Let the Camera Do the Talking — an Interview with Sergei Gavrilov

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As a professional photographer, Sergei Gavrilov, a.k.a. gavrilovsergphoto, knows the complex world of film photography from inside-and-out. The portrait shooters mastery of controlling light and balancing compositions just show how much can be achieved with film, his knack for crisp and grainy texture distinguishing his work from the rest. We get to know more about our Community member Sergei in this interview.

Credits: gavrilovsergphoto

Hi Sergei, welcome to Lomography Magazine. Share with us something about yourself.

Actually, I’ve been with photography since my early teenage years. My father was a documentary cinematographer and a passionate photographer as well. I remember the order of fixer and magical red light in his darkroom from an early age.

You've been exposed to the analogue routine very early on. What made you fall in love with film photography?

Frankly speaking, I didn’t have any choice because at my young age there was only analogue photography and no digital at all. I was one of the earliest digital adapters for my professional photography but I never quit the analogue. So I always had certain special feelings that analogue is the only real photography.

Credits: gavrilovsergphoto

You capture a lot of portraiture in your work, and in different styles. Can you tell us more about your affinity for portraiture? What draws you to shoot portraits?

I was always about portraiture from the very beginning of my photography journey. We always compare others to ourselves and images help us do so with a special level of intimacy. I am quite a shy person sometimes and portrait photography breaks my boundaries, it is a way for me to make connections with my subjects. Portrait photography is my own special way to know people. I am shooting a lot of glamorous editorial pictures for my job using digital, but film portraits are still magical every time, like when I am waiting for my films to dry in the bathroom.

Credits: gavrilovsergphoto

We really like the cleanliness and crispness of your shots -- any tips for the Community to achieve this as well?

I like things to be sharp and clear, Pictorialism is not my thing. Even there is not sharpness enough in my pics caused by soft optic, I would prefer the grain in the photo to be sharp. The crispness of some of my images is a kind of statement: that is a real thing, a real grain, a real silver, there is no fog or mist in my visual intentions. Usually, I am fond of shooting with sharp lenses but sometimes softness is a way to show something different and more.

What do you usually do first when you're working with your subjects/models?

It is always different, I have no any special way, I prefer not to talk much. I think a lot of words wash out the rapport between me and the subject. I prefer to know people by images, not words. I know it sounds funny but I do believe a picture is worth a thousand words. But at the same time, I always remember that photography always lies, images are not real and they are only our imagination about a subject.

Credits: gavrilovsergphoto

What’s the most important element for you when taking photos?

I like to be as simple as possible. No special poses. In my portrait photography simplicity often means sophistication. Unnatural poses and makeup is not my story.

What inspires you to create?

I always try to find individuality in faces and bodies.

What's next for Sergei Gavrilov?

As the meaning of life is the living itself, so does the meaning of photography is in taking photos.

Credits: gavrilovsergphoto

For more of Sergei’s work, visit his LomoHome.

written by cielsan on 2022-01-01

One Comment

  1. tomsenjo
    tomsenjo ·

    I now know why I like Sergei's portraits so much: they tell stories.

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