My new life
Have you ever started to live from the beginning? For example, moved to another city or even to a country, learnt a language and adapted to your new surroundings? Me personally, yes. This happened two years ago when I moved to Germany.
It was a turning point in my life, which opened for me new horizons and obstacles. Compulsory integration courses, intensive German courses in a private school, exams and an endless number of certificates, all kinds of documents. Confirmation of my Ukrainian bachelor’s degree. Searching a job, searching myself.
I never thought that I would live in Germany. I wanted to live somewhere in France and I studied French since my school days. While studying at the university, I realized that there was an opportunity to move to Poland and thought, I started to attend Polish courses and learned the language up to B2 level. Life has made its own adjustments: I met the man of my dream who lived in Germany. Guess which language I started to learn?
We got married and I moved to Hamburg – one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, with its northern charm, sea air and eternal cries of seagulls. Sometimes I miss the sun and nice warm days like in Ukraine, but I find the strength and inspiration to create something unusual. Hamburg is really inspiring. There are many beautiful places where you would not only enjoy a cup of coffee, but also would take amazing pictures.
Hamburg and it’s best locations
I like to walk along the local Övelgönne beach, listen to the screams of seagulls near Alster or Hamburger Hafen. On Sunday I would definitely wake up at 5 am and run to the local Fischmarkt to try Fischbrötchen, admire the ships and enjoy the live rock concert. Another source of my inspiration is the architecture of Hamburg. Unfortunately, not all the buildings have survived to our times, there are very few colorful houses left. For example, Deichstraße street. I often come here to dream and take pictures. Also I cannot just walk pass by Hamburger Rathaus, Krameramtsstuben, Komponistenviertel.
There are times when it seems that everything is too complicated and there is no more strength for me. Then I go to Eppendorf or Rothenbaum districts to collect my thoughts, think about everything what disturbs me and enjoy the beauty and the bohemian atmosphere of these wonderful places. I walk around the Isemarkt market, buy a bunch of beautiful tulips (especially in cold and grey February), grab a coffee at Elbgold and admire my favourite streets. If one cup of coffee is not enough to cheer me up – I go to Speicherstadt. This is a charming place that used to be one of the most successful and reliable storage. Tobacco, coffee and much more were stored here. I often come here to get lost in the brick labyrinths, inhaling the alluring aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. All my walks have the same route: Speicherstadt – HafenCity – Elbphilharmonie – Hamburger Hafen. Try it and inspiration will find you.
Journalism and photography
I started taking photographs in 2010. I wanted to know how the camera works, how to take photos in the studio, how to work with a model and much more. Then I started studying at the Kyiv School of Photography. My education lasted almost 4 years, during which time I attended many courses and master classes. I photographed a lot and every day, trying to figure out what I like the most. This is how my first work with studio lighting began, this is how I created my first photobook as my graduation work.
Then came the time to make a decision and enter the university. I chose journalism and entered the best university in Ukraine, successfully passed an art competition, received a scholarship and made global plans for future. Already in my first year of study, I started working in an advertising agency, however, as a photographer. After that, there was another agency, and another. Advertising was closely related to photography and I understood that it brings me a lot of pleasure.
I did an internship on the radio and TV-channels, but I realized that this was not mine at all. I was willing to work with online-media. After a while, I was invited to do an internship in one of the women’s online magazines. I visited the catwalk shows of Ukrainian Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days. This time I had to write a lot of material ( using my photos as well) about collections, designers and their events in general. The more I worked, the more I realized that I adore to communicate with people. I really like to discover the character of a person, the story, reveal details through the image of this person. I began to combine the work of a journalist and a photographer. I have done a lot of thematic filming, photographed models and products in the studio for the online catalogs. Collaborations with makeup artists and modeling agencies helped me to create my own photoprojects.
Online marketing and social media: my experience in Hamburg
Let’s go back to my move to Germany. As you might guess, I had to forget about all my creative experience and to start all over again.
I have been searching myself, completed all the tasks related to relocation and integration. There was not as much time left for creativity as I wanted. However I was lucky and I found my first part-time job – I got an internship at the marketing company 5 Sterne Marketing. Most of my tasks were writing short texts in English and German, taking photos and to do quite a simple office work. But it was difficult to speak German. At the same time, I continued to take German courses, studied culture, politics, history of Germany and of my city as well.
With the beginning of the Coronavirus Era, life came to a standstill. The last German exam hung in the air, job searches ended in numerous refusals. I made a very creative CV by using a special design program, but nevertheless I received only “Aufgrund der Coronasituation …”.
I really missed my former social life, fashion shows, meetings with interesting personalities, the constant whirlpool of events. My acquaintance with the High Heels Society Hamburg became as a ray of hope. This is a fashion community which was created especially for all international women living in Hamburg. For all those who love fashion and style, who cannot imagine a single day without elegance and chic. Together with the founder of the community (Evita Sator) we developed ideas for the website, wrote articles and produced a lot of creative content. I photographed a lot and worked on the material. It was my passion, my addiction.
Work in photostudio
I always got used to improve and to set new goals for myself, even if they seem to be unattainable. So I continued to search a job. I wanted to have one in a German company, to work in the office and to have a very intensive schedule. For me it was always important to know that I am truly a part of the team, to work in a team, to complete a complex of tasks and ,of course, to enjoy it. The situation with the Coronavirus improved slightly and I started to receive invitations for the job interviews. There were days when it was necessary to have time to go to 3 meetings in different parts of the city. Each of my interviews went pretty well, took place in a nice atmosphere, even seemed to be successful. Sometimes I received trial tasks or had to work a few days in the company to see what it is like.
Finally, I found a job that I really liked. I started working as a photographer in one of the photo studios in Hamburg, located in my favourite area, right next to the city center. Studioline is a huge German company with more than 80 photo studios throughout Germany. And yes, I am very lucky to be a part of this big family. Constant work with people, communication in German, English, sometimes even in Russian. Intense photo days, creation of photobooks, studio lighting, amazing team. Well, let’s see where my story takes me and what my next chapter will be.