showcasing Portrait, Fashion and Landscape Photography

Interviews

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.

Asuka @ Deyashiki 出屋敷 桜 @5:30am

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.

Asuka @ Kitashinchi / 北新地

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.

@ Banpaku Park

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!

Asuka @ Amagasaki / 尼崎・寺町

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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B. Image: Interview: An insight from the lens of a Street Photographer

I have featured the extraordinary work of street photographer B.Image twice on the blog now and I am glad to bring you an interview directly from the man himself! Enjoy this insight into the work and life of this inspiring photographer.

On Bangkok street...Siam Paragon, street Portrait #51

How did you get into photography?

My interest in photography started during my school days when I did some portraits and street photography with a semi-automatic camera (it wasn’t my machine though). But it stopped for a good number of years because there wasn’t anyone to share this interest with. A handful of my colleagues who took up photography  shared their skills and it was one of them who introduced me to flickr back in the year 2009. My interest for photography came back and shortly after that, I got my first camera, the Nikon D90.

What inspires you to create the work you do?

The people. Lives of people. To document where they have been to and what they were doing, the attire they were wearing on that particular day at that very second through my lens. “This is you. You were there, on this street and a street portrait of you was taken.” And when they look back (hopefully), they will remember that this event has happened in their lives and they are part of the street portraits series.On the night street of Bangkok...Khao San

What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?

The moment when I know that I’ve got the shot.

What do you aim to capture in your images, are their specific messages in your photography?

Nothing pretentious. Every street portrait that was taken portrays the stranger in his or her natural state/emotion. “Be yourself, be natural”.

On Bangkok street...Siam Paragon, Portrait #48

Do you use any specific techniques in your work? (i.e. HDR, Long exposures)

There are not any special techniques. It’s the usual aperture priority or manual. I wouldn’t want to hold the stranger up for more than one minute.

What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?

Portraiture photography is one area that I will continue to pursue, especially street portraits because there is no end to it. I have been doing this in Singapore, some in Malaysia and a good handful in Bangkok. I do have plans to visit other places to keep the street portraits evolving.Street Portrait #38

I see you mainly focus on ordinary people on the street in your photography and you clearly have great people skills. How do you approach people you wish to photograph? How do you help them to relax in front of the camera?

A lot of people have asked me this question from time to time. This is what I do…
I walk a lot on the street. Yes a lot, from one spot to another and sometimes I will go to another location within the day if I have too. I stop by at different areas for breaks while still paying attention to the people. I observe the things that they do, be it reading something, talking on their mobile phone, texting, hanging out with friends, walking alone, how and the way they walk and at what pace. I observe the behavior, personality, aura and body language. Now that I’m doing street fashion, I will have to observe the attire as well. Yes, there are lots of factors that need to be taken into consideration before I step up to ask for a portrait. I can’t ask for everything, but I will be selective to choose the appropriate person at the proper time without invading their privacy on the street.

“Excuse me, can I take a picture?” When I ask, I look in the eyes of the stranger and smile at the same time while holding my camera in front of me. As you can see, three things are during the few seconds when I present my request. Looking in the eyes shows your sincerity, smiling makes the people feel at ease (people love a smiling photographer, this is very true!) and holding the camera in front of you allow’s the person to identity your interest immediately.

Do people question my motive? Yes they do, most of them do. And I have spent a long time thinking about how to convey my request across to the person in the shortest and most effective manner, to strike curiosity and make them want to be part of my street portraits collection. I also have to make sure that I do not fumble when I’m asked about the purpose of my image making process. I still remember back in the days when I started my “Street Portraits 365 Days”, I’ve used various opening lines and trying to explain my purpose behind the project. While I may have some success, I wasn’t too happy with my lines. But the idea became more apparent as I step out for more street portraits every weekend, and finally, I found my magic word.

It is almost impossible to get the people to feel relaxed in front of the lens if you are feeling tense behind your camera. I tell them what I want, to have them relate to my emotion and express it on their own. A little connection is all it takes to earn that trust between you and the intended person whom you approached. At the end of the day, they get the picture, I get, The Shot!

Thank you for very much for taking time out for the interview, Boong.

To see more of B.Images work, visit his Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/b-image357/.

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Liisa Harmson: On creating Emotional Portraits (Interview)

This is my third (Yes! Third) post regarding Portrait Photographer Liisa Harmson, this time round it’s for a interview with the lady herself. Anyone wanting to know how to create beautiful natural light portraits/self portraits should take note as this is something Liisa has mastered on a consistent basis. Liisa uses photography to express emotions, which in my opinion is the main factor  that creates a powerful portrait in the first place… Read on and be inspired!

portrait, beautiful girl, photography, fashion, pretty

How did you get into photography?

