Never leave your camera at home | Vevuse
My name is Veronika, known under the pseudonym Vevuse on Instagram. I was born 27 years ago in the Czech Republic, famous for its beautiful & historical city Prague. When you see my profile, you probably wouldn’t guess I’m not a photographer but a manager currently working at an insurance company. Despite doing something different for a living, photography allows me to express myself and gives me the possibility to be creative, and that is who I am. I have always had a sense of aesthetics, and it helps me in the photography world a lot.
In the past, I liked to do make-up, paint, play the piano, and I was interested in home design. Yes, basically anything creative. 😊 But I must admit I’m quite a nerd as well. I grew up on the computer game Tomb Raider, and Lara Croft is my biggest crush. Travelling, exploring new places, food, culture and meeting new people are probably my biggest hobbies. The possibility to capture all those places & moments with my camera is just a cherry on the pie.
There are so many places I would like to visit. Starting with the exploration of Iceland, through the West of the US to Japan. My last bigger vacation was Vietnam in 2019. We had everything planned to a tee, however, things turned out completely different (obviously). We wanted to start from the North (Sapa) and go to the South (Ho Chi Minh City) all the way on scooters. What an amazing idea (in our minds 😊). On the 5th day in Sapa, we fell off the bike with my boyfriend breaking his collar bone and unfortunately, he had to go back home. I hurt my knee, but I’m a tough old bird, if it’s not broken, it’s nothing I couldn’t handle (read Lara Croft). So, I continued the trip with my friends and explored the beauty of Vietnam (recommendation 12/10).
During the past 2 years, I have discovered myself in photography. It’s a great way to show your point of view and pass over some message to other people. That’s what I admire the most in photography. It’s an art, and art is freedom. Everybody can do it differently, there are no borders. Being different is a good thing, and I always try to see things from a whole new perspective.
I have always been very close to this area since I grew up next to a photographer (my father), and I used to steal his camera all the time. 😊 But I truly realized it was my hobby when I purchased my first camera, an Olympus PEN E-PL9, for travelling in Vietnam (thank you, Olympus). I knew basically nothing about camera settings & photography before I purchased the PEN. I have been learning everything myself from my mistakes and YouTube tutorials & reviews (my fav Olympus inspiration is Robin Wong).
I have started recording moments of my life, travels, animals, nature, cities, and everything that caught my eye. People have started to like my work, and some of my friends asked me if I could make some photos of them as well. I shared a few pictures on my personal IG account @vevuuse. People loved that and started to contact me for photoshoots. When I created a small portfolio, I decided to separate my lifestyle personal profile from my business profile @vevuse for portrait photography. It’s has been 2 years already since I started portrait photography.
The moment I realized I needed to buy a camera was after our road trip to Italy and Tatra Mountains in Slovakia. I came back home, and I was really disappointed with the quality of my photos. I promised myself that my next vacation would be captured by a camera, and I would go back to places where I had been without it. I know there are high-quality cell-phone cameras nowadays, but I can still undoubtedly see the difference in the depth of field, bokeh, sharpness, and pixels.
As a child, I had some Canon compacts because my father is a loyal Canon user, but my first mirrorless camera was the Olympus PEN E-PL9, as mentioned above. I wanted something small-sized, cheap and light with exchangeable lenses. The PEN checked all the boxes, not to mention its super stylish & aesthetic camera. 😊 You can always take a camera this small with you anywhere you go, and it’s a key for a photographer – never leave your camera at home, you never know what might happen.
The main reason for picking the micro 4/3 system was definitely budget & weight. As a beginner, who didn’t know about cameras much, I didn’t want an expensive camera, I had to learn the basics first. Full-frame doesn’t make you a professional photographer. This sensor may be called „micro 4/3“, but from my experience, it still produces high-quality results. There are also a lot of options with affordable lenses on the market, and you can pick whatever suits your purpose. The advantage of micro 4/3 is also the 2-time equivalent. So, you don’t have to buy a huge heavy lens to have a longer focal length. When you have an aperture of F1.8 or lower it can produce a really nice creamy bokeh even though it’s not a full-frame camera.
