In our second photoshoot with Zheny (our first one was outside in the evening lights: https://kirilson.com/2017/05/17/zheny/) she wanted to help promote one of the newly opened Asian fusion restaurants in the centre of Sofia. So the idea was for me to take photos while she’s eating and making “yummy” expressions. I’m not sure our original plan was completely successfully executed, but I still think we made some nice photos for the little time we had to shoot (less than an hour). So I’m curious to see your opinion!
After the virtual tour around the art museums of the US east coast, I think it’s time to shift gear and come back to some shots with models posing for me. Here I present you Ana, a young fitness coach and model that moved recently to NYC from California. I only now got to select and show you the photos of Ana, even though they were taken on the very same day and just several hours after my photoshoot with Shiera (https://kirilson.com/2017/08/20/on-the-street-with-shiera/). Better late than never I guess, especially since the sports lovers will surely enjoy our evening workout around Greenwich village.
In the spirit of flashbacks from old photo shoots, I decided to also show you some 2016 photos from a summer bike ride in one of the parks in Sofia (yes, South park is the official name, ages before the animated sitcom was created) with Eli. She already showed up with her twin sister Nadya in a post earlier this year (https://kirilson.com/2017/03/13/eli-nadya/), but this time it was just Eli alone. Our park bike ride took place earlier, but Eli was always shy about showing her photos and didn’t want me posting them so far. I guess now she gained a little more confidence in herself and realized the photos are actually not that bad, but this is of course ultimately left for anyone’s own opinion.
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.
It was again time for some photos in my favorite abandoned hotel in Simeonovo, and this time the lead role was for Asia, who has quite a unique story herself. She is Polish and moved to live in Bulgaria several years ago. By now she already speaks perfect Bulgarian and is happy with her life in Sofia, but I can imagine that adapting to the local culture was never easy for her. I’m hoping that with her non-standard decision to move here she’s setting an example for more beautiful blonde girls from the North to move to our parts.
I brought Asia to the same place from my shoots with Lily (https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/lily-2/) and Ivelina (https://kirilson.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/ivelina/), but this time we ventured even further inside and explored the top floor of the hotel. The setting turned out to be as if taken from some horror movie stage, with molded rooms left in complete chaos and random artifacts from the past showing up here and there. So the long-legged semi-nude shape of Asia made quite a contrast with the background and helped for a set of very interesting photos I think.
As you can see from the photos Asia has quite some modeling experience already, even if she’s usually very busy doing many other things. So it took us some months before we finally managed to find a good time for both of us to meet. But once we did she immediately got into posing mood and appreciated the weirdness of the setting and its potential for nice photos.
At some point we had seen enough demolition and decided to go out and breathe some fresh air, and made some photos in the lower parts of the hotel and its surroundings. Asia also changed her shirt, so the next set of photos had a completely different feel. We unfortunately couldn’t make too many photos outside as it was really hot and the sun was very strong, but we were already happy with our results until then. So we headed back downtown to enjoy the rest of the weekend in a less moldy atmosphere.
Back home after my extended stay in New York, I had a jetlagged week of sleepless nights and sleepy days. The only good thing I managed to do was my photoshoot with Desi, who as an added bonus brought her friend Vesi. They came to my place one sunny evening in late May, and we decided it will be best to make photos on the balcony and catch the sunset.
Desi and Vesi both came to Sofia to study and ended up in the same course in university, which is how they met. Desi already had some modeling experience and was quite comfortable in front of the camera while Vesi was more timid and we tried to get her to relax with some wine and some common photos with the two of them. In the end we made many more photos of Desi, but we had plenty of fun and nice photos of both of them.
Then came the time to change outfit and move into more reddish tones, to match the setting sun, trying more combined photos and experimenting with the focus.
Then it was time for some individual shots, with Desi trying out an interesting jewel on her head that made me think of Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. I bet she’d do quite a job as a substitute of Emilia Clarke.
In the end we made a few more photos of Vesi on the balcony and then moved to my other balcony hiding from the sun, where we finished with some more shots of Desi and the plans to meet again with some more photo ideas.
You might have noticed the lack of photos from Central park in my New York post, and now I will overcompensate with many photos from there. The spotlight falls however on Irina and not the park, as she kindly agreed to be my model for a couple of hours one sunny afternoon. She is originally from Ukraine but came to live in the States several years ago, eventually ending up staying in Brooklyn, New York. She is a mechanical engineer, so posing is not exactly her expertise, but her natural beauty easily compensates for her lack of experience. Her big smile, joyful spirit, and bright blue eyes make it very hard to guess her profession.
We made most of the photos on the little walkways behind The Lake, where tourists rent boats to escape the crowds around.
She then changed from her casual outfit into a white dress in order to fit in the spring atmosphere that afternoon in the park. We tried a wider variety of photos with her dancing on the streets, and some close up portrait pictures highlighting her eyes and smile.
We also tried some really close photos of her hiding in the leaves of a tree, so that you can only see her eyes shining out.
For the last set of photos we moved a bit further in the park, around Shakespeare garden, and exchanged the white dress for a pink one. After that I had to let her go to her engineering studies, remaining with plenty of nice photos for processing.
The last weekend before my long trip to the US (coming soon here), the spring sun was still shining and Joy (or Radost as her name is in Bulgarian) was eager to make some nice photos with flowers in her hair. I was of course happy to assist as she is a good friend of mine, and we decided to try the “Borisova garden” in the centre of Sofia. It was a holiday and the weather was perfect, so the park was really overcrowded and it was hard to find a spot of nature without people around. Together with her natural shyness, this meant that we had to go deep in the park to find some more appropriate places for photos where people wouldn’t bother us so much. Along the way we picked up some dandelions and other flowers and managed to put them together in a sort of wreath and were ready for action.
We of course tried some photos without the wreath of flowers to change the mood somewhat, and ventured further inside the park which is really big. She was still shy and uncomfortable with trying too many photos and poses, but the ones we did manage to make were quite successful.
Our last stop at the far end of the park was a small training ground in the forest with some gym equipment outside. As she is quite fit and actually training pole dancing (yes, maybe you’ll see that someday) we tried some photos of her hanging from the gymnastic rings. This was the end of the phototrip and we headed to the nearest cafe for a beer.