"It is always hard to find good teachers who can explain how to get started in the photo industry, how to use your gear, or how to retouch images in right manner."
Name: Aleksandr Leonov
Location: Riga, Latvia
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
About: Swimwear Photography
Portraits and headshots
Video making and editing
Tell us something about yourself. What you do, passion and aspiration in life?: Hello,
I'm a freelance photographer, retoucher, video maker and editor based in Riga, Latvia.
Photography is not my primary profession. I have graduated the Marine academy and working as 3 rd engineer on standby vessels in the North Sea. As I have short contracts four weeks on four weeks off biggest part of my free time, I'm dedicating to photography, retouching, video making and editing. My favourite photo genre is swimwear photography. As we have quite short beach season In Latvia, the biggest part of my portfolio I have captured on my travel vacations around the world. Thousands of frames have to be retouched after coming back from vacation, that's what I do, when I have free time after work in the North Sea.
I would shift my basic job with pleasure if I had an opportunity to work with swimwear or lingerie brands all over the world, or shoot for Sports Illustrated ( If there somebody who don't want to shoot for this magazine ?), but I have bills to be paid and stay afloat. Any way I'm happy to have an opportunity to travel to exotic places and have my camera with me, even if I don't get paid for this.
I have started to making life style and travel videos couple of year ago. I was inspired by Jay Alvarez and Aleksandr Thihomirov. Of Course, I'm not so insane as this guys, but this is the biggest souvenir to get from the places you had travelled to.
My video channel - https://vimeo.com/user29405512
Who is your inspiration in life? How do you keep inspired?: I get inspired by the world's famous swimwear and nude photographers. Such as Aleksandr Mavrin (http://mavrin.tumblr.com/), Joey Wright (http://www.joeywrightphoto.com/) and much more. To shift yourself further you got to get inspired from the best or learned from the best. I love how this photographer is swowing the best features of the human body, especially female body; their pictures look simple and beautiful.
What is your aspiration in life?: My future goals are to start making video clips. I have met some freelance team recently. So we have started to shoot some events. I hope you will hear more from us from the nearest future.
What is the most challenging part of your profession?: It is hard to get good clients in a really poor country where I'm from. We have a lot of photographers who are ready to shoot for 30-50 Euro. Just to get their bills paid. It was hard to stay competitive between them and provide high standard quality images by spending a lot of time in post-production and by buying expensive photo gear.
We all make mistakes we wish we could take back. Tell me about a time you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.: If I had an opportunity to start over again, i would start to learn from worlds biggest professionals in the photo industry, by having their online video classes or by purchasing their video tutorials. It is always hard to find good teachers who can explain how to get started in the photo industry, how to use your gear, or how to retouch images in right manner.
When you’re working with a large number of customers, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. How do you go about prioritising your customers’ needs?: I don't have a lot number of clients at the moment. I'm bad in marketing, but this is one of the most important parts in photo business But any way, no matter who I'm shooting for, individuals, or brands I have to keep my standards on the same level in as well in photography and retouching. If you don't have enough time to keep your standards on the same quality, you got to increase your team, get professionals and divide your stuff between them. It is a normal practice in business management.
Tell me about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities.: Become a recognisable and excellent professional or die to try to reach your goals.
Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.: If somebody loving work, style how you do it ( for example making images), and you get recognisable, by the quality and style you provide, and you get copied by some one you even don't know I think this is a successful persuade someone to see things you do
Tell me about your proudest professional accomplishment.: I think I have a become quite good professional retoucher, so I'm ready to share my experience with somebody by giving tutorials or making master classes
How old do you have to be before it can be said you died of old age?: Until I can do what I love, staying creative, and not fed up with everything, I'm not old :-)
Do glow-in-the-dark objects stop glowing when somebody turns the lights on?: I hope I still shine and glow inside even if get lighted with glory spotlight. Hope I'll stay the same person
If parents say, “Never take candy from strangers” then why do we celebrate Halloween?: Sometimes life can be incredibly boring, if not violate the rules
If one man says, “it was an uphill battle,” and another says, “it went downhill from there,” how could they both be having troubles?: It is hard to understand for me what you mean by that
Photo Credits: Jay Alvarez