We had the good fortune of connecting with Oxana Kernan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Oxana, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Recently I wrote a letter to my son, so he knows how important he is to me: “My sweet Joseph, my treasure, my heart and soul… These precious moments of hugging and kissing you, playing and exploring, talking and laughing together will forever be in my memory. They will be with me through all of your growing up years and beyond. The life we have created for each other is priceless. My dream is to give you all I can and for you to grow up to be an amazing man, and when the time comes, I wish for you to make a difference in many people’s lives. I love you forever.” There are a few very important things I’ve been teaching my son. He is 10 years old. To Love Life: To love yourself within your life, to love what you do, what you learn, what you read, to learn to notice magnificent and extraordinary things around you. To Love People: To learn to give, to show compassion and care for another, to help and inspire people with your actions, or creations, or thoughts. To love Nature: To treasure this world and its creations that we see, touch, feel and smell. Learn to use nature’s energy because it will bring peace, harmony and exceptional ideas when you need it. I can see, he already grasps the big perception of this world. It’s amazing how a small child can have an awareness and sense of feel for his surroundings. I also believe that it’s not always what we teach, it’s what we do. Your child will learn even more from your actions then from your teachings.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What sets me a part? Perhaps it’s my life journey and how my career in Beauty and Fashion Storytelling Photography was conceived. I was born in Russia. I grew up in a wonderful family with a big brother, great relatives and friends all around. I had a lot of help and freedom to explore life. With so much energy and curiosity at very early age, I had a huge desire for learning, adventure and exploration. I left the safety of my home, family, and friends at 21 to explore the world. I ended up in a larger city with new experiences. At 22, I moved to Japan for half a year. My next move was never planned but love, destiny, and persistence drove me to the United States a year later. Without knowing the English language (as only German and French were taught in school and college), I had to learn everything all over again. Putting all my thoughts and wonderful childhood memories together, I started remembering how much I loved dancing, sewing, making crafts, dressing up, reading books and fashion magazines. I knew “creativity” has to be a part of my life. I remembered the beautiful Far East forests, rivers and lakes on one side of Russia and even more magnificent nature on the other side of the Country. I spent many summers at my grandmother’s house on rich Ukrainian land. I knew wanted to combine the beauty of nature with a creative career. One more important component shaped my career. It is my love for people. Remembering how outgoing I was, how many friends I had throughout my life, how easy I would meet them, and how many times I would influence them. I knew I had to interact with people. At 23, I started a new life by making the Beauty Industry my career. This was my calling to combine all my gifts and passions together. I have been been a hair stylist and color specialist since then. In 2007, I discovered the artistry of make-up. This changed everything. I started envisioning a complete beauty look with hair styling and a make-up. I believe, that gave me an advantage in discovering someone’s hidden beauty. A few years later, I discovered photography and everything changed once again. I realized I have an ability to create beautiful stories from beginning to the end. My background in the beauty business started helping me to see light, color, details, and character when I thought about the concept. I started seeing final results, final images in my mind before I even started. Just about a couple years ago, I started incorporating fresh flowers into my portraiture stories. I started designing and making fresh flower accessories and using them as fashion pieces for the hair, shoulders and over clothes. I created my own style that is hard to replicate. How I got where I am? There are couple qualities great to have, I believe, besides all your great talents, hard work, great plan to achieve your goals. That includes time management and the most up-to-date business knowledge. Those essential qualities live within you. No one teaches you that in school. I don’t think anyone can teach you better than yourself. It’s the power within you that gives you so much love and desire to achieve that dream or wish. You want it so badly, that you don’t even see the hurdles or barriers before you. You listen to your inner wisdom, your feelings, that guides you, so you never need to have a “plan B” on that path you take. Challenges are not really a problem. There are so many ways to overcome them and find solutions. Resilience and grit have to be within you. Nothing will ever stop you. There is an interesting lesson I’ve learned. When we make a plan, a goal in life, it’s usually based on the knowledge and experience we know or have at that time. How essential that goal can be at that moment you planned it? Let’s say you reach that goal you planned years ago. It may disappoint you. If you never reach it, you’ll be devastated. We grow and change a year after year so our goals change and expand. I think we should never reach our ultimate goals. Your life should be growing and changing, and challenging you as long as you live. The secret is in the journey itself by creating, building, inventing, giving, enjoying, playing, laughing….. What I really wish for it is not for my dreams to come true, I wish for those things to come true, that I couldn’t even dream about. How can I not be proud of all the amazing life experiences I’ve had? I am very excited to see where life is still going to take me and my family in the future. My story is simple. I want to be your photographer, hair designer, make-up artist, fresh floral accessory designer, wardrobe stylist to create a one-of-a-kind photo shoot experience for you. I want people to know that my greatest joy and delight is to capture your moment, to capture you, your presence, your beauty, your youth, your love, your young children, your parents and beyond. Together, we will create breathtaking visual art for you and your family to remember forever. It’s priceless.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
There are endless places to visit here in Los Angeles. The beach is first. Biking and rollerblading on the path from Santa Monica to Venice or Malibu. Catch the waves after, grab the food at a cafe and enjoy the sunset. Another beach day is in Malibu at the famous Paradise Cove cafe where there’s so much to choose from a great menu. Calamari and Champagne is my favorite. One of my favorite places to visit during the day is Americana at Brand in Glendale. It’s great for kids and adults to enjoy time eating, movie watching, shopping or just stroll around outside and chatting. The Castaway restaurant in Burbank is my other favorite. See amazing views of the down town Los Angeles and the whole valley. Enjoy great food and cocktails under the stars. Descanso Gardens in La Canada is my favorite piece of nature and just around the corner. Unwind with a slow down and walk and breath in nature’s aromas. Hiking is a must. Hikes are everywhere. Going dancing is a part of the program too. Bogie’s in Westlake Village is a great outdoor restaurant with some different kind of dance music each night. Before going dancing a great place next door to stop by is The Stonehaus to chill with a glass of wine. You’ll feel you’re in Europe. To make a lasting memory while enjoying Los Angeles, book a photo shoot with me!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s extremely difficult to achieve anything in life without help, support, encouragement, and love. The person that has always there for me throughout my whole life is my mom. Here is a letter I recently wrote to her: “You are Love, Strength, Kindness and the ultimate Guardian. You gave me so much love and care and still keep on giving. I remember so much of you in my childhood. You gave me all these incredible qualities that you have…not just by teaching me but by showing me what they feel like. I hope I can be at least half of what you are to me as a Mother.” It’s her love for me that made me kind, strong, confident, optimistic, and positive and so much more. She was always on my side with all my wishes, and dreams, adventures, changes and ambitions. I couldn’t ask for more devoted, committed, giving mother. My father thought I was fearless in my decisions and demonstrated the love for freedom and independency when I was a teen. So at an early age I followed my dreams. He once said to my mother – “She can do whatever she wants. I trust her!”When you are given responsibility, you try twice as hard not to fail. It’s very powerful. My brother taught me about real life experiences. He read me many adventure books and stories when I was a child. He is still my best friend. I’m a lucky woman to have an amazing family and support system in my life.