Today my post will take you to another historic European place, the university town of Mainz in Germany. In recent times maybe a bit overshadowed in importance by the nearby Frankfurt am Main, Mainz was an important cultural center in the Middle Ages. It was the home of Johannes Guthenberg who invented the printing press and manufactured the first printed books exactly in Mainz. And similarly to pretty much everywhere else in Germany, over 80% of the old historic town of Mainz was destroyed during the second World War. Remarkably however, I think the citizens managed to protect and reconstruct very well the old atmosphere afterwards, as I think will be obvious in the following virtual tour.
The first several days of the new 2020 I got to travel to quite a few other amazing places in Jordan that I’ll share with you here. Although slightly less famous and touristy, I think every place I visited was well worth the travel and in one way or another was truly remarkable. So I strongly recommend to everyone this journey through a really beautiful country full of very welcoming and friendly people. I guess the guys from Coldplay also had a pretty good impression from Jordan, having chosen Amman’s ancient citadel for their latest album’s live performance.
After a small creative break (meaning that I was working and had less time for the photoblog), I am back with a new post and a new category of black and white photos. It’s of course not the first time I’m posting b&w photos, but I’m planning to do so even more often in the future and thus decided to create a designated category. Anyway, without further digressions I present you Victoria. She just turned 18 years old and is still in high school studying many different languages among other things. It took about an hour in my favorite abandoned hotel in the outskirts of Sofia to create these photos and I hope you like them.
Today is Sri Lanka’s day of mourning for the loss of more than 300 lives in a series of terror attacks in Catholic churches and hotels in the capital Colombo and around the country. I’m not good in writing emotional words and have no power to change things or comfort the suffering, but I would like to send a message of love and offer my condolences and support to the people of Sri Lanka with a series of photos. I had the fortune of visiting this beautiful country several months ago and in the very short period of my travels met so many friendly and welcoming people, some of whom I managed to capture with my camera. The first photo you see above was taken in St. Anthony’s shrine in Colombo at the Sunday morning mass, and I’m sure the church was even more crowded with innocent people two days ago when a bomb went off. I did not personally know any of the victims, but it is clear that they were very ordinary people like you and me and like all the smiley, expressive and honest faces you’ll see below. So we can all take a minute to mourn their loss and contemplate on the responsibility we all have in such a globalized world where everyone and everything is interconnected.
Today we are back to my favorite abandoned hotel in the outskirts of Sofia, this time with Anna (but not Anna Maria!) and with some more provocative photos in sexy underwear. Anna is a student in Sofia and in the same time working as a fitness instructor, which explains why she’s so much in shape. I hope you’ll enjoy the photos with her and leave feedback in your comments as usual. And even if you don’t like this particular photoshoot, stay tuned for new travel shots coming soon!
After a short international break (loads of photos from Japan coming up at some point) I’m back to posting some (by now) older photos. So here’s a photoshoot with the young Anna Maria at one of my favorite places, the abandoned hotel in the outskirts of Sofia where I already took photos of Lily (https://kirilson.com/2016/05/21/lily-2/), Ivelina (https://kirilson.com/2016/05/29/ivelina/), and Asia (https://kirilson.com/2016/07/10/asia/). Anna Maria is just 18 years old and about to finish her high school and go to university (or maybe become a model, who knows?). So enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for more soon!
So after almost 3 years I finally made it to the 100th post on my blog, which I decided to be a special compilation with some of my favorite shots over the years under the common theme of people observing and interacting with art. If I ever get to showcase some of my photos in a gallery, I imagine it will be a selection similar to this one. So thanks a lot to everyone for following, liking and commenting on my photos! As you know the feedback process is really indispensable to the idea of blogging and I wouldn’t have made it without all this support. So, any further ideas for photo topics or compilations are very welcome, and I hope the next 100 posts are way better!
In my quest for posting all my old half-forgotten photos from last year, here comes a short photo series with Hrisi that we made in one of the main parks in Sofia last April. The goal of the photoshoot was to somehow combine a more provocative look with posing in the park among plenty of random people. And as always, you’ll be the judges if we managed to succeed or not and whether my idea of presenting only black and white versions is a good one.
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.