Jul 04, 2019
Interview with Alexander Suhoveev (cover)
  • First of all, how did you decide to become a photographer? What did you start with? What are you up to now? 

As far as I remember myself, from the early childhood, I was always engaged in arts: I was writing songs, fairy tales, drawing different games. I was always in some kind of creating. In my youth I have learnt playing guitar and became an author and a singer of my songs in a pop-rock genre. After a while I started working on TV as an assistant of a cameraman. I have worked for 14 years when I started working as a director of photography of artistic programmes. At the same time I was shooting the adverts and weddings. After I tried working with artistic lenses, I understood that you can create incredible things with it.

  • How did the idea of shooting the project in a format of Photo Story come up to your mind? What kind of experience did you get? Why is this format interesting for you as a photographer? 

In 2014 I opened a photo studio and positioned myself as a photographer portraitist. After having worked for some time, I became confident and decided to shoot my first project “Depot for Two”. And it finally started, I got excited about Photo Stories. I picked up two strangers and brought them together on the set. I like it: the actors were shy and natural, that is why the shots look so real. I understood that this is the secret of live photography. Now I am completely engaged in photography. Wedding shootings, portraits and authorial projects. Photo projects are always for pleasure. This is my leisure activity, I enjoy it and I can share the pleasure with all the people present on the set. I am a film fan, I always love good movies and have been dreaming of shooting the sequel of a favourite film. I was always thinking of alternative endings and plots. Now I have an opportunity to do this. 

  • Your stories are remarkable because of a beautiful and well-planned design. You take stories not only like a photographer but a designer. How much are the details such as trailers and covers important for you? What is the secret of a good cover? 

Details are very important for me. The small beautiful picture or emotion is not enough, each of the frames should have a sense, it should be a complete piece of art, so that everyone wants to look at it and find something new. As in a good movie. Everything should be thought out up to the slightest detail, so that it will look real. The cover is a “face” of the story and it should attract. I always have a weakness for covers and film posters, vinyl covers, CD covers, and, of course, books. The cover is an anticipation of what is inside, you may not always remember the story but the cover should always remain in your memory and secret place of your soul. The cover is a brand. The same situation is with trailers. This is a factory of dreams, the anticipation of something magical. The secret is simple: look in the mirror, do you like yourself? The same rule works with everything that you make! - this is your face. 

  • “Earth: Reloaded” – tell us, how did the idea of this story appear? What were you inspired by and what message was hidden within the story?

I think over all the stories for a long time. I am collecting ideas during several years. This can be photos which inspire me, games in a genre of quest, and of course movie - the main source of inspiration. Watching your favorite movies by favorite directors. You should always watch the best and learn from the best. Do you remember who said this? 

I always loved the ending with a subtext, so that the viewer will be able to think over the ending. The reborning happened - that’s it, and it’s only one of the versions. 

  • Tell us how were the images of main characters created and a few words about the actors who play the main role in your story.

I took costumes from the the divers I knew, the world’s champions. The helmets were made by my friend, he is also interested in fantasy. That’s it! The main characters are my good friends, who are ready for any kind of experiment. 

  • Tell us how were you getting ready for the shooting - what did you start with and what were considered at the last very moment? How much time did the preparation take? What was the most difficult about the preparation? 

First of all, I was thinking where to shoot. The answer came itself: while seeking the necessary location, we found the wasteland of the former soda factory. There were sedimentation with blue water. This was the perfect place. The preparation took about a month. We arrived at the location. First, I was shooting landschafts, this is a macro shooting. All the cliffs on the photos are the protectors from the wheels of the car on the wasteland. Then we started shooting the walk on the planet and…. a miracle! We found an old skeleton of the car. It made the story look post apocalyptic. There wasn’t anything difficult. 

  • It seems that the shooting of the “Earth: Reloaded” took place on Mars. Share the secret how was it made? Did you prepare the storyboard or references or were improvising right while shooting? 

I always improvise. All the pictures are in my head. As practice has shown, it is always improvisation. Yes, there is a feeling that the action takes place on Mars. Actually, it is Earth that after the catastrophe looks like Mars. It is the filmed version that shows us that Mars also looked like Earth. 

  • Tell us about the crew - who were working on the project and how were the tasks spread? What was your shooting day like? What was the most difficult while shooting? 

The whole story was shot in two hours. We were shooting it at sunset. I was working alone. Everything was made in one breath. 

  • The Photo Story “Earth: Reloaded” look like a real blogbaster. Tell us about the post production.  Were you shooting with the clear idea of how finally it should look like or were experimenting with the frames until you find the necessary solution? How much time did you spend on post production and what was the most difficult? 

Post production took about a year. I was seeking the necessary colour. My first experience with 3D model of a spaceship. It was the most difficult. Because besides the project I have a lot of work. That is why the post production took such a long time. I spent much time on some frames. I could spend several days on one photo. 

  • What do you like the most about the working on this story? 

I liked that I had managed to realize the idea and it was estimated.

  • What will you advise photographers who will want to shoot a Photo Story? 

Do it and don’t be afraid. Dream and extend the limits. Never think that you won’t be understood. Create your own worlds and take a pleasure of it!

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