I have always been a creative person – I sing, draw and write , so it’s no wonder that photography enchanted me. I got my first camera, when I was about 12-13 years old and since then my love for photography has only grown.

What inspires you to create the work you do?

There’s so much beauty in the world and capturing it is the most wonderful feeling. And not just capturing it, but giving it a feeling, your own viewpoint is enjoyable. People view reality differently  and photography is a great way to emphasise that.

BW, portrait, beautiful girl, photography, pretty

What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?

The thing I love the most about photography is finding out people’s best features and unleashing their true potential in photographs. And when someone comes to me after the photoshoot and tells me that they didn’t have any idea that they could look that good in a photo, then it makes me feel so warm inside.

What do you aim to capture in your images, are there specific messages in your photography?

I want to capture emotions, the essence of a person. I hate empty pictures! Photography is a way to express myself. It’s really hard to explain… My camera is like my body part or something. So whatever I feel, I put this into my work.

portrait, beautiful girl, photography, fashion, pretty

Do you use any specific techniques in your work? (i.e. HDR, Long exposures)

I don’t use any specific tehniques like HDR (it seems so fake to me). I don’t edit my photos very much either. I love the beauty of naturalness & simplicity. All that I do is play around with exposure and BW. Though I must admit that Photoshop is lots of fun!

What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?

Oh, I’ve got tons of plans! I want to travel to Third World and write a book based on what life is like there  and add photography to illustrate that. Then I’d like to work for a modeling agency or  magazine. Above all, I just want to live my dream. I feel like this is my destination in life and there’s absolutely nothing in the world that could distract me from pursuing my dream. I want to do what I love the most, I will be taking pictures of other people for the rest of my life.

portrait, beautiful girl, photography, fashion, pretty

Thank you Liisa for the interview, to see more of Liisa’s work visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/liisaharmson/

Related Posts

Liisa Harmson:Angelic Portrait Photography

Liisa Harmson: More Angelic Self Portraits


David Olkarny: All about the lighting (Interview)

Here is that interview with the photographer/videographer David Olkarny I promised you, the more I look at David’s work the more I realise his work is all about the stunning LIGHTING and colour. He uses imaginative lighting setups to create impact and to create that Hollywood movie vibe, there appears to be a story in every image. Find out more about how David gets that unique lighting for his photos below…

How did you get into photography?

I bought the Canon 5D mark II for the full HD video feature, when I saw the amazing quality of some of the video clip’s I was shooting I quickly began to realise that photography would play a big part in my life.

What inspires you to create the work you do?

Movies, I’m studying moviemaking in Brussels and I try to mix photography with this passion.

Don't think too hard

What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?

Definitely using Curves on Photoshop.

What do you aim to capture in your images, are their specific messages in your photography?

I tend to take photographs that communicate with the viewer and hold a message. I don’t like to shoot random people in random places with random lighting, I prefer to have an idea, a concept, a story to tell.

FED UP

Do you use any specific techniques in your work? (i.e. HDR, Long exposures)

The lighting is the most important thing on my photo shoots, I like it when the light is cinematic, mysterious, intriguing. Many photographers set a big flash in front of the model and I definitely do not understand why. The idea is to keep the shadow on the face to get the 3D look, the shadow is more realistic in my opinion.

My specific technique in lighting is to set the flash on the right or left of the model but never ever in front of the model. Regarding the processing I would suggest using Curves in Photoshop, it’s all about the curves for me.

What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?

Secretly I would love to work in the advertising world.

Lost in translation

Thank you David for a fascinating insight, to see more of David’s work visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/olkaprod/

Goodbye summer


Brian Spicer on why he is ‘Chasing that light’ (Interview)

Further to my original post, here is a very inspiring and interesting interview with Brian Spicer. Anyone looking to improve their seascape or landscape photography skills should take note, as Brian has proven time and time again he is a master at achieving a perfect balance between light and composition. Which as you may agree, are two key factors to creating a successful photograph in the first place!! (You never know Brian, I may become as organised with my photography as you clearly are someday)

What it’s all about – Brian Spicer

How did you get into photography?

My first experience of photography was as a child when I was given a box Brownie, I remember being a pain to my parents going around taking photos of anything and everything with it and the disappointment of not being able to see my photos quickly. That is really where it all started for me.

