During my recent visit to New York (more photos of the city coming soon) I had the opportunity to meet and organize photoshoots with a few young aspiring models. I first present you Shiera – a native Californian that grew up in the Bay area and moved to New York just a year ago to pursue her career. We only had about an hour in one early evening in May to walk around the streets in Greenwich village and take some photos in the places we liked, but I think we still managed to produce some fine shots. I’ll let you judge for yourselves in an unbiased way by showing you chronologically our little photo-walk (giving the exact locations so you can retrace our steps if interested).
The concept of our photos with Zheny was quite simple: we go out in the evening in central Sofia, searching for a suitable light and a nice background. Unlike my last few photoshoots, there were no extra props and pets with us so we could really concentrate on Zheny’s look and outfit. She came very prepared with a brand new haircut and a set of clothes to change, so we only needed to search for the right spot in several areas we had previous discussed. So here comes the outcome – three sets of photos for three different places and outfits.
Probably my most bizarre photoshoot must be the one with Kami, largely due to the presence of her little pet ferret Charlie who accompanied her. He is already several years old and she is taking care of him since he was still an underdeveloped baby ferret. It was a beautiful spring afternoon so we decided to take some outdoor street photos first and only after try some studio photos in my place. We had to leave Charlie roam around my bathroom when we got to my place as he got overly excited and so only Kami could pose for the studio photos. And this gives you the chance of choosing which set of photos you prefer – Kami vs. Kami & Charlie, indoor vs. outdoor. And to make it easier for you to decide (or maybe harder?) I decided to order them in an alternating way.
After some thought on how to design it logistically, I managed to convert my apartment into a sort of amateur photo studio with the help of a piece of wire used for hanging clothes, a large bed sheet and a few fluorescent lamps. So this post marks my first (and hopefully not last) series of home-made studio photos. It is also the first post in which I decided to include only black and white photos (with the obvious exception of the picture on top) following the suggestions of several of you.
As you already read the title my first models in my new home studio were Eli and Nadya, but probably you didn’t immediately realize they are actually twin sisters. Eli has straight hair and is the more outspoken, while Nadya has curly hair and is the shy twin. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that most of the photos you’ll see are with Eli only. Here they come.
Given the cold winter I didn’t have many opportunities to update my blog with new photos lately. Still, I did manage to make a few indoor photoshoots which I promise to show you. The first one is with Renata. She is a yoga instructor and had the idea to pose for some photos in her workplace, which is one of the new yoga studios in Sofia – Mettasense (http://www.mettasense.com/). I already had the chance to make some outdoor photos with yoga positions last summer with Adi (https://kirilson.com/2016/07/25/adi/) and was happy to try again in a more professional environment. So, relax and enjoy some yoga with Renata and my usual insightful comments.
After two weeks of hibernation in the freezing Bulgarian winter it is finally time for a new post. And for a change the photo-focus in this post will be actually on a male model, Arti (Artiom). His girlfriend, Markha, wanted to have a photoshoot of both of them in a fancy hotel room in Sofia. The secret extra mission I had was to mostly focus my attention on Arti as Markha wanted to make him a birthday present by selecting her preferred photo and converting it to a nice painting. So I tried to not only take group photos of the two of them but also make Arti pose for some photos solo. I was greatly helped by my assistant in this photoshoot, Katia, who had lots of nice and fun ideas about the positioning of the objects and models.
The room Markha decided to hire for the photoshoot was in the most iconic hotel in Sofia, presently known as Sofia Hotel Balkan. It was built in the socialist period of the country and was by far the most fancy hotel in Bulgaria back in the day, hosting all the official guests of the state. It is of course right in the centre of Sofia, just next to the houses of the parliament and the prime minister and president. And the view is towards the St. Nedelya square and the old orthodox church with the same name.
And even if the hotel room was (understandably) slightly outdated for the present day standards, I think it still provided the classy look we were going after as a background for the photos which I decided to show you interchangeably in color and in black and white.
