Sean Archer: I always admired great photography, but never tried it myself
How did you get introduced to photography?
I always admired great photography, but never tried it seriously myself. In the end of 2011 I bought mirrorless camera Lumix G3, for travel and family shots. I knew nothing about photography, absolutely nothing.
So, I choose simple automatic mode and began shooting everything, just for fun. My first model was my mom’s dogIn the beginning of 2012 my friend asked me to make portrait for her. It wasn’t my first portrait (I love to draw from school and graduated Architectural Academy), but first as a photographer. To my big surprise, result was better than her photo from some professional guy before. And I realized that I like process a lot, from shooting to postproduction. It’s like drawing, but much faster. I never had patience to be serious artist, but just enough to be a photographer)
What subject is your favorite to shoot or inspires you more?
I always wanted to do something like this. From early childhood I love to draw, usually it was comics and action heroes. Then some real artwork in academy, graphics and broadcast design. And photography, it comes naturally, as next step in my creative way. I think of myself as not only photographer, and as an artist too. At first, there were, maybe, just two or three photoshoots in a month. After three or four months I found my way, what makes my picture recognizable. I think, yes, that’s my style. It made my shots popular and I decided it’s good, it has a lot to be improved, but it’s my thing. Simple portraits, natural light, that’s it. I started shooting in winter and it’s pretty cold outdoors (frankly speaking, it’s cold for half a year). So, indoors was a natural choice for me. I just used what I had – light from the window, wall as a background. When you shoot people, it’s people what’s important in the end. And it’s free, all you need is a camera. Perfect for a beginner who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a hobby.
What are some elements by which you judge a good photo?
Successful image – when it’s all come together, composition, light, color, good pose.
Are you planning before taking a picture?
It’s fun. I never try to be dead serious or something like that. I don’t do preparations. It’s always improvisation, just “let’s start and we’ll see what we got”. I shoot a lot of people I’ve never seen before and it’s always comfortable. I use only natural light and nothing else.
What is your opinion of the treatment programs in photography like Photoshop?
Photoshop is an importatant tool. As important as your camera and lense.Some people believe that “true photography” is unedited shots from the camera. I don’t agree. Real life is MUCH better, brighter, detailed and deeper than any photo from any camera. So, it’s not a reality. It’s pale copy of reality. And what you do with editing is not “enhancing of reality”. I believe it’s possibility to make it closer to life, closer to breathtaking beauty of real people.
What is your message that you want to be reaching through your works?
Beauty will save the world
Are there any prizes you owned want to talk about?
In just one year, I went from an absolute beginner to internationally published professional photographer. I’m the most popular photographer at 500px.com, my works featured on covers of international photo magazines from all around the world. I’m Olympus ambassador in Russia. Winner of Best of Russia contest and Adme Photo Awards.
What is your advice for the beginner photographers?
Don’t wait. Don’t wait for expensive gear, perfect model and perfect day. Start today. Shoot a lot, learn postproduction and take drawing course.
Masterpieces from the photographer Sean Archer