My camera bag:
● Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II (for my business purposes)
● Olympus PEN E-PL9 (as a backup camera)
● M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO
● M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
● M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8
Most of the photos that you can see on both my profiles had been taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the 25mm & 75mm lenses. I have upgraded from the PEN because I needed something with a larger and more comfortable grip, more user buttons, better battery life, a side-flip screen, weather-sealed, and that could handle professional lenses. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has it all.
My favorite lens is the 25mm, which is basically an equivalent of 50mm on FF, so every photographer tells you it’s a must-have lens, which can be used for almost any kind of photography. I take it with me all the time.
Many photographers like to use zoom lenses, but it’s not my cup of tea (these are already sold) 😊. I know it’s easier when you work with zooms and it’s probably sufficient for landscape & architecture photography, but for my style & portrait photography, I prefer prime lenses. The reason is simple, better depth of field, bokeh hand in hand with lightness & sharpness. When you learn how to work with them, you will see the benefits.
I’m not a professional photographer, it’s just a hobby, so it allows me to find out what I want to create and enjoy the most. Some of my friend photographers told me “Hey Veronika, I really like your style, it’s different from what I usually see on social media. I would like to be more creative too, but my clients have different requirements“. I always tell them not to forget that it was a hobby that brought them to photography in the first place, and they have to enjoy what they do. Because if they don‘t, it will eventually show up in their work. Clients should pick a photographer based on their „manuscript“, and if they don’t like it, they can always find someone else.
I focus mainly on portrait photography within my business assignments because I like to work with people. Thanks to the fact I’m also a people manager and sometimes pose in front of the camera too, it‘s easy for me to lead them to make them look good in the picture. When I need inspiration for new poses, I sometimes use Pinterest/Instagram, especially during male photoshoots.
I have experience with several types of individual portrait photography (indoor & outdoor), family & couple photoshoots and company events. I have attended weddings as a second unofficial photographer a couple of times. I really like to capture moments & details of the wedding, but I can see it can be really challenging for the main photographer at the same time. Most of my portfolio can be seen on my Instagram account @vevuse and I would like to create a website in the future as well.
People usually want to capture moments of their life as a memory instead of posed photoshoots in the studio. It’s more natural outdoors, and learning how to work with natural light is even a bigger challenge for a photographer since there are not always perfect conditions. My most favorite time for photoshoot outdoor is obviously golden & blue hour, when the light is soft and pleasant to the skin.
However, I have learned how to work under various conditions, even when it’s cloudy, you can always spice it up with some fog to make it moodier or a thing to create some story behind the photography (book, umbrella, hat etc.). On the other hand, when you have the middle of a sunny day, try to use reflected light and shoot in shadow (e.g. below a tree or a building) and not under direct sun. The upper light doesn’t look nice on the face, and people tend to close their eyes on the sun, not to mention it’s not comfortable for them either.
My experience with photography changed when I discovered Lightroom. I learned how to work with light, exposure, and curves and how to create my own presets. In my photography, I usually keep just 2-3 main colors in the picture. I have 2 rules while editing. The first one is “there is a beauty in simplicity“, the second “if you don’t agree with the first one, come back tomorrow“. 😊
For skin retouch, highlights and other adjustments, I use Photoshop. This software is more complicated, and you need to know how to work with layers. Great tutorials are also available on YouTube (I really like the well-known PiXimperfect) and when I learned about frequency separation and dodge & burn, it literally took my photography to another level.
So, my final summary for photographers. Don’t be afraid to start, even there is a huge competition, it doesn’t mean they have the same ideas as you, and you could never stand out. Go out, open your eyes. The world out there is an inspiration by itself. Use natural light and framing. Learn how to work with your gear. Watch tutorials/have a training for post-processing. Be yourself and creative, but mainly – never leave your camera at home! 😊
“My name is Veronika, known under the pseudonym Vevuse on Instagram. I was born 27 years ago in the Czech Republic, which is famous for its beautiful & historical city Prague. When you see my profile, you probably wouldn’t guess I’m not a photographer but a manager currently working at an insurance company. Despite doing something different for a living, photography allows me to express myself and gives me the possibility to be creative, and that is who I am. I have always had a sense of aesthetics, and it helps me in the photography world a lot.”