Hear It!

It’s January 2013 and our very first featured photographer of the year is none other than Dmitri Mihhailov a.k.a mihhailov from Estonia. This photography guru admits that he gets his inspiration mainly from models because, according to him, each of them have a unique trait and they always bring fresh ideas to the plate. Read on to learn more about him in this month’s Hear It.

Photographer: Dmitri Mihhailov / mihhailov
Country of Origin: Estonia

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
Canon Mark III 1Ds Canon 70-200 2.8 IS Canon 100 2.8 USM Elinchrome lights.

2. What do you think of photography these days?
Over the years, it has diversified. Stock photography is different from home, art or other types of photography. Every time I return from a vacation, I have lots of stock images but no images to share with my mom.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
A cosmonaut, of course.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I started when I was 10 years old. At that time, I had a small camera, the Smena 8m. The shots that I took with this camera are still the best ones I’ve managed to take, so far.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
Hard work. If you’re talented, the road will be shorter. If you don’t have the talent but you put in a huge amount of work, you’ll surely succeed.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge is believing that you can successfully produce interesting, beautiful and unique photographs that people will like.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
Meeting new people and creating new images for them, allowing them to view it from a different perspective.

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
Actually, I should really plan more. :) Currently, I discuss all my future shoots with my creative director and models a couple of days before the shoot.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
I shoot mostly isolated images, mainly portraits of women.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex checklist in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/checklist.
My checklist is usually about what’s "stockable" and what’s not - such as copyrighting issues and so on. We try to have fun during shoots, even if some of the shots are not sellable.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
I concentrate mainly on women portraits. I’m fascinated by their look.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
I really enjoy working in the studio, where lights are controllable. The hardest part would be going outside and trying to work with outdoor lighting.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
To be sincere.

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
I get inspiration from my models. Every model is unique and they bring something fresh to my work.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
I get creative when I see the response from models and my team. This motivates me to go further and beyond.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
I usually won’t do anything. Maybe go to sleep and get over the urge. :)

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
I’m really critical when it comes to my own work.

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
I like to watch backstage photos from beauty shoots. It doesn’t matter who’s behind the camera. I simply enjoy the process itself.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting into stock photography?
Get ready to work hard. Don’t go a single day without uploading your work.

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