Human emotions happen all around us, everyday. And sometimes you don't need to plan the perfect shot, it will come to you. You just have to go out and look for them, or in the case of Viktor Ivanov, capture them as they happen.
The sharp style and the raw emotion seen in his images, along with his eye for capturing the human element against urban backdrops, make for a mature yet fresh aesthetic. With cinematic influences seen in his composition and color grading, his photography jumps off the pages and resonates with both photographers and filmmakers alike.
We caught up with Viktor to get some insight into his style:
Where are you from?
Raised in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, this not so crazy eastern european country….. but still crazy.
Give us an overview of your photography?
I capture emotions, mostly positive, there's enough of negativity in the world so I try to capture to good ones and boost peoples mood.
What gear are you currently using and why?
Sony a7s mk II, for it’s insane low light capibilites, it’s an absolute beast, plus it’s a great video camera and I can use it for work as well (making my income mainly from videos). However I also use my phone - sony z3 compact, my canon film camera and anything that takes pictures really. To me it’s all about the content, the equipment is only a tool, which is supposed to help you express yourself, like the paintbrush for an artist.
Tell us about your philosophy and shooting great images.
Everything we do to a big extend is recycling and combination of other peoples work. I am quite ignorant (maybe this is a mistake, maybe not, I dont know) but I don’t really spend time digging the internet for stuff to get inspired for my photographs. I just have my camera with me, when I’m doing a trip or traveling and try to freeze the vibes. I try to keep my photography as a hobby and I think if I start doing it professionally I will take the joy out of it. Plus the photographs I do, can’t really make any money. So it’s a pretty natural process for me, not trying to force it.
Where are you getting inspiration/influence for your images?
Life, rawness, colors, music, situations, moods. I don’t really do it intentionally though, I guess the answer above explains it to some extend… I mean, I don’t sit down and think…. "right, what should I do", I just take my camera with me, when I feel like it and capture what I see. Unless I work on a project, then the key thing for me is involving human emotions and feelings. I even dedicated a project to this, where I explore human emotions and relationships through obejcts. But as I said, I rarely do those as I am intentionally not making living out of it. If I start shooting, models, weddings, product photography I think it would ruined it for me.
Your images have a very cinematic style. Has your work in film influenced you and is there any particular director/cinematographer that influences your photographs?
It wasn’t always like this, if you take a look at my older photographs (before I started doing film production), they are not that cinematic at all, but digging into movies, made me fall in love with the cinematic feel, having loads of detail in the shadows and highlights, but at the same time draw the attention the a certain detail. I can’t really point out only one or two names who have molded my vision, but couple of names which really stand out for me, are Christopher Doyle and Emmanuel Lubezki, how obvious right?
What are you using to edit your images?
Photoshop all the way.
See more of Viktor's unique images at: