Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Photographer Oleg Ti interview

Born in 1968 in Russia, Oleg Ti has been an photographer for many years.
He has been hosting workshops all around the world for more than 5 years and there are so many cities in the world where photographers gather on his workshops: New York, Los Angeles, London, Istanbul, Dubai, Munich, Cologne, Kiev, Bangkok and dozens of cities in Russia.
He works with a lot of brands in Russia and in USA as a commercial photographer and large studio with experienced and talented crew helps him to create excellent pictures for advertising, fashion campaigns. He works with he World leading modelling agencies and his works could be seen in portfolios of models of such agencies as Women, Ford, DNA, Elite, Next and others.
At he same time he likes to create artistic works where he wants to show his own view on woman’s beauty. His work is distinguished by a unique look, bright colors and very sophisticated work with studio lighting.
Oleg is an author of numerous articles about photography techniques wich collect attentions from thousands of professional photographers. Now he lives mostly in New York, but traveling a lot, you can meet him in any place in the world.

I had the opportunity to ask Oleg a number of questions to get a closer look at his creative mind 

What inspire you the most in terms of photography? 
My inspiration is the beauty I see around me. I think that the main challenge for every photographer is to show his own beauty every day, if he has the ability to see it, to show it, to share it he will get the great success. 

Who inspires you?
The people,the people around me and the cities I'm in.

 learn more about this photo here

Your work mostly revolves around fashion/ beauty and commercial photography, is there any other types of photography that you're interested in?
Life of cities. I like to travel, to walk along the streets, to look at the cities, to feel them, to understand them and sometimes I even take pictures.

What style of photography that you can't find yourself do?
I think there isn't  any style I couldn't find myself doing. I think every photographer finds his style while going through all styles. Not just deciding which style would be better for him.

What do you look for in a model? 
It depends on the point of view I am looking at . As a test photographer, as a commercial photographer, as an art photographer, or as a fashion photographer. It depends what the audience is expecting. You have to understand it and you have to switch from one view to another.

Most of your work is with female models, have you ever thought about photographing guys for a change?
I had been trying. But all agents said: it is not yours. 

Are there any photographers out there who's work you admire?
Sure! All of them! I consider every photographer as my concurrent. But I try to consider every photographer also as a teacher.

learn how to create this beautiful photo here 

You have an educational blog where you teach your techniques and methods of shooting and editing  photos, how did it all start? do you find yourself teaching full time?
I like to teach. I really like to teach. I have hosted around 300 workshops all around the world during last years. And I like that my knowledge is available for people.

What do you enjoy doing other than photography?
A lot. The life around myself.

learn more about this photo here 

You're quite the traveler! what countries do you want to visit again? 
I usually start to miss the city at my way to the airport. I miss them all. 

Your photos have a very distinct style, bright colors and light manipulation.. would you call that your style? 
My style is to choose new ideas. Having taken a picture I always think what else can I do .

What is your favorite photograph taken by you?
I haven't created this photograph yet!

Do you think its hard to be unique and have your own style in photography? how do you manage to stay creative?
You have to answer just one question. What can I do to be better than I am today. That's all you need for that.

Any new project you're working on? 

I don't ever work 'for projects'. I just take pictures I keep trying to be better than I am.

Find Oleg's : Articles -- Facebook page -- Flickr-- Website-- Blog -- 500px -- Twitter -- Instagram

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Interview with Joel Robison

So many dreamers, creatives and nature lovers out there love the work of Joel Robison, he creates his own wonderland that's filled with beautiful sights, books, coffee and floating objects! 

Joel had an eventful year full of travels, beautiful creations and the company of other creatives, 

want to learn more...? keep reading 

How can you describe this year so far?Wow! This year has been absolutely and literally a whirlwind of a year! I started the year in Vietnam in the midst of my 9 month tour with Coca-Cola and FIFA. I spent the next four months of the year traveling to about 30 more countries across Asia, South America and Europe. It was an amazing opportunity to work with two wonderful companies and get a chance to see the world and photograph the beauty that exists in every corner of this planet and meet inspiring people along the way. After that I took a short break at home in British Columbia before heading down to Brazil to be a part of the FIFA World Cup and then to Peru for a great holiday. Then I moved out of my house, got rid of most of my possessions and set out on my 4 month long workshop tour across North America with my best friends!

You've met with a lot of creatives early on this year, is there anyone you're longing  to meet?I've been so fortunate to have met so many amazing and creative people, especially this year! I still have a few that I would love to meet and work with one day and I have plans to do so! I'm a big fan of Robert Cornelius and his incredible processing, I'll be meeting him next month in New York. I'd still love to meet the 'greats' like Tim Walker and Annie Liebowitz of course!

