“I would consider myself a sort of photojournalist. I do street photography and I enjoy documenting events and showing the moments in the way I saw them. I like being inconspicuous and take photos that are natural and show the true emotions.”
Alexy Antonievich (born in 1977) is a street and wedding photographer currently based in the UK.
“Time adds more value to photos.”
Interview with Alexy Antonievich
Alexy, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
I received my first camera when I was only 8 and my uncle photographer gave it to me. It was a simple rangefinder. It had some manual settings and I was explained what aperture, sensitivity and exposure is. Then it just continued through various cameras.
Why did you become a photographer?
Because I love it. I am not a full timer though.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography means a lot to me and I feel my life would not be full without it. I love capturing moments and that is the most important thing for me in photography. I like when photographs bring out emotions and make you think a bit at what they present.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
I like photos of many photographers and cannot name one. I always liked work of Gavin Watson as his photos presented his surroundings in an informal manner, quite natural and interesting. I also like the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Matt Stewart.
What’s your favorite quote about photography?
If I knew how to take a good photograph, I’d do it every time.
How would you describe your photographic style and creative process?
I would consider myself a sort of photojournalist. I do street photography and I enjoy documenting events and showing the moments in the way I saw them. I like being inconspicuous and take photos that are natural and show the true emotions.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
Photographing a lot and finding out what you enjoy. I tried portraits, posed photos, fashion, studio, etc. but I realised that I enjoy documentary style and street photography most so decided to stick to it. This way I do what I like.
What do you consider to be the axis of your work – technically and conceptually?
I do not edit my photos too much and shoot often in B&W. I usually shoot with 35/50mm and for weddings I use 24-70mm zoom most often. I carry 70-200 but sometimes I do not even take it out. I like flexibility of zoom lenses and it helps me from swapping the lenses too often. I don’t plan my work in advance but I do have a rough idea of what I want to show. This may change on the way so not planning causes less frustration as I do not have to stick to the plan. I come and document. I like using available light.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
That depends on who the photographer is. A photojournalist will need strong elbows and wedding photographer will need a lot of creativity. Required qualities do depend on a style – a shy person will never be good at directing people for group/posed shots for example so I would rather say that it is best when skills match the photographer’s style.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
An interesting photo is a good photo for me. Beautiful ones are not always interesting.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
It just comes to me from seeing other photos, films, talking to friends, colleagues.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
For street photography I generally use Olympus Pen EP-1, Canon Eos 30, Canon Eos 5d with prime lenses. For weddings I use 5d or 1Ds with 24-70 and 70-200 lenses plus 580EXII flash gun for situations when I can’t do without it.
What’s your favourite website on photography?
I do not have one.
What book on photography would you recommend?
None, really. I read a few of them but nothing that would be exceptionally worth recommending. I would rather go out and shoot than read. Nothing beats a relaxed cha with fellow photographers.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
The market is quite saturated with photographers but there is always space for some more. Not much advice I can give.