We had the good fortune of connecting with Vera Pashkevich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vera, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I was born in Belarus (a landlocked country that sits between Russia and Poland). Belarus is known for growing potatoes, producing figure skaters, high vodka consumption, being hit hard by WWII, and playing quasi-invisible as far as European nations go.
My father was fortunate enough to win a green card to try his luck in a cold Chicago winter, while my mother and I hoped for the best. When I was about seven years old, we got on a train and left to go live in Germany. I was a child of anywhere and nowhere simultaneously. My parents chose to live hard lives in order to give me opportunity; had we stayed, I would have likely been a bank teller. When I was a teenager, I remember thinking “what’s the one thing Belarusian girls don’t get to do with their lives?”
As if by instinct, at age sixteen, I first picked up my own cheapo camera as a means of reflecting upon the world. The rest of my story explains itself, but I can’t speak about risk without mentioning my history. As far as risk goes, my entire career is the risk: I gambled my parent’s investment on a chance to be an artist. And I have no regrets, all of these years later.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The camera is my most trustworthy companion. It’s a beacon of light that sits with me always, in my hands and near my heart. Whether DSLR or iPhone, I like being able to take something with me from every moment I spend on this earth. Photographs tell stories, and stories never fail to provide my world with a glimmer of magic. I graduated with a BA from The Evergreen State College, focusing my studies on art history, photography, and creative writing. Shortly after, I moved to Seattle to pursue my career as a freelancer. My work resides in two hemispheres: one professional, the other personal. Both share the same pulse, the same shared emotion.
I take an organic, compassionate approach when capturing documentary-style events and strive for an atmospheric, thoughtful aesthetic. I have nearly a decade of experience in wedding photography, photojournalism, commercial work, and creative portraiture. But mostly, I just do it for the sake of loving humanity and this green landscape we all occupy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend visited me for a day, I’d take them to Smith Tower first, where we’d share a fancy charcuterie and enjoy the view. Then, we’d walk around the Pioneer Square neighborhood and admire the murals and alleys while people-watching. Then, we’d meander back toward Pike Place Market to watch the sunset (if Seattle weather allows).
If we had two days, I would take them to Gas Works bright and early (to avoid the crowds) and then pop by Molly Moon’s for some sorbet. I’d explain how much I loved kayaking around South Lake Union in the summers and taking walks around Beacon Hill in the fall. Then, we’d get out of the city and head east, where just about any trail is lush and perfect.
If we had a full week and a friend visited me, I’d take them to the Hoh National Rainforest and Lake Crescent and maybe Doe Bay. The full week would still not be enough for me to show off the magnitude of beauty our region has to offer, but it would be a start.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Danielle Carissa: https://daniellecarissa.com/
All images were taken by me.