In conversation with Olga

Meet Olga Lobanova, the force behind the very popular blog, Sand in The City, a heady combination of fashion, style & photography. Join us as we chat with her

  1. How long have you been a photographer?Chat with Olga_The Black Book Dubai_Sand in the City

I’ve always been into photography since my childhood. Luckily I could experience analog cameras, and even saw how my grandfather and uncle developed the films in the bathroom. While studying Media Management at the university, I took a few courses in composition, photography and retouching. I am constantly involved in different projects as a photographer; however it is not my main job. Photography is my biggest hobby and passion!

  1. What made you start shooting street style and how did you do it?

After moving to Dubai in 2010, I was very curious to know, if anyone runs street style blogs in the region – these types of blogs was extremely popular in Europe and US at that time. However, I couldn’t find any blogger or photographer & so I decided to fill up this gap.

  1. What’s the story behind the name ‘Sand in the City’?

Yes there is a story to this as well! One of my friends was visiting Dubai & I took him for a desert safari. We got into a terrible sand storm, while we were stuck at the little petrol station somewhere near Al Ain, he suggested this name for the blog. Plus he considered my love for the famous TV series and to SJP in particular.

  1. Where’s the best place, to shoot, in Dubai?

I find outdoor events such as Sole DXB, FFWD or Meet D3 the best for capturing cool street style pictures.

  1. What are your views on the evolution of street photography & the fashion sense in the region?

The Media here is increasingly involving their photographers into street style shooting.  Additionally, bloggers also showcase their outfits outdoors while casually walking and not posing. It’s definitely became a trend here recently.

  1. How many photos do you take per shoot?

It really depends, sometimes just one shot is enough and the photo turns out to be the best photo of the day. Sometimes I take 10-20 shots of the same person and they are not good enough to publish. I would say an average 3-7 shots are enough to capture a great street style photo.

Olga Camera-2_The Black Book Dubai_Sand in the City

  1. What camera do you use, to capture these amazing pictures?

I use Canon 5D Mark II together with 24-70mm lens.

  1. What’s a typical work day like for you?

Street style photography/blogging is not my full-time job. I work for a fashion e-commerce and my typical day is in front the computer and in the meetings.

The working day when I photograph is normally quite hectic; you need to be fast and creative in the same time.

  1. How do you market yourself?

I’ve got a few clients through my blog; I guess they found me either by word of mouth or while looking for a photographer on Google.

Promoting the blog wasn’t easy, especially at the beginning when no one knew me. It is almost 3 years now of constantly being in touch with PR agencies, brands, press, media and fellow bloggers.

  1. Any words of wisdom, to aspiring street fashion/style photographers?

If you have even an iota of doubt, before posting a specific photo, blog post or social media – don’t publish! When you’re publishing anything, you have to be very sure of your content.

It was a pleasure speaking with Olga, a sweet & humble person. We would like to wish her luck, for all her future projects. To know more about her work, do visit her blog Sand in The City.

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