Archivi tag: photography blog

Collaboration in alien city. Photography in London.

So here you leave everything in the past.

All years of hard work behind you in your home town, pack your camera and move to this huge, uncomfortable metropolitan city. You barely speak their language, you barely know what to purchase for your breakfast in the food store. Everything is new, unfamiliar and you throw away first yogurt, because it turned out to be made of soya. This situation should be familiar to everyone who left their home town behind. The same thing happened to me. Adaptation is really tough; for some people it’s easy, for others it’s hard. For me it took almost 3 years to finally feel comfortable. But today I’m going to talk about how to get back to what you have already created back home.


I tried to start from zero.

Take pictures of people I know for free, just to amaze them and hopefully in the future get real orders. But believe it or not, no one wanted to pose for me. They were busy with their lives or just didn’t care about me whatsoever. I didn’t have any friends here, but back home I had the whole team – make up artist, stylist, hairdressers and I even had backups. If one of them was busy, I had another 2 or 3 people to work on the project. I was able to create really awesome photo shoots. But in London it wasn’t so easy. Time passed, I invited some of my colleagues to my Facebook page and the next day when I came to work one of them asked me “Hey, Alina, I saw your images, they are so amazing! But what are you doing here?” Really, what I was doing in retail for 2 years? That got me thinking out of the box.

Find London PhotographersFind London Photographers

London is famous for fashion industry, but hey, where are all this fashion people?

Where are these artists looking for collaborations? I started to look for them. The greatest source of artists came from Facebook groups. You have no idea, but nowadays groups in such cities as London are very strong. People connect and open for collaborations. Search for stylists, makeup artists, photographers and many more, add the name of the city, and voilà. London has almost 9 million of people, at least 1 million of them are somewhere connected to arts. People here are passionate about art and they love to collaborate with others. It doesn’t matter if the photo shooting is tomorrow, doesn’t matter if no one pays you.

Living in London people are happy to work for the sake of art.

Tell people who you meet randomly what you do. Show them your pictures, give them your website. Inspire them with your ideas about photography, you never know what side projects they have. You never know what is their passion outside work. And finally, you never know who is going to be your client. Don’t be shy.

 Another great source is University.

Some people get themselves to Uni’s just for connections and you should also consider that. Maybe just some short photography courses, maybe some other workshops that you could join. So you’ve found them, now you need to inspire them, explain your idea, show them examples and wait. Be nice to people, respect them and give them food on the shootings. They work for you for free, right? Don’t be scared, in such big city you’ll always find people who see the world in a similar way. And remember, people love what other people are passionate about.

Inspire them and share your visions and they will follow you.

Support them, and they will support you.


Good luck and never give up!


Alina Agarkova Photographer

The day I told myself: “I am an artist”.



                                                                                      I never thought of myself as an artist.

                                                                                      I never believed in the concept of “talent”.

                                                                                      I never thought that photography was an art.


What I truly believed in, however, was hard and tough work. My life as a photographer can easily be divided into two phases: The one where I believed photography was a technical profession with no room for art, and the phase where I came to the realisation that photography is indeed art. So let me tell you first how I got there.

“To convey your soul into your work. Art is about an emotion, an idea, a message.”

At the University the way I studied photography was very technical. We didn’t talk too much about abstract art or what a particular photographer wanted to say through his pictures. Instead we discussed lights, lenses, composition, physics, chemistry and much more science. After all these years at Uni I realised that I was learning almost anything by just analyzing other photographers’ works. By observing closely any portrait work , I could tell precisely how many lights a photographer used, what kind of soft-boxes were chosen and, after a few years of practice, I could even tell how he implemented his post-processing.

“The key is to integrate our art into our life, not the other way around.”
― Brooks Jensen, Letting Go of the Camera: Essays on Photography and the Creative Life

And that’s when I started to work. At the beginning of my career I was doing a lot of photoshoots to whoever agreed posing for me – my friends, my colleagues, my classmates. Then, one by one these pictures reached social media. People started asking who was behind those shots and so I pushed myself into the position of no-stop-working forgetting about weekends, 8 to 14 hours a day. Too much? Right. But at that time, I believed that I needed to practice and practice, in order to shape myself into the professional I wanted to be. The funniest thing is – I didn’t know yet who I wanted to become. I believe I pushed myself into that corner by focusing on portrait photo-sessions and wedding photography. My work was totally commercial and technical with no space for artistic expression, also so oriented on the satisfaction of the client that I stopped enjoying the profession just after 4 years of being a freelancer.

And then I moved to London.

