Ugens hero

Olenka Sergienko Shoots to Capture Personality

Welcome to Hero of the Week, an ongoing series sharing stories from some of the best photographers in the Pexels community.

Based in Kyiv, Ukraine, Olenka Sergienko creates social media content, shooting everything from gorgeous meals to creative flat lays and portraits.

We love the bold style and personality of all her photographic work and decided to reach out to learn more about what inspires her.

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

What do you do?

I’m a social media strategist, co-owner of a Kyiv-based content bureau specializing in brand promotion on socials (Facebook and Instagram).

How did you first get started with photography?

I tried photography since university, it was a hobby that made extra money. But I took photography more seriously approximately six years ago.

At that time, I worked at a big digital agency. My clients included giants such as McDonald's and other large corporations. I was developing strategies for social networks, and at some point I realized that ordinary product content was working poorly, and was replaced by native photos and videos created exclusively for Instagram and Facebook.

I became interested in visual content and I started to develop photography for brands specifically for social networks. Then it all started.

I like to research and test my hypotheses through practice. By creating content for brands specifically for social media advertising campaigns, I began to get better quality and quantity metrics.

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

What gear do you shoot with?

I’m using Sony a7 iii and Tamron 24-70 f2.8, Canon 3M and 22m 2.8. For film photography I’m using Yashica Electro 35 GS and Canon 500N.

What's your favorite thing to shoot—location and subject?

Favorite locations: new cities, mountains, forests. Coffee shops, public transport, especially the Kyiv subway and trams.

Favorite subject to shoot is not a subject, it is personality. I like portraits: spontaneous, expressive, close-ups. Portraits with stories are my favorite.

I will now discover this passion more online, possibly via FaceTime. So, if you are willing to become a hero of a FaceTime photo shoot—you are welcome.

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

Who inspires your work?

My favorite photographer of all time is Peter Lindbergh.

In 2009, I photographed my friend and she compared one of her portraits of my authorship with Lindbergh's style. These were unrealistic flatteries, but since that day I've been in love with all his creativity and his approach.

Tell us about a favorite photograph you took.

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

Of all my photos posted on Pexels, this is one of my favorites. I like the mood, the way Nastya revealed herself, the colors and the warm contre-jour.

Tenderness and calm, petals and sunlight. When I look into Nastya's gaze, it seems to me that time is slowing down—I love this effect.

What are you working on right now?

Now I am in search of new ideas. In commercial filming, flat lays and food photography prevail. But the soul reaches for plein air portrait series.

I also became interested in creating videos from your stock footage. A whole new experience for me.

I like film-making and creating video stories, but during quarantine there is no possibility to shoot new. So I use footage from Pexels, kinda "readymade video art."

Pexels Heroes is our invite-only community of the top photographers on Pexels. Find out more and apply to join here.

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

Photo af Olenka Sergienko · Vis Photo

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