From St Petersburg to St Kilda, Yana brings poise

By  |  0 Comments

By Stuart Black

A good photographer knows how to work with lighting, focus and composition, but one important skill makes all the difference when shooting live targets:

Working with people. And Yana can teach you that.

Yana Martens grew up in St Petersburg, and studied a branch of psychology dedicated to communication between people: between family members, co-workers, and especially professional and client, artist and subject.

This combined with working as a model with professional European photographers means that Yana has great inside knowledge of how photographers can best communicate with a model. How to put them in the right mindset for the expression and poses required for a great shot.

‘Even the most well-lit studio won’t tell a good story if the model is feeling self-conscious,’ says Yana, ‘You really want them relaxed, comfortable, and confident while you pose them so they can bring their best art to your session.’

Yana moved to Melbourne in 2010, and lives in St Kilda where she teaches photographers the skill of communicating with their clients and models, looking at body language, tone of voice, as well as the body positioning of a good pose.

For a photographer, this can mean the opportunity to capture the not only new and interesting shots, but the relaxed, genuine emotion of the subject. Beyond this, the participants end the day feeling so good about the experience that they are willing to do it again, and tell their friends about how enjoyable it was.

‘The words that you choose, the humor, the respect that the model feels, all contribute to a good atmosphere on the day. The lighting is pre-set or natural so we don’t even have to worry about that, and only work on the relationship between you and the person in front of the camera.’

This is important for the beginner photographer, says Yana, as they often have so much to think about in terms of light, focus and composition that they rarely get to focus on how to communicate with the model.

This applies to photographers of all levels of experience. ‘Some of my students are beginners,’ she says, ‘who just want to take better snap shots. Others have great technical skills from shooting landscapes for years. They know about f-stops and depth of field, and now want to learn how to work with people.’

Yana holds small, focused workshops on teaching photographers, in St Kilda and the CBD. October will see a workshop on wedding photography in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens, and November on how to pose couples.

Yana also holds private sessions on how to feel confident in front of a camera and enhance your best features. ‘Not just for models, everyone now has a profile,’ says Yana, ‘a good photo draws attention, and physical confidence brings success in all areas.’

To see more of Yana Martens, and to find out about her workshops, visit, phone 0431 865 638 or email

Stuart Black is a professional copywriter in Elsternwick. For well-written articles, business ideas and web content, check out his site: or contact him on: 0499 102 888

Find us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on FacebookFind us on Facebook