Olga Ekaterincheva
Photo and makeup


When I started this section I wrote "I am a photographer and a makeup artist" and realized there was nothing else I could add to that. So I invited readers of my blog to ask me questions and this is what I came up with.

Why did you become a photographer and a makeup artist?

My dad was fond of photography (like most Soviet dads, I must say) and as a result I spent most of my childhood in the improvised darkroom with the lights off and the little ruby light on, full of photochemical smells. For my tenth birthday dad gave me my own camera. There were times when I didn’t part with it and there were periods when I hardly touched it. I think it’s fair to say that I became a photographer when I started making money by selling photos through the photostocks. And this is something I intend to continue doing.

Makeup came later. I started doing it more out of necessity than anything else. I had people showing up, who didn’t know a thing about makeup, but they still wanted their pictures taken. A glamour picture without makeup can turn out a disaster; I don’t need to tell you that. So, little by little I started working with faces using materials at hand. Being a perfectionist, I quickly became dissatisfied with the amateur makeup so next thing I knew I was enrolled in the leading Moscow makeup school. It turned out much more engaging than I initially thought of it. Day by day I love makeup more and more, I love models I’m making up. Just like photography makeup is an endless quest to me.

Why do you always take pictures of beautiful ladies?

I’ve been thinking about it many times and the answers varied. What can I say at present — I just enjoy shooting beauties, just like that :)

Do you take photos of anything else?

I can’t stand monotonous work, so after I shoot girls, I gravitate to macro photography, then I do weddings, next I am longing for landscapes and so on. It does not matter all that much for a photographer what to shoot, our breed observes the world through the lens; for us life is film strip... (ok, ∞ GB compact flash card). We just keep our finger ready on the shutter button.

Can a guy become your model? Do you do makeup for men?

A guy can become my model. I'm shooting men from time to time. But usually men are not the source of my inspiration… no, sure, they are, but in other sense :) I like to make up men’s faces, but also less than women’s. Even though most of men looking better with makeup than without…

Who develops the concept for your photo shoots? Do you do it? May models add their two cents?

I am a great believer in cooperation and creative energy exchange. So my models can add their two cents. Those whom I work with on a regular basis really have a say. But I must admit that I am quite bossy at work and I got used to having it my way, despite all the cents put in.

How do you find models?

In the beginning I was searching all the usual places where you’d expect to find beautiful girls: dating sites, social networks, sites for models and photographers. Now models are contacting me. But if I meet beautiful face somewhere I don’t hesitate to invite model, cause I’m always happy to get kind of fresh blood :)

What if I only need my makeup done for a special occasion, but I don’t want my pictures taken?

I can do that. I do, for example, bridal makeup and I also teach how to do your own makeup. If you want to learn how to select cosmetics for yourself and properly use it, I can teach you that.

Your models always look so flamboyant and sophisticated, I feel like I fall short of your standards, but I really want to look like them. Is it possible?

The key here is this "I really want". If you are really determined – impossible is nothing. It is not your looks, but your desire to work that is crucial. All my models will confirm that. Of course, I can’t promise I will have a free photo and makeup session with everyone. Feel free to contact me though and we will figure things out in each individual case.

What part of woman's body inspires you the most?

I've got two obsessions: butts and legs. Butts will tell you what eyes and mouth will never disclose. Take a look at a woman’s rear end and you will instantly know what she is meant for: sex, friendship, career, housework or knocking your socks off. An ideal butt is a full package. If you ever come across one, marry it right away. And the high-heeled legs are objects of pure beauty, like stars in the sky, a snow leopard, waterfalls or an open fire.

Why do you love smoky eyes so much? What’s the secret?

I guess every makeup artist has his or her own obsession. Mine is smoky eyes. I can’t explain why, love is a completely irrational thing after all. Let’s say I love smoky eyes because I am good at it. In love reciprocity is important, you know :).

What are you dreaming of?

It may sound pathetic, but I do wish for world peace. May everything go smoothly, and remain that way. I wish people could appreciate what they have and take care of the environment.

What do you value in your work most? Why do you do what you do and how it affects those around you?

My main business comes from selling pictures through photo stocks. Photo stocks are a real breakout for a photographer. Before the Internet it took a lifetime to get recognized, nowadays you get an immediate feedback through the photo stocks. If you took a good shot, it will be bought all over the world. It will pop up on billboards, posters, book covers. Selling photos via photo stocks not only gets you experience, but also recognition, money and freedom, all in one. No wonder I like it so much. As for how I affect those around me… I don’t really know, it's too complicated :).

What would you like to photograph if you had to pick?

Don’t get me started... There are just way too many things. First, I’d do glamour stories for the glossy magazines. I would take up on all three roles: makeup artist, stylist and a photographer. Then, I think of those lucky ones who fly over the Sahara Desert and take pictures. Chances are I will never do such things myself, but nobody can stop me from dreaming about it. But what I really want to do is to photograph wild animals and predators who are about to become extinct. I think this is what I will end up doing after all.

Do you like publicity? Would you like to organize an exhibition of your works? Work for a magazine? What kind of magazine?

Publicity doesn't attract  me much. For a person who likes long walks along the beach at dusk publicity sounds like a kind of nightmare. But I could use a good agent who would manage everything and organize an exhibition. As for the magazines... as a stock photographer I am shooting for the magazines already... sure. I'd just maybe love to shoot luxury stories for the likes of Vogue or Officiel; or even better something for Geo and National Geographic. One does not preclude the other.

Are you satisfied with your work? What do you feel when you get a good shot?

Once you reach a certain level in your profession you are basically never satisfied. You develop an eye for imperfections. Some things a good for the level you are at right now, but you always look up for the next. So every time I make a great photo I realize that it is just a beginning of the next big journey.