 You travel a lot and meet a lot of amazing talents, are there new names in your list of favorite photographers?I think my favourite part of being a part of this community of photographers is that it is constantly growing and people are being welcomed into it. A few of my new favourite photographers are James Mille, Matt Lineker, Vincent Minor, Josh Cloud and Leah Flores

Lately, you're not taking as many self portraits as you did before, do you find yourself better behind the camera or in front of it? I think I enjoy both, I find a certain peace and therapy in taking self portraits but I also enjoy telling stories using a variety of people. I think I've really enjoyed both the self portrait and the "other people" portrait sides of photography, it's hard to say which I like more. I certainly enjoy taking photos over being in front of the camera but I see the value in telling my story using me as the figure. 

Who's your favorite person to photograph?
Hmmm...that's a good question! Just for fun photos I love photographing my nieces because they're always laughing and making me laugh. For photos I really enjoy photographing my friends, Lizzy Gadd and Kindra 
Timmerwilke are always beautiful and I love working with them. 

Travelling from place to another can be a bit challenging with gear, what are your essentials when you're travelling? (gear and personal items)I'm kind of a packrat so my backpack is constantly being rearranged and organized with random things I've picked up. For gear I recommend extra batteries! There's nothing worse than showing up at an amazing spot with no battery power left, and extra cards because you never know when they're going to just decide to stop working.

For personal gear I suggest a notebook to keep lists of great places, quotes or books that you might want to go back to. Starbucks VIA instant coffee packets have saved my life on many an occasion...haha, it's not the greatest coffee but when you need some it's easy and does the trick! Warm socks, a trinket from home to remind you of where you're from and something to give to people you meet. I carry around postcards, stickers and cards of my photos so that I can give  them to people I connect with.

You went to many different places this year, what's your favorite place? and what place do you wish to visit?  Out of the places I went to just this year, I'd have to say that it's a tie between Japan and Sweden. Japan's culture is just so fascinating and I really enjoyed spending time in both Tokyo and in the smaller towns of the north. The people there are so friendly and kind and I really enjoyed my time there. Sweden as well was just really welcoming and I felt "home" there, we visited Kiruna in the north and it gave me a feeling of being home.

I would love to visit Norway soon, my family moved to Canada from there in the early 1900's and I've always wanted to explore the beautiful landscape and history of the country, I'm hoping to visit it later this year actually! 

Do you remember your first flickr meet up? tell us about it.
I do! We talk about it often among the people that were there. It was two years ago and was hosted by Ethan Coverstone in Indiana. Most of us had never met each other in person and I think we were all nervous about spending a week with people we had only known through the internet but I think it was the turning point in a lot of ways for people. We all got along so well, the energy was so positive and creative and it was a week that started as relative strangers but ended with the best friends I could have asked for. It was filled with laughter, photographs and memories that we still talk about.

 Your photographs inspired so many aspiring photographers out there to think outside the box and be more creative, however some photographers copied your work exactly how it is, how do you feel when you see someone "stealing your ideas"?It's kind of a combination of feelings, at first I feel a bit frustrated that people take an idea and post it as their own, often getting complimented on their creativity. I started seeing it though as a compliment because in an indirect way I'm teaching and helping that person develop their photography. I think it's always good to credit someone even if you are inspired by their work or style just so they feel respected as an artist.

Would you kindly share a before and after Sure! Here's a before and after of a concept I shot for a workshop in Ann Arbor. It shows how easy it can be to take two simple photos and turn it into something a bit magical!

You're clearly a book person, what's the best book you read lately?I do love reading, most of my reading is done while traveling now. A friend of mine, Leah Flores, gave me a book after we stayed with her in Portland and it's called
"The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin' Sad". It's a sort of guidebook on how to leave a lighter, more positive life and to move on from anything that might be bringing you down. It's an easy read, I think I read it in about 20 minutes but it's filled with great messages and funny stories and it's one I recommend! 

Tell us about "The wild ones photography tour" The Wild Ones Workshop Tour is an annual photography workshop tour that was started last year by myself, Sarah Ann Loreth and Shane Black. We are three best friends who love to travel and wanted to take a road trip and help give back to the photography community that supported us so we decided to teach low-cost workshops. Last year we traveled about about 8,000 miles and taught 10 workshops and it was amazing. This year we've already traveled almost 10,000 miles and taught 10 workshops to almost 200 students and it's been an incredible chance to see the USA and Canada and also to teach aspiring photographers how to tell and create stories in their work.

