Masha Parkhomenka is an award-winning portrait photographer and honed her artistic style with her three wonderful children as they grew up.

Based in Edmonton, Canada, Masha has been photographing for over six years, starting out as a hobby but quickly morphing into a professional portrait business, using her three children to practice her photography and build up a superb portfolio of portraits. Check out her Facebook page to see more of her beautiful work.

• Read more: The best lenses for portrait photography

We recently caught up with her to find out how she got into photography, her approach to portrait photography and the kit she couldn’t live without.

“I have always admired Renaissance art and worked on my own paintings for a while. Once my life changed with the appearance of three beautiful children, I stopped painting because it was time consuming and too complicated!But my artistic nature demanded a way to go wild, so I developed an interest in photography.

(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)

(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)

“It started out as a hobby, but quickly turned into something more serious. My youngest daughter, Mia, with her charming and bubbly personality, inspired the name of my brand – Mama & Mia Photography. combinations of rich colors, textures, looks and, of course, magic light.”

“Although a photographer for six years, I always find room to grow, overcome constant challenges and learn new techniques. Part of my job that I enjoy is the ability to show my vision for a moment.

“I’ve always used Canon systems from the start, with both modern AF lenses and vintage manual lenses. But I tend to prefer prime lenses to zooms. Some of my favorite lenses include the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM and the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM paired with my 5D Mark IV, for both studio and outdoor sessions. I also plan to upgrade to a mirrorless Canon EOS in the future.

“I hope to travel more and work from distant places to find inspiration and new ideas. But Edmonton also has a lot to offer, from green spaces to urban views! »

(Photo credit: Canon)

“I chose to upgrade to this camera, logically, from my full-frame Canon EOS 6D. It’s been a huge step up in my experience! AF is fast, color reproduction is excellent, 30MP image resolution is ideal for large prints and I find the button layout very intuitive.My EOS 5D Mark IV has been the workhorse I can always rely on.

(Photo credit: Canon)

“I switched to this lens from Canon’s EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. I work in a low-light studio and at dawn or dusk, low-light levels aren’t a challenge with this fast prime lens – it’s very fast and sucks in lots of light at f/1.2. The bokeh is creamy, but still captures fine details like skin texture and eyelashes. I haven’t found a better 50mm lens for my Canon!”

03. Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

(Photo credit: Canon)

“This is one of Canon’s go-to classic lenses! It’s my go-to telephoto lens for outdoor shoots as it’s sharp, fast, has fantastic bokeh and allows me to work from farther away which helps my models felt less shy.It’s just as great in ideal natural light conditions as it is in cloudy, dark weather due to its wide maximum aperture.

04. Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8

(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)

“Working with vintage lenses is often a meditative experience, requiring time and patience! But the reward can be amazing. My Helios 77M-4 is a 50mm prime lens capable of a unique swirling bokeh effect “It has an M42 mount, so it needs an adapter to mount properly with the EF mount. It’s all manual, so getting sharp shots takes a bit of practice and a fair amount of luck too!”

05. Godox MS300 Studio Flash

(Image credit: Godox)

“I’m a fan of a one-light portrait setup and am currently using a Godox MS300 monolight. It’s small, light and has enough power for my needs: I haven’t been in a situation yet where I’ve needed its maximum power. The flash recycles quickly at lower power settings, which means my studio shooting and workflow isn’t slowed down. It also has a modeling light that helps you position the flash correctly .

06. M42-EF mounting adapter

(Image credit: K&F Concept)

“A very small but important piece of kit I use is a smart M42 to EF mount adapter that allows me to take advantage of vintage manual lenses with the modern EOS DSLR. The adapter has a sturdy build, precise fit and the ability to provide focus confirmation due to having a chip built in. They cost around £20 on online shopping sites and are worth buying if you like using vintage glass.

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(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)
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(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)
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(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)
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(Image credit: Masha Parkhomenka)

Read more:

The best Canon cameras
The best Canon lenses
The best professional cameras

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