To fast forward a few years, I had a good friend who inspired and encouraged me to get started all over again, that friend has since passed away and I have dedicated my Flickr photo stream to him.

What inspires you to create the work you do?

Being an old surfer I would always have an eye on the conditions, checking out the skies and the wind direction when I was at the beach at sunrise looking for the best waves. I search for light and I search for clouds and then the sun comes out or sets and I see colours. I then put all three factors together to create a photograph. Some call it ‘chasing the light’ and I would agree with that.

I love colourful skies mixing with clouds, and then when you bring the sea into the equation you have natures own light show. I try very much to replicate that in my photography. To get a great sunrise or sunset with an effective reflection off  the wet sand or the sea gives me a real buzz and I`ll always be chasing that in my photography.

Overcast – Brian Spicer

What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?

Without a doubt the most satisfying part of photography for me is the capture stage, and secondly bringing a photo to life on my computer monitor. If I am planning a sunrise shoot I can never sleep properly the night before, I have that knot of anticipation , excitement and butterflies in my stomach. I am already composing images in my head, if I am planning a sunset the same applies, it’s at the forefront of my mind. I am already there composing my next shot waiting for that break in the clouds or spotting that reflection on the sea or sand.

What do you aim to capture in your images, are their specific messages in your photography?

I always try to work to the best of my abilities to capture what nature has presented me with, sometimes, if not most of the time, it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. Go out check the weather forecast, the tide times, the skies, the sunrise / sunset times and the winds, be in touch with your surroundings, follow the light .

Low tide Sunrise – Brian Spicer

Do you use any specific techniques in your work? (i.e. HDR, Long exposures)

When I create landscape photographs I generally want to get the maximum Depth of Field, I set my camera to aperture priority and mostly use f16. I find this gives me the best DoF for back to front sharpness. If I want a longer exposure then I`ll set the camera too f22. I do use HDR but you have to be very careful with this technique as your photograph can become over processed, the contrast can become muddy and the colours can become over saturated. I use Merge to HDR in CS 5, with just three bracketed shots. I let the software do the work for me then I transfer to Photoshop and use the best tool that there is in my opinion, Curves, it gives you superb contrast just by getting that S Curve.

I’m not a big fan of the 10 stoppers, I feel they can make exposures look unreal if left too long. I prefer a more natural image but it’s all a matter of opinion and individual taste.

What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?

Like most photographers I want to improve my photography, I feel I still have room for improvement. I would like to do more portrait work, if I can find more willing models. I am also getting into macro work with flowers which I am really enjoying.
I have had some work published and of course I would like more of my work to be published, remember it is your images that sell themselves.

The most important thing for me is sharing my images with the world. Just remember, keep chasing that light .

Remaining Light – Brian Spicer

Thank you Brian for an insightful interview,  to see more of Brian’s work visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/17469730@N00/


Anna Theodora: The Interview as promised (And more photos!!!)

Further to my previous post, where I showed you some of Anna’s amazing self portraits. Anna has kindly taken time out to answer a few questions about the things that inspire her to create such memorable images, this also gives me another excuse to show more of her photos on the blog… 🙂

Last time I showed you some of Anna’s self portraits! This time you can see some of Anna’s beautiful fashion photos. Enjoy and be Inspired!

Y A L L E G A – Anna Theodora

How did you get into photography?

I had always felt I had an inclination for the arts, but it was only on my last vacations at university (I was studying business administration), that I went to Europe and came back with a few beautiful photos from my trip. I uploaded them on flickr and my friends started asking for more. That’s when it became a passion and then became my profession of choice 🙂

The Lady of the Lake – Anna Theodora (Self Portrait)

What inspires you to create the work you do?

I’m inspired by music and dream-like imagery. My inspiration drive is always to do something better than what I have done before and the compromise I’ve made with myself to create things of beauty. It also comes from my desire to awe people with the photos I take.

Golden… Adorable… – Anna Theodora

What is the most satisfying part of the photographic process for you?

It’s when I hear someone say that I shot something ordinary and made it look beautiful.

Fierce – Anna Theodora

What do you aim to capture in your images, are there specific messages in your photography?

I have always beauty and oniricism in the back of my mind, and yes there are specific messages in most of my self-portraits. As I have already said, I must create beautiful things! That’s what ultimately drives me 🙂

Water Nymph – Anna Theodora

What are your future ambitions for your photography? Where do you want to go with your work?

Oh teehee.. I have a secret wish of becoming a mega master ultimate fashion photographer! lol

Thank you Anna for the fascinating read, to see more of Anna’s Photography check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/annatheodora/