Do you ever have this kind of feeling? You just cannot help looking through someone’s WeChat Moment for so many adorable pictures on it. That was what I did to Anastasiia Dudnyk’s posts after I added her WeChat account. The 29-year-old photographer, who would like to be called Stacy, has posted quite a lot of lovable family photos capturing their sincere emotions with sound lights.
“I’m always saying that I’m lucky to have my favorite hobby as a job. Photography inspires me. It makes me happy. I never get tired of doing this,” Stacy said.
Stacy and her husband moved to Beijing from their home country Ukraine in 2015 after Stacy finished her master’s degree in social psychology. Back then, she was a drama teacher in a Beijing school.
“I really love to interact with kids, make them feel happy and help them become a better version of themselves. But I always felt that I wanted something different,” Stacy said.
Stacy has been fond of photography for years and would take a lot of pictures when she travels. She started to do photography professionally in 2017. Her big transition from a photography enthusiast to a professional was largely encouraged by her friends who were her subjects on camera.
“I tried to do the photoshoots for my friends, and they really enjoyed them. They told me I should do it professionally,” Stacy said.
The idea of being a professional photographer triggered Stacy to start to learn shooting. “I took different courses about photography. I attended various seminars and workshops. And step by step I gained more confidence and started to shoot for other people,” Stacy said.
The more she learns, the deeper she falls in love with photography. “Photography is my love, passion, and I believe, my true calling,” she said.
As an emerging photographer, Stacy didn’t know what she exactly wanted to capture. She tried different types of photography, like portraits, events, food and interiors. Now, she sticks to couple, maternity and family lifestyle photoshoots.
“I realized what I like most is to capture real emotions. And for that you need two things: first, there should be some relationship in the picture, and second, they shouldn’t pose or pretend, and this is possible only in lifestyle photos,” Stacy said.
Stacy’s most desirable moment is when she receives clients’ feedback. “I screenshoot their feedback, I cherish them and read them again and again. They help me a lot when I have some doubts about my work or just have a bad day,” she said.
In Stacy’s eyes, all the families in her photos are unique, and she reveals that the biggest secret of presenting unique families in photos is that “I mostly take them at people’s homes, so you really can feel the very special atmosphere. Also, as people are at home, they feel more relaxed and it’s much easier to catch their real feelings.”
Stacy said it is always difficult for a photographer to find new clients. She had a great client base in Beijing and it was a challenge to start over as she and her husband moved to Shenzhen less than a year ago. The coastal city attracted the couple to settle down and it has been getting better as Stacy is expanding her friend circle. In addition, joining Shenzhen Women’s International Club (with WeChat account SWIC_Club) enables Stacy to know quite a lot of “nice, warmhearted and supportive” members.
Stacy took a lot of photos of her nearly 2-year-old daughter and husband. “One of my most favorite works is the photograph of my daughter [when she was 2 weeks old] sleeping on my husband’s back. It touches me every time I look at it,” Stacy said.
“Family is the most important thing in my life. I get a huge support from my husband and a great inspiration from my daughter. Thanks to them I can do what I love,” the family photographer said sincerely.