To create fine art photography you need an idea. In other words, what you want to express by your photos. Where can you get the ideas and inspiration ? There are lots of sources: music, movies, books, paintings, works of other photographers, etc. But the main source is your inner world. I mean your reaction, feelings, thoughts about different situations, people, things you like and dislike, things that don’t leave you indifferent, etc. I think art shouldn’t be created just for art. That’s why artistic people should be good not only in technical aspects but also have a personality, have their own point of view. After all fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist.
The second important thing is associative way of thinking. I mean you should visualize your idea in such a way that other people can understand what you want to tell them and at the same time it shouldn’t be obvious. For example, if you want to show an ecological disaster of the seven seas, you don’t need to show dead animals and dirty water, etc. It is an object of photojournalism. With the help of your camera, light, composition and different objects you should create «your personal ecological disaster of the seven seas».
I would also like to mention such thing as conceptual art photography where the most important goal is to show the idea but not the form and the trappings. A great part of my art photos belongs to conceptual art photography. I was born in the former USSR where I spent all my childhood and part of my adolescence. It was a time when people had money but couldn’t buy what they wanted. So we (children) didn’t have such a great variety of toys like children have now. So of course we had to invent! As for TV, it was something different from what we have today: 10 minutes of cartoon movies per day and one hour of fairy tale movies on Sunday during school vacations. We watched TV series for children on summer vacations.
There were no special channels or programs for children. As a result, Soviet children had a lot of free time to spend it outside – and that was what we did. We invented many outdoor games (it was not considered respectable to play in friends’ houses) and a great variety of DIY toys. I’m just trying to say that the laziest part of our body is brain. You should create challenges, to force it to work. I mean if you have no money to buy necessary props, try to make them on your own or think how you can replace them. If you have only few models, think about how you can shoot them in such a way that people can’t recognize them. You should learn to turn every obstacle to your benefit. You should perceive all the obstacles like new possibilities.
Things such as allegory, metaphor, hyperbole and the like should be your best friend if you want to create conceptual art photography.
Let’s talk about models. One’s personal charisma is more important than one’s appearance. When I work with a model I don’t explain to her the idea of shooting, my main goal is to get the right mood and emotions and as a result the right pose. To get the necessary mood I ask the model to remember something from her life (for example, a sad movie or a song). This method helps me show true emotions in the frame. If I take photos of children, I turn my shooting into a game. In this situation I can quite easily explain them “the game rules”. Sometimes a model becomes my inspiration for a new project but she should be the personality. And of course don’t forget about yourself as a model. I never forget about it and use this opportunity.
Make up, hair style and clothing for art photography. Almost always I work as a make up artist and a hair stylist in all of my projects. On the one hand, I prefer naturalness and simplicity in appearance of models. On the other hand, when I need something creative, extraordinary, surrealistic and so on I prefer to do it by myself because in reality ( I live in a small town) I don’t have people who can do it. So I take it like an additional opportunity, not a challenge if you remember what we talked about a bit earlier. As for clothing, I prefer not to distract the viewer’s attention from the common idea and concept of the photo. That’s why I use dresses without prints, still colors, simple fashioned, etc. Though sometimes a dress becomes a part of the common idea and concept, just like hair style and make up. In these cases I keep the exact samples I need in my mind. The sources of necessary dresses are secondhand shops, friends, models and your own wardrobe. Here you can find things you wanted to throw away long time ago. Also, if you have designers among your friends you can ask them for help.
Location. If my idea can be realized in the studio, I do it. I don’t tell you about the advantages of working in the studio; there are lots of them. Let me talk about the disadvantages of working on location. First of all, you depend on the weather. You know the weather forecast is often far away from reality. Secondly, almost every time I need an assistant for help. Thirdly, the shoot can be very unpredictable so you have to plan very carefully and consider as many details as you can. You should go to the location prior to-day X to study the future location in details: the light, the points of shooting, etc. In a word, you should clearly imagine what you want to get and the price of it. But at the same time I always take the opportunity to take photos in different interiors. There I don’t depend on whether and in most cases can work without assistant.
The last thing I would like to tell you should be the first one. You should ask yourself: Why do you want to be an art photographer? If your answer is «money” it means you are on the wrong way. I think art stops to be art itself the moment you start creating it to earn money. As Virgil Oldman said («The best offer»): The love of art and the ability to handle a brush don’t make you an artist. You need an inner light.
I was born in 1981 in Belarus in a small town of Mogilev district. I have graduated as an economist. At the age of 29 I dedicated myself to photography which has been my passion all of my life.
Photography is a tool I talk to the audience with. It is my language to express my feelings, thoughts, emotions, reactions, etc. I create art photography inspired by the world’s classic and modern art, as well as the art, history, traditions and ethnos of my native country, Belarus.
I have publications in different art magazines around the world, my photos were honorably mentioned in different photo competitions/awards and I was a winner of “Best photographer” international awards in Moscow (Russia).