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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Kristina Šukelytė, Photographer

Creativity can take many shapes and forms, and for Kristina Šukelytė, photography is the way. Her process started when she was very young and her ultimate goal is to be able to do it full time…

27-year-old Lithuanian photographer Kristina Šukelytė has lived in Bournemouth for the last six years. She graduated from BU a few years ago and now works in a creative marketing agency. According to Kristina, Bournemouth is “the nicest place you could live in in the UK”.

She has a passion for people and nature like no other, aiming to show that through her photography. Through her Instagram account, she connects with models and other photographers. Always on the lookout for new ideas and people to collaborate with. 

HOW DID YOU START OUT AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?

I have been interested in photography since middle school. I loved to play with my grandad’s film camera — I found it really mesmerising how the image appears on the paper from nothing. In addition, I love looking back at old photos. We are so lucky to live in an age when we can capture special moments in photographs and keep them with us forever. Plus, I love working with people. It’s very rewarding to be able to capture memories for them. I would say it’s my passion.

I hope to be a full time photographer one day, but at the moment I also really enjoy my office job. Currently, I work in a production team, which is very challenging but also very interesting. I get to do a lot of different marketing-related activities and the team is great. 

WHAT KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY DO YOU DO?

I enjoy shooting people and nature the most. In my opinion, the most beautiful things on Earth are created by nature, and I love capturing them on camera. A colourful tree, beautiful sky, wavy sea or a baby’s face – I just find it all so pretty!

Mostly, I do portrait photography. That’s my niche, but I also love landscapes and travel photography. I use an Olympus E-M10 Mark II or Canon EOS 70D, depending on the shoot. My style as a photographer is… colourful… I would call it “dreamy” (not sure if that’s a real style…)

WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION? 

I follow many photographers on social media and Pinterest. I also check new trends for ideas, mostly beauty ones. If I really like an idea I have seen somewhere, I try to recreate it with my model or models.

A lot of my inspiration comes from nature, and outdoor photoshoots are my favourites. Nature is so colourful and can be played with in many different ways. Sometimes I try ideas on myself and create self-portraits. 

My favourite photographer is Algis Krisciunas – he is a Lithuanian photographer who I have always admired. I went to his photography workshop in Fuerteventura last year — greatest photographic experience I have ever had.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR SUBJECTS?

There isn’t much selection really. All people are beautiful in different ways and I always try to capture that beauty. It does not matter who is the subject. I tend to work with people I know or have met before, because I feel more confident they will trust me and some of my crazy ideas. But I can also work with people I have never met… I would just choose a safer creative approach.

I try to show people how beautiful and special they are, and always try to lift their confidence. There are so many people who don’t love or don’t like their bodies. I aim to show them that they should love themselves and be happy with their looks. I also try to show the connection between human and nature. In my opinion, it’s very important that everyone understands how important nature is. I try to connect colours and shapes, so the beauty of nature complements the beauty of the person.

WHAT IS THE BEST PHOTO YOU HAVE TAKEN? WHAT MAKES “GOOD” PHOTOGRAPHY? 

All the pictures I take are my favourites! I am so indecisive and I think I am very bad at criticising myself. I love them all — it’s so hard to choose the best ones. Sometimes I can’t decide which are the best, and retouch ten similar pictures. This is my favourite from this year:

Jordan Norris by Kristina Sukelytė
Kristina’s favourite photo of the year. In frame: Jordan Norris. Credit: Kristina Šukelytė

I think the same applies to everything we do. If it’s done with love and passion, it’s not going to be just “good” — it will be great! I don’t believe in rules for photography per se. What looks good to you might not look good for others. Be creative and do whatever makes you happy.

The biggest ‘Do’ is to make your model feel comfortable and relaxed. Try to experiment with colours, shapes, poses, angles, and so on. Attempt as many different positions and settings as possible. But also, you should never compare your work with others and think that you are not good enough. There will always be someone better than you and that is okay. Photography takes practise and you need to find your audience. Have fun with the process and worry less.

WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL SUBJECT?

Every subject is perfect — it just depends on the angles and the light. Candids are great, but some people need direction. I try to show them examples from the internet to recreate some specific poses I feel would work in the setting. I also have quite a lot of experience in modelling myself. With this in mind, I can show the model what to do and how to pose to look the best for the idea. It really depends on the shoot, but I always try to capture emotions and provide as many different shots as possible.

I do Time for Print (TFP) shoots and I charge direct for others. If I have an idea and need a model I will look for a collaboration on TFP basis. And if someone comes to me and wants to shoot I will normally charge depending on how many photos are needed and what the idea is. Every Photoshop is unique, so it really depends on what the goal is for each one.

If you’re interested in the work of Kristina Šukelytė, check out her Instagram feed here. For more local photography stories, click here. And don’t forget to follow us on our social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Anmy Pazos Martinez
Anmy Pazos Martinez
Anmy is a Journalism student at the University of the Arts London. She moved to Bournemouth five years ago, after leaving her home in Venezuela. Anmy loves travelling, nature and people. She finds writing and investigating all sorts of stories great, but is especially keen on culture and lifestyle. She hopes her stories might bring about positive change, inspire and connect people.

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