Now that I mentioned Russia, I have to tell you more about the very interesting story of Arti and Markha. They are both of Russian origin, but were actually raised and live in Bulgaria. Artiom was raised in Burgas, while Markha in Varna – the two main seaside cities in Bulgaria. Eventually they both came to live Sofia, where Arti is pursuing a career in the show business. He is actually somewhat famous already as he participated very successfully in the Bulgarian version of the X factor show (which I have to admit I only learned afterwards) – for example you can see his first performance on the show (in Bulgarian): (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQNsE1znfdQ). And apart from his musical talent Arti clearly has the looks of a model so he was an equal match to Markha who has already posed for quite a few photographers in Bulgaria on various occasions. So now that you know their story, I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of our photoshoot.
Several months after our first photoshoot with Desi and Vesi (https://kirilson.com/2016/07/03/desi-vesi/) we decided it was time for some new photos, this time in the South park in Sofia with the fall as a main theme. It was a warm day with plenty of fallen leaves and empty space in the park, and this time also Vesi was feeling very comfortable and ready for posing. So we set on searching for nice spots in the park and here’s a selection from the best shots we made.
As a final today I’d like to congratulate Desi and Vesi and all other students and to wish them happy celebrations since 8th December also happens to be the “university holiday” in Bulgaria.
As everybody knows, the autumnal season is very suitable for photo shoots in the park with all the bright colors and the falling leaves. So it was just a matter of having some suitable weather before we go to the Borisova garden with Tsveti and Joy and some of our other friends for an afternoon walk and some photos. Tsveti is the little sister of Joy, who already featured in one of my older posts here (https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/joy/). She just started her university studies after moving from Plovdiv to Sofia and was very happy to pose for me, so hopefully you’ll get to see some more of her in the future.
Before the family photo shoot I had some time to walk around the park by myself and stumbled into some interesting sights that I hope you’ll enjoy as a little starter setting the stage, after which I’ll go to the two main subjects of the post.
It was high time for some photos with pretty girls, as lately I was more concentrated on conceptual photos or some special occasions as you see in my previous posts. So it was fortunate that shortly after the photomarathon I was approached by Radi, with whom we already had a few photoshoots before (https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/radi-cherry/ and https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/radi-2/) – she has a fashion site that also sells clothes and wanted to make some photos advertising them. So it was also a great opportunity for me to try out some fashion photos with Radi and her sister Dorina.
Radi had found a beautiful autumn place for the task – a schoolyard in central Sofia, with the school building (more or less) recently renovated and making a nice background for the photos, so I tried to keep the background also fairly sharp instead of my usual style of focusing sharply on the subject and blurring the rest by the shallow depth of field I normally use. I like experimenting and I think we made some nice photos for the purpose, but everyone has their own opinion so I’ll let everyone decide for themselves by showing you a selection of the photos we made.
There are of course many more photos and many more clothes that we tried that day, but I think this selection provides a good representative example. In the end I also gave an interview for Radi’s website about my photography passion. The Bulgarian speakers can have a look at http://topmoda.bg/kiril-hristov-fizikut-fotograf/, where they can also browse through the available clothes for sale if interested.
After the end of the football games I finally had more time for photography, and even got a new portrait lens in anticipation of the sea holidays and coming beach photos. I was still in Sofia though, so we arranged a photoshoot with Adi in the park. She felt like her style would be some “dark” photos in black outfit and I had the idea of getting a candle and trying to combine the evening light in the park with the candlelight. So we aimed for a bit creepy feel in the narrow pathways in the forest on one end of the park, and i think the result is quite cool.
For the coming photos I need to tell you a bit more about Adi and her multitasking personality. Apart from being a full time financial analyst and a mother of two children, she is doing a PhD in philosophy with Italian language. If that’s not enough, she is also a journalist and an author that writes short stories in her free time, and has a blog of her own (https://adispasova.wordpress.com) in Bulgarian. And last but not least, she’s also a yoga instructor. Which is why we decided to make some photos of her practicing yoga and trying various positions on one of the old communist monuments in the park.
After the yoga we planned to do some more dark style photos in the gazebos nearby, but unfortunately they were all taken by people, and we wondered around the alleys making a few more photos. It was one of the hottest evenings of summer and so we were essentially forced to stop for a beer at some point, which was the end of the photoshoot as it got too dark afterwards.