We are a non-profit organization so all of the money from our sponsors and students goes back into funding the tour and giving back as much as we can!

Can you share a little story from the tour ( I'm sure so many awesome things happen)Haha...we do have a lot of fun stories, traveling with your friends is always an entertaining and inspiring thing to do. One day we had gone on a short hike in Glacier National Park in Montana to watch the sunset, as we approached the top of the hike we found a herd of wild Mountain Goats who weren't bothered  by us being there. Eventually Sarah and I ended up getting trapped by a few of them because every way out of the trail was blocked by a goat! It was a bit scary but also really funny at the same time and we tried to make the most of it :)

If you can take any photographer you want on a "wild ones tour" who would it be?Oh wow! That's a hard question! I think it's always great to bring a variety of photographers on a tour like this, to see the trip and the world in different ways. I would love to bring Lizzy Gadd or Whitney Justesen with us, they have such a beautiful view of the world, bring a positive energy and take beautiful photos!

Is there anything new you're working on?I have a few projects under way, one is top secret for now but it should be really exciting when it's done! I started a series based around depression. It was inspired by a combination of my own struggles with depression and the passing of Robin Williams, I saw a need for people to feel like they were being heard and I though it would be therapeutic to share my own story and hopefully help someone else through the photos. The feedback from people has been powerful and I'm proud of the project so far.

Do you recommend any websites for photoshop/ photography tutorials? I absolutely recommend Phlearn  Not only are the people behind the website some of the most genuine and talented people, they really spend a lot of energy making amazing tutorials for people of all skill levels. They believe in other photographers and really want to grow a talented community of artists. 

A word of advice to young aspiring photographers.

Tell your story. You have a view, a story, a life that is different than everyone else and that's what sets you apart. Take those things and use them to tell your story through your work.

Find Joel at: Flickr -- Blog -- Twitter -- Facebook -- The wild ones -- 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Håvard Hole and Liisa Harmson Interview

 Håvard and Liisa are a  young talented couple that share a passion for photography. they create beautiful work individually but their photo collaborations are breathtaking! 
in this interview you will see the world through their eyes while looking at their beautiful pictures! 

- So Håvard, what have you been up to all this time?

Since the last interview which was in, 2012? I think it was 2012. Anyway, since then I’ve found the perfect life partner for me, I've gone through another 365(!), I’ve finished Upper Secondary School, got admitted to university and moved to Tallinn to live with Liisa, who’s my better half.

- There has been a major change in your portfolio, it's more diverse now, what drove you to change?
I myself drove it to that change. When photographing I’ve constantly developed and tried to find my own style that I’m pleased with and enjoy creating. And together with Liisa my development within photography got a boost!

- There are fashion images too ...

I wouldn’t characterize any of my photographs as fashion photos, but certainly, some of my photographs are heavily inspired by Liisa and her work, which in my opinion is fashion with an original twist.

- Nature has always played a big roll in your photographs, would you say you are not an indoor/ studio kind of guy?

Nature is wonderful and serene, and natural light can be soft and beautiful if handled correctly. I do indeed prefer to shoot outdoors vs indoors. I find the locations and scenery you can find yourself in outside a lot more stunning and intriguing than a white backdrop.

- Have you ever doubted yourself as a photographer? How do you deal with such over whelming emotions?
Many times. As with everything else, my brain can find reason to doubt myself also when it comes to photography. However, during the past year I have grown a lot as a person and learned new things about myself and how I work. This has given me confidence to not doubt myself as much as I did before. I take a deep breath and stop thinking so the bits and pieces that are flying all around my head fall in place. Sometimes it helps to just let it go and calm down. Other times I rant to Liisa and after that it’s fine, haha.

(photo is directly relevant to this question and it’s called “The Best of Me” with a full description on flickr)

- What would you do if you weren't doing photography?
Right now, I’m actually studying International Business Administration. I don’t find the financial part of the studies very appealing, however, I do love entrepreneurship, management and marketing and I’m very fascinated by those subjects. I would chase any of those fields or start my own business.

- Having a beautiful and talented girlfriend must come in handy when you run out of ideas or have no one to shoot with, what kind of effect did liisa have on your work? 

Haha, yes, it’s very handy. She has had a huge impact on my work. Constantly having someone that gives me good feedback about my photography and helps me evolve and find my own path is something I’m truly grateful for. She’s fantastic and supportive and I appreciate her more than anything. When we first met she made my development rocket into the sky compared to the developing curve I had before, and even now she helps me reach new levels every time I take a photo. 

- Have you ever been recognized in public? How did you react? 

