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5 Strategies To Take Stunning Photos, With London-based photographer Zuzana Breznanikova

I am a very big advocate of natural beauty and would love to put the message out there to girls and boys not to have surgery to try to look ‘perfect’. I have seen this too many times and it doesn’t make people happier — it is often a never-ending cycle of unhappiness as there is always […]


I am a very big advocate of natural beauty and would love to put the message out there to girls and boys not to have surgery to try to look ‘perfect’. I have seen this too many times and it doesn’t make people happier — it is often a never-ending cycle of unhappiness as there is always something that can be ‘perfected’. People are often unhappy about things other people even photographers don’t even notice!


I had the pleasure of interviewing London-based photographer Zuzana Breznanikova. Zuzana shoots fashion, advertising and portraiture of talent and high-profile individuals all over the world. She is known for her unique aesthetics and cinematic style and is a contributor to Vogue Italia / Art + Commerce collection.


Thank you so much for joining us Zuzana! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always been passionate about photography ever since my dad gave me a camera. However for me it is about the combination of photography and people. In portraiture the people aspect is especially important and it is the subject who is at the centre for me and inspires my work. I have always been interested in people and psychology and also have a psychological background as well which I think helps my portraiture and in capturing the ‘essence of a person’ and making them feel more comfortable.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

After doing an advertorial for Harrods I received a commission to photograph a royal family. I cannot go into the details as discretion is paramount here as this was a private shoot but felt honoured to be asked and it was a highlight of my career.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well it is not just when I started but still sometimes I forget to take the lens cap off before shooting even after all these years — it’s quite funny when that happens.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think it is the fact that it is all about the quality and striving to exceed expectations. Many clients say they book me because of my reputation and because they like my work. I have never assisted other photographers which I think helped me to develop my own unique style. Because of this unique style I now get so many photographers and photography assistants wanting to assist me and learn from me which is quite flattering but I really don’t need an army of people to take a great photo.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

This is a good question. I often work 16 hours a day — people don’t realise how much time photographers spend editing the photos — just selecting the best photos from a shoot can take hours! I did learn over the years to balance things out a bit and try to go for a run or walk the first thing in the morning before my shoots start. I also try to find some time during the day to do stretches or some yoga or Pilates when I have time. The equipment can be quite heavy so this helps enormously physically. I also try to find some time in the evening to read a book before a bed. There are some days I still find myself editing past midnight because of the workload but I’m trying to improve on this and not look at the screen at least one hour before bed. I love reading non-fiction and find it helps my creativity. I would recommend everyone to read more and not just my colleagues in my industry.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My mum has been very inspirational to me since my childhood with her entrepreneurial career. She has achieved success in what is a very male dominated industry. I have always aspired to be like her.

Are you working on any exciting projects now?

I am working on developing my celebrity portraiture portfolio at the moment, as it is the area I am most passionate about. I really enjoy working with actors and actresses as they are very creative and expressive.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

The part of my job that I enjoy most is making people feel good about themselves and taking great photographs of them. Iam a believer of natural beauty and believe my job is to emphasise the natural beauty already there — everyone is beautiful in a way. I have a large following on social media and do not want to have an unhealthy impact on younger viewers by altering images through airbrushing or changing face or body. I like to see the real skin texture and keep any freckles for example, as they are beautiful and natural. It is those little imperfections that photographers like me love and that make us unique and human. It is great to be able to have a positive impact on people — often my clients report an increase in confidence after their shoot which is always nice to hear.

Can you share “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Take Stunning Photos”. Please an example for each.

  1. Lighting — try to use natural lighting
  2. As a general rule for portraits shooting just above eye level tends to be the most flattering for most people
  3. Get creative and experiment — these days you can see the results straight away on your phone so take advantage of it. My style is very eclectic — I go with the flow and what I think suits a person
  4. Shoot after the sunrise or before the sunset rather than during the harsh sun around lunchtime
  5. Finally — don’t overdo it with filters and editing — I have seen so many photos on social media that over sharpen the photos to the extent that it doesn’t look natural at all and some of the editing apps can make people completely unrecognizable!

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am a very big advocate of natural beauty and would love to put the message out there to girls and boys not to have surgery to try to look ‘perfect’. I have seen this too many times and it doesn’t make people happier — it is often a never-ending cycle of unhappiness as there is always something that can be ‘perfected’. People are often unhappy about things other people even photographers don’t even notice!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can follow me on my Instagram @breznanikova.photography

You can also visit my websites: www.breznanikova.photography

www.londonphotoportfolios.co.uk

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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