Interview: Tanya Zommer

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Guys, I took the interview with Tanya Zommer, the photographer of ‘Nerds party‘ shot!

- How did you get into photography?

This was a rough way indeed. My first degree is in insurance from the Financial Academy in Moscow. Somehow it turned in the end that I was totally frustrated with the insurance and my mind turned to arts. I got the arts studies in the Printing University in Moscow with book illustrating as a major. Photography was one of the optional courses that I took in order to develop my illustrating skills. But once started with the photography, I could not stop. Strange, but I got my first camera rather late. Many kids had point-and-shoot cameras in their childhood in eighties. I never had. My first camera was a simple film Nikon SLR presented to me by my mom in the year 2000. At the career start I was trying to shoot studio still-lives, same as Vadim Piskaryov, my professor from the Moscow Photo Academy whom I would like to express my sincerest gratitude. Later I found shooting people most interesting for me, so now I am concentrated at fashion and portraits.

- Are you a full time photographer?

Yes, I am a full time self-employed photographer based in Moscow, Russia. I shoot for a number of Russian editions of international magazines including Cosmopolitan, InStyle, Glamour, some magazines of Burda publishing house and local media including MENU Magazine, TREND Magazine, Sobaka Moscow, Bolshoi Gorod as well as some others.

- ‘Nerds party’ are amazing shots. How did you find the idea and all of this guys?

I shot the ‘nerds party’ in September 2008, but the story comes back to January 2008 when I shot another series named ‘A geek in Portugal’ starring my director (and husband) Denis Patrakov. The image of a nerdy and a geeky guy sympathize me with its loneliness but at the same time smart and self-esteem in their thoughts. Denis played it very well. Later I wanted to develop the story and thought of what would happen if a nerd invites the other nerds? The models are my friends whom I asked to search around for the strange-looking eyewear. I took care for the rest of the details: the books, the flower, the cake, the Coke, the PC et cetera. I tried to play with the common stereotype about nerds and their inner-world with books and computer games, strange looks. They are self-sufficient and happy inside their group; they don’t ask anything from the world outside. And that’s why I like them.

- Do you do commercial shots or photography is just a hobby for you?

I do both, commercial for editorial, and some own projects are done as hobby. Sometimes, thou, own non-commissioned projects are sold….. One never knows.

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