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Meet The Photographer Elena Shumilova

December 2, 2014 by · No comments

Translated from Bulgarian by Tsvetelina Mareva



Elena Shumilova has captured the attention of the world with her endearing and ethereal photos of her children and farm animals in the countryside. She has been featured on media worldwide, from Huffington Post to ABC News to Reddit and beyond.  It’s immediately obvious that Elena’s portfolio is far more than a collection of family snaps – this is her art and no matter how circumstantial the scene that she focuses her lens on, the process doesn’t start or end at the press of the shutter. It’s clear that a lot of planning, time, love and effort goes into the creation of each image.

“After graduating from the university I spent several years working as an architect and designer. My passion for photography manifested in early 2012 when I got my first DSLR camera. Soon after – in the summer – I upgraded to Cannon 5dmark2 with 50mm lens. I’ve been shooting every day and processing the images at nights. By autumn I felt I found my own way of approaching photography. At the end of winter 2013 I got a new lens – 135 mm – which immediately became my favorite one.

Children & animals – that’s my life. Because I’m mom of two sons and we spend a lot of time on the farm. I shoot my boys, my dog & rabbits & ducks & sometimes my friends and their children.

When shooting I prefer to use natural light – both inside and outside. I love all sorts of light conditions – street lights, candle light, fog, smoke, rain and snow – everything that give visual and emotional depth to the image.
I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos. I get inspired mainly by desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is.

I sketch down my ideas all the time, capturing form and arranging body shapes of all my subjects. I believe that it is not your face but the body that communicates emotion. So when creating sketches and envisioning photographs, I take time to figure out the poses and the gestures.

At the same time, I photograph my kids and friends when we go for a walk. The dog and animals that you see in photos are all our animals. So there are no special props.”


I`ve always been inspired by photography and that`s why I wanted to learn a lot. Where did that inspiration come from – I really can`t say. It`s like a wave that just catches you.

My first photographs were completely talentless, but I tried every frame to be better than the previous. I wanted to constantly develop my shots.


I’m interested in many genres, but I realized that I have to do what I do best.

Some talent is definitely needed, but one has to work hard every day. According to this professional education is very important.


Initially, photography was just my hobby, but over time has turned into my profession.

I want to capture only what really touches me. That`s the only way to become committed to your artwork.


I`m really happy, because every day is different for me. Sometimes I spend the whole day at home like a mom and a housewife and the whole next day I`m shooting, retouching, travelling. That`s something I`ve always wanted to do in my life.

The most important thing for a beginner photographer is to follow his own path, not to copy. This is my advice, because it`s the personal experience that matters.


Every artist has an individual style that combines some specific techniques. I can`t define my style. I like the color photography, but it has to be well balanced, thought-out and deeply sensitive as well.


I enjoy being sad and laughing as well. I like being surprised unexpectedly, because that`s the taste of life. Although while I`m working, I`m really focused and my sense of humor disappears:)





Elena Shumilova at facebook

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