September 9, 2015 by Oksana Svirchevska
Los Angeles based Hristo Shindov constantly irradiates high-voltage energy via his photography, whether it’s in his vibrant celebrity and portaiture, or his “in the moment” sports photography, or his impactful car shots. This talented photographer of Bulgarian origins shares his experiences on honing his craft, while working with renowned photography talents and how to satisfy the highest of clients expectations.
Material from this interview will please the eyes of rock music lovers and the rest of you are in for a real visual treat.
PP: You have stated that you have worked for and learned from some of the world’s finest photographers in New York. Can you name some of them and who were the most significant influence on you?
Hristo Shindov: I spent some time apprenticing for Mark Seliger a while back. It was my first exposure at the highest level of photographic production with world class talent. It allowed me to gain a perspective of how things work at the very top of the creative field and I have been trying to apply this in my own work ever since. Being able to observe how some of the best talent interact in order to achieve a striking image was a fantastic experience, expanded my horizons from the start of my career and I am very grateful for it.
PP: How do you describe yourself professionally?
Hristo Shindov: I am an advertising, entertainment and rock’n’roll photographer. My imagery tends to be very heroic, intense and in your face. It naturally extends my way of observing and reacting to the world around. As such, the photographic style I use has attracted clients who appreciate their product portrayed in such way. It has gelled very well with many rock’n’roll bands, companies who produce stuff that is fast, tough, adventurous and unpredictable. At times I like to photograph objects that are funny and humorous, not at all tough and they all seems to turn out in a very graphic way. On the less glamorous end- I pride myself on striving for getting the job done and problem solving. Even the greatest talent needs to overcome every day problems such as getting people in the same place, the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, distances, Murphy laws and many more. I would like to think that I work hard on this end and have learned how to deliver results in any situation.
PP: Does your creative approach when working for clients such as Nissan, Lexus and Sony differ from the one for personal work?
Hristo Shindov: Work created for any sort of commerce needs to promote a product and as such the two visions need to be aligned. It is always best when this happens from the very start. I try to shoot the very first picture as if there aren’t any creative constraints and then scale to the needs of the project. I believe that the best work occurs when there is a healthy balance between creativity and direct promotional message. When photographing for myself – I am the only one I need to please and as such the process of image making can take very unexpected turns, as there is no direction to follow. Sometimes the final result is something very different from the original intention, however this always been the way people discover things, so I’ve learned to embrace this reality and be happy with it.
PP: Rock music and sports take a big place in your heart, where did those passions come from and how has it influenced your photography?
Hristo Shindov: Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and learning how to play music made photographing it a very natural process. Most of my friends and social contacts are in the music field and we tend to speak the same language and be drawn to the same things. Rock’n’roll is very raw, intense, fast, and loud experience and in a way resembles my photographs. Essentially they are two different forms of expressing the same emotion. Shooting sports came in later, however for the exact same reason – the adventurous nature and the character of the subject – intense and adrenalizing experience.
PP: What are your plans for future, where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Hristo Shindov: 20 years is too long of a time to predict, however I would like to be able to continue to do what excites me and makes me want to do work every day. In the short term I want to expand the range of clients I work with and attract a new audience. I like a challenge and being able to place my imagery where one wouldn’t think of this style or type of photography would be a great fun. Personal projects are something I would be focusing more on and would love to do some gallery shows.
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