-February's Artist of the Month-
We greet 2018 with a new Featured Artist at the Bay Area Creative Collective. On a cold and rainy Winter afternoon, I grab my tea and sit down with Elena Polonsky, a local Bay Area photographer. Her warm energy brings about a conversation you would expect two old friends to have. She has a bright energy about her, that sends us laughing and reminiscing about her journey through her art. After years of helping her clients feel comfortable in front of a camera lense, Elena sure has a natural compassion for people she works with.
Born and raised in Russia, Elena has fallen in love with living in the San Francisco Bay Area. For the past 5 years, this has been her new home, harnessing her creative energy through the diverse culture and landscapes. “I love the Bay Area. It seems like one of the most progressive places in America. It seems to have a great balance of nature and urban areas. People are so easy to work with- so friendly and open.” Although Elena has been a photographer for over 10 years, her passion has grown since moving to the states. Originally only planning to stay one year for a job offer, she ended up staying and eventually met her husband. Today, they reside in San Francisco, and Elena feels right at home.
With a bounce in her voice, you can feel her inqusitive nature as she explains the inspiration behind every photo she takes. “I’ve always been curious about people. The most important thing right now for me is the question about why cultures cannot peacefully coexist with each other. I want to help change that, and change the viewer’s perspective. To me, good photos are like good books. I want to make you think and discover something,” Elena explains. With a vision like this, we are honored to feature Elena as Artist of the Month, and to see how her future projects shape the world.
What can clients expect when they work with you?
“When I was a journalist, my favorite genre was interviewing. I used to fall in love with the person and their story. Some of my teachers even said that I won't make a good journalist, as instead of fishing for scandalous and saucy details I show the best side of my interview subjects. The same goes for my photography. I look at people, and I see some emotion or feeling in their face, and I love to capture that. I love to show the best in people. I show them in the way their mom sees them,” she laughs.
What are your favorite things to photograph?
“I really love to make portraits. Sometimes I have an idea of a feeling or a scene that I want to capture - it could be inspired by a book I've just read, or life, or even a crazy news story - and I would get together with my favorite models to create it. I also love photographing musicians and capturing those moments of passion at live performances when they seem completely absorbed and disappearing in their music. It's so captivating and otherworldly.”
Any advice for aspiring photographers and artists?
“If you are photographing people, you need to be genuinely interested in them to discover great things about them. Technically, the usual: take photos every day to practice. There is always something to learn in photography. It’s a never-ending process. I feel like I have stopped liking my photos from 4 years ago, because my skill set has improved.”
More from Elena Polonsky
PC: Elena Polonsky