Actually, and quite surprisingly for me, I have, on multiple occasions! One I remember well was when a girl came over to me and asked if I was Håvard Hole. It was in a garden center and she worked there. We came into talk about photography after she came over and asked me if I was me and told me that she had followed my work. It surprised me that someone actually recognized me and I was truly amazed that she came over to talk to me.

- Which recent photograph was the hardest to create?

This one was definitely hard to get the way I had imagined it before shooting:

Questions to the couple, 

- How did you guys meet? 
Håvard flew to Estonia for two days to take photos with me, but it ended up quite differently – we fell in love. He also missed his plane, so we got some extra time together – it was essential to put a start to later events that led us where we are now. Thank you, Estonian Air! (and thank you, blue-eyed bus driver, for not letting us out of the bus on our way to the airport and therefore making Håvard miss the plane).

- How have you affected the style and approach of one another?
Liisa has affected my style heavily, especially considering my colour-work and skin editing in portraits. Even before we met she guided me on how to see which colours would suit my photographs better. She has helped me out a lot and I wouldn’t be at the level I am today without her. She was actually the one to reveal to me the technique of expanding a photo! However, I haven’t affected Liisa’s style much, or in any way at all, but I have helped her with technical aspects of editing and I know her editing process is a lot more professional now than it was before.

- What is your favourite photo you created together?

- Which photo of each other's work do you like the most?


- You have a travel blog together; tell us about that, who's idea was it?

It was Liisa’s idea to make it. It was made after a trip to Switzerland mainly because, and I quote Liisa, «I had many cute photos of mountain sheep to share with the world!» :)

Liisa, what type of photography do you enjoy the most? 
A mix of fashion and conceptual photography would be my pick, I guess! 

- How did you find your passion for fashion photography? 
About 2 years ago I came to the conclusion that I needed to specialize in something if I wanted to become a professional photographer, so I weighed my options and decided to go for fashion photography, adding my own twist to it (I’m not too big of a fan of traditional fashion photos). I really like fashion, but I dislike many aspects of the fashion industry. There are too many conceited people out there who walk over everyone that’s in their way and who have forgotten where they came from. There’s so much incivility, inhumanness and apathy. Honestly, based on my experience, I think I might be too ‘soft’ for the world of fashion. I don’t like the way people treat each other, and I don’t approve of the standards they set for the models – it’s sad to see such young and beautiful girls being mistreated. Starving yourself to be accepted by the industry is not okay. It’s about time the world started appreciating healthy and fit women instead of walking skeletons. How did skinny ever trump fit and healthy? With that being said, I am too upset with the industry to continue trying to make my way to the top as a fashion photographer. So, as of now, I do not shoot models or work with designers. Maybe I’ll have a change of heart in the future, or maybe I’ll find a way to do it in a way that doesn't compromise my beliefs.

- What type of photography do you find challenging? 
Perhaps shooting in a studio! I’ve never worked with artificial lighting before and I’m sure it would be a challenge.

- What is your favourite part about creating a photo? 
Probably the preparation process. I love seeing how my ideas are slowly coming to life. It’s so much fun to create props and organize everything before the shoot! I also enjoy the editing part a lot!

- What would you be doing if you weren't doing photography? 
Honestly? No clue. I can’t imagine doing anything else but photography. I am currently studying psychology, but I can’t see myself working as a psychologist. I’m there solely for educating myself and obtaining useful knowledge for my photography business.

You play around a lot with face/ body paint and make up, would you say you develop make up skills for photography?
Oh, definitely! Half of the time I have no idea what I’m doing, but by some miracle it ends up looking rather cool!

- How important are props to you? 
I have many ideas that require the usage of certain props, but unfortunately I rarely manage to execute those ideas. Props are damn costly! However, they can add a lot to the photo. Right now I’m dreaming about a certain antique helmet I saw in an antique shop last summer. It’s very pricy and the thought of buying it for just one photo makes my heart hurt, but I can’t stop thinking about shooting with it either. Oh well, I guess I can suffer some more.

- Nature plays a huge roll in your conceptual work, do you prefer taking photos outdoors? 
I do love taking photos outside. Misty mornings are my absolute favourite! I get so inspired every time I see a foggy field or forest.

- Did nature ever make things difficult for you ( weather conditions/ lighting wasn't so great)
Oh yes! Shooting in a foggy morning is always very nerve-wracking, since the fog can disappear very fast and there’s not much time to get the perfect photo. It’s also intense to shoot in the cold – must get the photo before your fingers freeze and get numb!

- Would you consider modelling or acting in the future?
Haha, I’m afraid I lack the talent for both :)

Links for Håvard: 

Links for Liisa: