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Svetlana Yanova (Photographer)

Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?

Since I've always loved the teaching aspect of the English language and having majored in Linguistics and Cultural Communication I wanted to open a language school in my home town in Russia. Instead we moved to Calgary, Canada where I became a Portrait Photographer serving my clients for the past 12 years. I love my job!

What is your favorite subject to photograph? and why?

As much as I love visiting and photographing our majestic mountains for my own personal photos, I truly love capturing people.

I love creating classic and timeless portraits for them and seeing the reaction when they see the photos! I love it when someone tells me they have never had a professional photos or rarely get photographed and adore working with those clients because this experience is extra special for them, and I pride myself in creating images they truly love.

If you had all the resources, time, and land available to build whatever you want, what would you build?

I would build more schools and hospitals, as well as creative centers for artists. We need to invest in our kids, our health and our hearts.

If everyone’s lives were judged as to whether they had made a net positive or a net negative impact on humanity, how would you be judged?

I truly hope I have made a positive impact on humanity, I love creating art and serving my clients, making people happy. I love my family and hope to install some of my caring qualities into my son.

What does it mean to live a good life?

To live a good life means to love people and to feel enough. Be happy with what you have. And travel. Lots of travel.

Where do you find meaning in your life?

Honestly it's hard for me to say. In every day hustle, it is sometimes hard to find meaning as I'm trying to just work and keep food on the table and take care of my family. If I truly have to think about it, I find meaning in kindness, inner beauty, and having a purpose, pursuing your WHY.

If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?

Wow that's deep. I would probably like to teach myself and everyone to not judge others and to allow ourselves to make mistakes (and learn form them).

What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?

Art heals our souls. Whether we "get" certain art pieces or not, we have a reaction to them and that reaction is what's needed for us to grow spiritually, form our t opinions, develop artistic taste. I also think there are certain times where art can hurt society though. First, when it causes violence or death. Or when it becomes political and people use art to offend/diminish etc others.

What do you attribute the biggest successes in your life to? How about your failures?

I think I owe my biggest success to my people skills and giving each and every client 110% with each job. And I failed the most when I didn't listen - most often to my gut, and I've been learning to trust my intuition more.

How are you and you're family coping with the global pandemic?

Social distancing, even though my teenage son hates it and wants to go visit his friends, we are staying home. We have also finally stated having dinners together which is SO nice. Lots of Netflix, texting, calling family in Russia.

Which parallel universe versions of yourself would you want to meet and why?

I'd want to meet a "dancer" me or "ballerina" me hehe - I'd love to be able to move more gracefully :)


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