Ilko Allexandroff: Interview: Understanding the talent of a Portrait photographer
Ilko Allexandroff is a highly talented portrait photographer you may remember me featuring a while back, he really does create portraits than define beauty! I love the lighting, location and natural elements of his work. Enjoy this interview with the man himself where he shares some of the secrets of his success.
How did you get into photography?
I got into photography after I came to study in Japan in 2008. When i came to Japan I got a small portable camera so I can send photos to my friends back in Bulgaria, and it was very interesting to just snap around. I loved the feeling that by taking a photo I show something I’ve seen to people in a way, that they may have never seen it before.
What inspires you to create the work you do?
There are 3 different things that inspire me to do my photography, first its other photographers amazing work, I can spend hours just watching beautiful photography. Secondly, it’s the feedback I get, if people are happy seeing what I’m doing, that’s a really good feeling for me, and I’m motivated to keep on taking photos. If they criticize me, I’m still motivated to improve. And thirdly, we all see so many beautiful things in our everyday lives, and sometimes I think it’s such a waste not to capture those moments so we can make other people happy by seeing them.
What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?
The most satisfying thing for me in photography is when I see other people enjoying my photos, no matter if it’s the models I’m shooting with, my friends who are viewing my photos or even the client I am shooting for. Often when I am some shooting for work and my client is clearly happy with my work, then I’m really motivated to do more and more, but in order to achieve the best I can I have to work really hard!
What do you aim to capture in your images, are their specific messages in your photography?
The things I aim to capture in my photography are to reveal the personality of the people I’m shooting. So when I photograph somebody especially if it’s the the first time, I try to ask them about their interests, hobbies and possibly try to use the interests/hobbies as part of the photograph. For example if they play some music instrument I might use it in the photo. Every person has own their character and charm.
Do you use any specific techniques in your work? (i.e. HDR, Long exposures)
My photography is mainly based around using off-camera flash lighting. I am trying to experiment a lot and try different lighting techniques. Usually when I upload photos online I try to write a whole description of how I took that particular photograph, plus I recently have enjoyed including some OFF shots and describing the process of shooting. I believe it’s interesting to the viewer to feel the atmosphere of the photo shoot itself.
What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?
Having high ambition is what helps us all to improve more. I also have high ambitions, but the most important thing for me to do…is to be able to please one of the most difficult people in the world to please… myself! The more I’m taking photos the more it’s difficult for me to be satisfied with my own work and sometimes I’m even afraid of my own high standards!
How do you create such stunning portraits? What in your opinion is the key to a successful portrait?
Actually I don’t really feel that I’m creating stunning portraits, but I want to be able to do that one day in the future. Anyway, the most important thing for me when I’m shooting portraiture is the communication with the model. If the model trust’s me and we have good rapport then it’s easy to get a good expression from them. While I’m taking photos you might see me doing so many stupid things to lighten the mood and I would really do ANYTHING to make the people around me have a fun time, that’s why I like photography.
Thank you for taking time out for the interview Ilko, to see more of Ilko’s work simply click on any of the above photographs.
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