Aleksandr Akatov

Tell us something about you.

I am a professional photographer, but I am a mechanical engineer by training. I started photography not very long ago, about 2012, when I bought a very cheap compact digital camera. At that time I still had a dog, with which we went for a walk in the morning in the forest. It was then that my first photographs were taken on digital equipment. I have to say that my family had cameras that shot on film, on the principle of point and click and take it to the lab. But back then I didn’t understand anything about photography at all, it was just regular family vacation photos, like many people do…

What makes you choose this profession?

When I got a digital camera, I started to take more interest in the process of photography. That’s how it became a hobby. I became a very passionate photographer and could no longer imagine myself without photography and a camera. I thought it was good to have an income from what I love. That’s how I started to turn into a professional photographer. I love this profession, I love the play of light and shadow, the combination of different colors, the emotions of the people I photograph. For me, it is self-expression, it is constant contact with people, interesting communication.

Who were your biggest influences when you started? Now?

In the beginning, I was shooting everything, but gradually people began to appear in the frame more and more often, I began to shoot models for model agencies, designer clothes, and now I shoot a lot of covers for various magazines. That’s how I became a fashion photographer. Of course the genius Peter Lindbergh had a big influence on me along the way. I still don’t understand how he can take such believable photos, with such mood, with such atmosphere. Without a doubt, he is the greatest photographer. I’ve been getting more and more into documentary photography lately, and that, of course, is Steve McCurry! And just today I discovered the wonderful Moscow photographer Dmitry Zverev (@ dmazverev777). He amazed me with his work.

Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

The first photo I remember was taken by accident. My wife and I went to a pizza place for dinner, my wife put her white purse on the edge of the table, brought a glass of beer and put it on the table, a narrow ray of sunlight passed through the glass and reflected off the white surface of the purse. I thought it was unusual and interesting, so I took a picture. I liked this picture for a very long time :). It was a long time ago :).

How do you plan a new shoot?

Yes, I always try to plan my shooting, but when I start shooting, everything does not go according to plan, improvisation begins…. I think it’s bad? 🙂

Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

What kind of work of mine do I like? Probably the ones I haven’t done yet. I’m usually not happy with the result, I feel like I could have done better…

Do you have any problem on the way of your profession? How did you solve it?

The main problem for me, as for many people in the world, is Covid19.
In spite of this, I went to Turkey in April with my friends, taking all precautions. We lived in Istanbul, wandered through the mountains of Cappadocia… I fell in love with the country and the people! I will definitely go there again!

What are your career goals?

I would like to establish long-term, mutually beneficial cooperation with famous agencies, fashion designers and the media. Travel a lot, shoot a lot, publish a lot, and of course, earn good money! 🙂

What are your upcoming projects/trips?

In the near future it is trips to Ukraine. In July I want to visit Lvov, in the end of August I`m planning a trip to the Carpathians, then maybe Turkey again, in winter to Egypt, to the Red Sea, to shoot under the water! In June a lot of shooting in Kiev, for magazines, maybe a cover… Maybe we will work with you again, I really enjoyed this collaboration, you have a great magazine!

What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer?

You need to love this profession, nothing will work without love.

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