Apr 05, 2019
Interview with Andrey Shurpin and Valerie Sagura (cover)
  • First of all, how did you decide to become a photographer? What did you start with? What are you doing now?
Andrey: I has developed a passion for photography since childhood, I was always running all around and shooting everything, and it was good that the camera was without a film. I started with creating conceptual photos for my Instagram profile, after some time it has become more than just creating images for myself. Now I am working as a barista but in future I want to bind my life with photography.
Valerie: I always had a feeling that my life would be connected with art but I didn’t know for sure that it would be exactly photography. Instagram and friendship with сreative people made me understand this. Now I can’t imagine my life without photo sessions, preparations, choosing looks and images.
  • What is your opinion, why do you think the format of Photo Story - photo comics with a plot - is interesting for photographers? What new experience did you get while working on the project?
Andrey: Photo Stories are interesting because you can feel the atmosphere and main characters, find out interesting details, and of course the ending of the story is always amazing. We have never shot anything familiar with Photo Stories that is why everything was new and interesting for us.
  • The Photo Story “Flower of hope” has two authors - tell us for how long do you work together and how did you start your cooperation? How do you complement each other and how are the tasks spread between us?
Valerie: Everything started from a common acquaintance. While communicating we understood that our interests match, exactly the passion for photography and desire to create something out of ordinary.
Andrey: We don’t have a fixed spreading of tasks, everyone complement each other’s idea.
  • “Flower of hope” - tell us how did the idea of creating this Photo Story appear? What inspired you? What appeared before - characters’ images or the idea about dark city and “alive” flowers?
Valerie: First, we have a lot of ideas for the Photo Story, but a desire to pay people’s attention on ecological issue and people’s indifference seemed more valuable for us. The weather outside, all that mud, bustle and gloomy city inspired us to create such a dark story. First, the idea of depicting the contrast between a dirty city and pure and untouched nature. After that we were thinking over the characters’ images.
  • How did you create characters’ images and how was the casting held?
Valerie: The only criteria for choosing the models was not ordinary appearance and willingness to be freezing while lying on the snow. We would like to emphasis the main character among the roaring crowd through his clothes. The brown clothes of the main female character symbolize the nature which stuck in the city. With the help of light clothes we would like to reflect the pureness and reincarnation of nature.
  • Tell us how were you getting ready for the shooting - what did you start with, and what was considered at the last very moment? Did you follow the storyboard or were there improvisation moments? What was the most difficult about the preparation?
Valerie: We started from the concept and idea for the Photo Story, choosing models and locations. We were seeking plants at the last very moment, as first we wanted to use fern, but it was difficult to find it in that time of year. There was more improvisation as we always had to add something. The most difficult thing was to make the shooting process as more convenient as we could for our models, as they were lying on the snow, we bought styrofoam and cut it in a shape of our models right before shooting this scene.
  • The shooting of “Flower of hope” took place at different locations, including the outdoors, in winter, on the snow… - did you like such experience? What was your shooting day like? What scene was the most difficult?
Valerie: We liked such experience, our models probably didn’t)) There were two shooting days, the first was in the city, the second in the forest. The most difficult thing was to collect all the props and bring the plants safe.
  • The Photo Story “Flower of hope” looks very cinematographic. Tell us, what equipment did you use?
Valerie: We used an amateur camera Canon eos 600D and rented the necessary lens Canon 17-40 mm.
  • What did you like the most about the shooting?
Valerie: We liked the whole process, from creating an idea to the shooting, the only con was a humid weather.
  • What will you suggest photographers who would like to try shooting a Photo Story?
Valerie: Create the worthy plot and don’t be afraid of difficulties.

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