“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”
― Robert Frank

It is really hard to believe, but I couldn’t touch my camera for another 2 years. I have had a huge passion for photography my whole life, but then I was not able to touch the camera anymore. Working in the apparel industry shop for 2 years led me to a huge depression because I abandoned what I love doing.  That’s when I started to reflect on my life, finally. But now, looking back I’m really thankful for that provisional break-up with photography.

It made me realise something very important:

We all are artists.

This is the truth.

Every single person sees this life very differently. And that’s the most amazing thing. You don’t need to wait for inspiration to create the greatest work of art of your life. You don’t need to be special. You are special! All you need is to look inside of you, listen to yourself and express it in the way you can. Some people create music, some paint and some take pictures. In the past, I was looking at other peoples great works and couldn’t understand how they managed to create it. Sometimes I listened to my friends tips or I looked for the idea somewhere else, both the wrong sources, this is why I couldn’t find what I was pursuing for so many years. But, when I focused in the inside, when I listened to myself that’s when all of the creativity and ideas started blooming.

“All my images are self-portraits, even when I’m not in them.”
― Nuno Roque

Currently I’m working on a portrait project which I’ll call Nature Portraits. My idea is showing the beauty of nature and human being. The combination of both to show natural interaction of human and nature. I virtually set these beautiful faces into different kind of natural environment – bushes, flowers and leafs. I collaborate with Make Up artists to create a reflection of nature on the models’ faces. And then I’ll capture this artistic combination. You will judge yourselves how poetic and delicate the outcome is. I have another great upcoming project in mind guided by a very strong message. What I will promise to you from now on is to tell you different lessons which I have learnt in my career, followed by some valuable advices on how to avoid the same mistakes I did.

Today’s pearl of wisdom: “Listen to no one, but yourself. All greatest things are inside you”

“Photography is my other kind of music.”
― Romi Florea

Alina Agarkova Photographer

Alina Agarkova


Kreativ Wedding is made with love. Love is fire- branded in their logo, such is their credo. And when something is conducted with passion, the outcome can be nothing else than perfect. kreativwedding4

Anne Aselmann is a photographer, and Riccardo Fasoli is a videographer, but defining them as such is reductive. When I met them for the first time, I saw in their eyes the passion for their work, an open flame that in any context truly makes a difference.

“It all occurred by chance, we felt chosen by the “wedding universe”.  We would have never thought that this could be our final working environment.”

Anne is a designer and a passionate photographer established from her university background. Riccardo on the other hand was a former eyeglass designer with different hobbies; ranging from design, technology, to storytelling. Both were invited to a friend’s wedding in 2011 and there it was; destiny indicated them the way.

“Anne and I went there equipped as common guests with a simple handycam and a reflex. Once back home, we looked at the content we created; a small photo gallery and a short video of the day. The bride’s response was unexpected; she told us that the pictures were much better than the ones made by the photographer they hired and so they wanted our pictures as official pictures for their albums. She watched the video at least 3 times before being able to watch it without crying.

kreativwedding2The quality of the content we gave her was far from what we are able to produce today, but that experience gave us the incentive to try, and in 2012 we were the official team for 2 friends’ weddings; that offered us the opportunity to launch ourselves and we were recruited by 35 couples in 2013 and 64 couples in 2014. Altogether we received 1000 demands in 2014.”

Kreativ Wedding has been recruited in Thailand, Hong Kong and Caraibi, adding more wedding reports to the ones produced in Germany, not so far from their residence home in Dusseldorf. Thanks to their style, the romantic shoots from Anne − a beautiful and charming woman that captures not only seconds but emotions – and the videos created by Riccardo, the emphasis is not only on a wedding celebration but in the union of two soul mates that meet and become one. Pure poetry narrated in a timeless allure.

The work they do is intense, full of dedication and commitment.

“Being a photographer at a wedding is not easy. You are involved in one of the most important days of a person’s life, and even if you don’t belong to that day you become one of the closest people, and bear testimony of their most intimate moment…We have to be ready to catch a lot of aspects and emotions: hugs, laughs, smiles, tears, kisses… our style in filming and photographing is not a classic one but we maintain a photojournalistic footprint; you will never hear from us say “ehy, watch here or there, stand there and smile”, instead we try to be attentive, and  invisible among the crowd with the utmost discretion. A lost moment is lost and that it is.

Our pictures are made of real moments; they must have an analogic appearance, not digital, even though they come out from a DSLR. The videos must tell a story in a cinematographic way, like a movie. Riccardo loves creating films, and that feeling of “butterflies in the stomach” wins when the mix between music and the scene get to the perfect union, meanwhile Anne loves it when she is able to immortalize the couple in that harmony, “where the world feels it’s like only you and me”. kreativweddiing3

“We do love our jobs because we are surrounded by happy people, we love the reactions of our couples when we deliver our product, but most of all we love the idea that our product will be alive throughout the years.”

If you are about to marry, you should definitely try Kreativ Wedding and be ready with plenty of Kleenex!

Book Kreativ Wedding for your special day: Kreativ Wedding Official Website


Schall & Schnabel Photography

We would love to introduce a power couple, Eileen and Pierre, a thrilling duo located in Berlin that seduced us with their captivating pictures… They will drive you to an enchanted world.


Could you tell us more about the story of your collaboration?

We have known each other for many years now and started to work together on a nude project several years ago. During that project we discovered that we have two things in common: the way we work with people and a similar notion of how an image should be composed or aesthetically designed. We contribute different skills and sometimes different opinions but our collaboration is based on a solid ground of trust and joint evaluations of every step and every process. The best thing about working as a duo is that we encourage each other to elaborate elicit the best possible result. After Eileen graduated in Design in 2012 we started to built up our own studio.

Why fashion?

Fashion (photography) is basically a repetitive collection of gestures, shapes and styles. We love the creative, sometimes disturbing aspect of it more than the luxury & lifestyle it promises.

In fashion photography we learnt a lot about working in a big team, different light setups, organization of editorial shoots and elaborating our own style of images. Very quickly we found out that we’re most interested in creating a new look for every shoot and working on conceptual projects with different collaborators.

What about your academic background?

Eileen graduated in Design and I studied philosophy, literature and design, but never graduated. Our academic backgrounds are only on the periphery of our everyday work. Most of what we do photographically is self-taught and the result of a strong experimental curiosity.

Berlin, known also as “The place to be”, is really the right place to be and realize your dream? Could another city or country give you more than Berlin in term of incitement? How is the competition in the photography industry in Berlin?

What makes Berlin fascinating for us is that it seems to never run out of incompleteness. The city is flooded with many talented, creative people from all kinds of disciplines every year and although it’s changing and it’s getting harder to find tumble-down houses and spots to built up alternative exhibition spaces, bars or even residencies, it seems that the city also never runs out of people who have crazy, new ideas of possible alternative lifestyles.

Maybe another city could be a better place to work and get paid accordingly. Maybe another city could be the right place to get together with even more talented and internationally networking and working people. But Berlin is the right city to dream because it provides the means to live easily and free.

There are a lot of excellent photographers located in Berlin. But we don’t think of them in a competitive sense, rather as inspirations. It’s wonderful to be inspired by other artists, writers, scientists.

Interesting and fascinating collaborations you have started so far?

The first project, SKINWALKER, which developed as a collaboration between the artist Diana Wehmeier and us, started out as an experiment to blur the lines between painting and photography and evolved as a series, which included a performance piece with dancers and a musician. It culminated in our first solo exhibition last year at Galerie Irrgang. We continued the collaboration by creating another interdisciplinary video / performance installation with Diana Wehmeier at a Science / Art Festival last year.The video will be presented again in April at the gallery.

It’s cheerful to bring different disciplines together to change the atmosphere in a certain space. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the extraordinary artist Diana Wehmeier for two incomparable years. Also we love to work with dancers, because a dance performance can transport expressions to the viewer more directly. No photography or video can get even close to the notion you get when you experience a live dance performance.

Which are the main obstacles/challenges encountered in these years since you have opened your studio?

The main part of our everyday work, maybe 80% of what we’re doing, has nothing to do with taking photographs. But you have to love organizing, communicating with different people, get together at several events, acquiring new jobs etc. to work as photographer.

Sometimes it can take 48h in order to get everything prepared and organized accordingly. Maybe one of the main obstacles we have had to face was the realization that you are responsible for a healthy, so-called “work/life – balance”. Your work cannot be half-hearted, but you can also lose focus if you don’t pause your workflow once in a while.

The goal or goals you would like to reach in the future.

There are many artists we would like to work with. We have new ideas we would like to carry out in the upcoming years. There are also some magazines and galleries where we would like to be published and exhibited. But on a long-term perspective, we just wanna keep on doing what we do. Maybe build up a bigger studio, but simply keep on creating and elevating.

Would you like to add anything about you for the readers to know ?

Have visions!

Pierre Horn & Eileen Huhn
Berliner Allee 60
13088 Berlin
+49 30-920 456 30