We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Obolonskaya and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anna, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
The photography industry is a very busy industry with a relatively easy entrance point. Everyone can be a photographer, because all it takes is to press a button if you look at it in the most simplified way. When it comes to Birth and Newborn photography, you are stepping into a whole different world! It’s beautiful, raw and vulnerable. What is expected of a professional photographer from that point is to have a combination of knowledge in different fields. First and foremost an artistic eye and sharp technical photography skills. Then an understanding of standard medical procedures that mom’s go through during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This is a specific knowledge set that comes from years of practice for caring for newborn babies, understanding the baby’s physiology and basic needs. It is simply magical to be able to comfort the mother and newborn baby simultaneously, so you can be able to capture the lasting moments every parent wants to cherish. I would have never made it in this career if I didn’t care for each and every child with all my heart. What I wish people knew about this industry, is that hiring a newborn and birth photographer should never be done by just looking at images or by budget, it should be done by choosing your person as a caretaker you can fully trust. After all the photographer could be with you during birth or the days right after so pick a warm, caring trustworthy person.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As the tale says it all starts with my parents. My father is an architect. He is the one who encouraged me to take a pencil , a piece of paper and make my first sketches. At the age of 7 I went to art school to study art professionally. Out of numerous subjects I was always looking forward to drawing portraits, especially people’s faces, that really fascinated me. Even on the way home from school I would sit in the bus and sketch strangers’ faces trying not to be caught. During college I picked up a camera, but never considered it as my future career. Right after graduating I started my career in digital marketing. When I moved to New York a few years after, I joined a small marketing firm and what is funny to look back at, I was still making sketches of people’s faces. At that time it was my colleague’s portraits and they knew about them this time! I still have those sketches in my drawer now, but couldn’t recognize my passion for portraiture in those days.

I would probably never think of leaving the corporate world, but my future husband got me a camera and a class to refresh my skills. That was it. I was hooked and at that time I was sure I had to stick to my lifelong passion – portraits.

I started with portraits in every category: wedding, engagements, fitness, branding, babies. Until one day a friend of mine asked me to photograph her newborn baby. On that point I was already a decent photographer, but it gave me a new level of challenge and opened up my heart in a different way. Since that day I dedicated 10 years to working solely in the newborn photography world. I learned everything about babies, birth and mothers. And I am proud that I can be someone parents could trust in one of the most special times of their life.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love everything about my neighborhood. If you are visiting Dallas, please, come to Plano. Downtown Plano was my first “love” when I moved here. As a coffee lover, I was pleasantly surprised to find two amazing coffee spots walking distance from each other. It’s “XO Coffee Company” and “1418 Coffeehouse’. Start your day there! Then check the event schedule in Haggard park, every other weekend there is something that will get you together having fun with all the locals. If you have kids, Windhaven Meadows Park is the go to spot. It’s a modern playground with so much space for kids to run, you won’t be able to take them out of there.

If you love shopping, my choice is to stay in Plano and visit Legacy West or make a trip to Highland Park Village. And stay for dinner at Legacy West food hall. Why leave if they have options for even the most picky eater?

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

Every time I think about my career and every single achievement, I think of the day I met my future husband. We met in the gym and he taught me I could punch the boxing bag like I’m a Wonder Woman rather than a tiny 5’4 girl. We’ve been together for 7 years and I can tell you that having him by my side and helping me to push through life’s moments, was half of my success.

Website: https://artfitnessflow.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artfitbaby/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artfitbaby/

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/artfitnessflow-plano

Other: https://vimeo.com/user51926102

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here