George – (photographer)
Hello George: Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background and how you got into photography?
I can’t identify the exact moment that I turned to photography as it happened gradually for me. At the age of six, I started to take photos of my father. I also got acquainted with the “dark room” for developing and printing photographs at this time. When I was at art school, I studied analogue photography and spent time experimenting with a photographic enlarger. As soon as I started making money, I purchased my first digital camera. The price equaled my six-month salary, but it was worth it as I obtained the possibility to work faster and more often. Besides, I was really lucky as my wife, Nadezhda, completely shared my fascination with photography; so, we began renewing cameras every year. Now, we have such cameras as Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, and, of course, a spacious photo studio with excellent professional lighting.
How would you describe your portfolio?
I spend most of my time in the studio, portraits and fashion photography are my favorite. I work quite a lot with professional stylists, but often at times invent images for models myself. My wife is an artist, photographer, make-up artist, and designer rolled into one. The art background helps a lot in our work. I enjoy creating avant-garde and surrealistic portrait images; they are less popular with advertisers, but they do intersperse my portfolio and I get many prizes at international photography contests.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Sometimes, it takes a lot of time to prepare for a photo shoot. In many cases, I make decorations and clothes for portraits myself. For instance, this photo series with the girl in the flower gown. I sewed several hundreds of flowers to this gown with my own hands. It was tough, but the result was outstanding. Though, sometimes to take a good portrait you just need to seize the moment, discover the model’s femininity expressed through her glance, emotions or body language. At such moments, all decorations and special effects are superseded behind the scene by pure lines and elegant simplicity. Thus, it’s difficult for me to distinguish any particular photo. I’m always in search of a balance between simple and complicated, pretentious avant-garde and modest minimalism.
I have collected an impressive private library of albums with photos by both classic photographers of the 20th century and modern pioneers of the fashion photography. I enjoy enormously looking through these albums, but try not to copy the famous masterpieces. When preparing for a photo shoot, I take a blank piece of paper and a pencil, switch the music on and start fantasizing, trying to sketch my reflections.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I do not work, I travel around the world. However, I still work, when I travel. I guess, leisure is an occasion to think about work for all professional artists.
What is your most popular image?
I could never understand why some photos sold better than others. It’s still a puzzle to me. Sometimes, a photo that you spent little time and efforts on becomes a best seller and spreads in thousands of copies around the globe. My self-portrait in the tuxedo is a good example of that.
Images featured above: