest is a full-night sleep.”

When we look at her portfolio and the amount of work collected in the past two years, it does not come as a surprise.

Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Outdoors | Patagonia
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Outdoors | Patagonia
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty

Throw back

Anna describes her early work:

I felt like I was testing the waters initially and playing it safe, following other peoples’ work, which prevented me from sticking out. My shots were darker, artsy, and in a style that no longer interests me today.

Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg

Anna's inspiration

We know work with people can be a challenge. In her most recent promo interview for the MasterClass, Annie Leibovitz stated that she does not believe it is the photographer’s job to put the subject at ease. It might not be, but if it was, Anna indeed masters it.

“I find it pretty easy to work with new people. I enjoy making them feel comfortable and establish trust on the set. I think it is vital for the general vibe during the shoot. I am proud of reading people’s personalities with high accuracy, and I quickly understand what can make them feel at ease as I go. A little music, some chatting while the makeup is being done, sharing personal stories, and showing interest are the keys to building up trust, a bond, even if only for a couple of hours on the set.

When not working or running after her four-year-old, Anna enjoys movies.

“I am a huge movie buff and still rent DVDs! I also enjoy reading detectives and mystery in Russian, going for long walks, thrift shopping, and taking care of my houseplants. I LOVE making lists for the day, writing down my short and long term goals; it’s a weird form of therapy for me.”

When asked for any other passions apart from job, testing, family, and every day’s buzz, she says: “I honestly think that my only other interest is a full-night sleep.”

When we look at her portfolio and the amount of work collected in the past two years, it does not come as a surprise.

Throw back

Anna describes her early work:

I felt like I was testing the waters initially and playing it safe, following other peoples’ work, which prevented me from sticking out. My shots were darker, artsy, and in a style that no longer interests me today.

Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg
Anna Tabakova and her take on beauty | Photography | Beauty | PhMagg

Anna's inspiration:

Anna’s official site: annatabakova.com

Anna’s IG: tabakovaannaphotography

Photos: Anna Tabakova

Text & editing: Freedom Writers

Anna’s official site: annatabakova.com

Anna’s IG: tabakovaannaphotography

Photos: Anna Tabakova

Text & editing: Freedom Writers