Interview With Maksym Kolotun (Photographer Who Loves To Paint Life)

Maksym Kolotun

Maksym Kolotun

When did you realize you want to pursue photography? Why photography?

When I turned 8, my father gave me my first camera--Smena-8--as a gift. And then in 2006, a family friend came to visit us and showed me a Sony. It was the first digital camera I had ever seen. I fell in love at first sight with the digital world of photography. Later on, I bought my first digital camera, which was an Olympus.

Why photography? It's thanks to photography I see the world through a different sight, differently from other people. It's very interesting and insightful for me to take notice of that which goes unnoticed by most people. 

Your style is very remarkable--ranging from true-to-life to dreamy to fantastic. Who--you and/or the client--decides how the end-result will look like? Or do you have full ownership of your creative direction?

When I have my camera in my hands, I'm the one who has full control over me and my creative process. The client can express their wishes, but I always have the last world. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to convey the beauty in my photographs to the full extent, as I imagine. I wouldn't be able to photograph as well as I could. If you allow the client to take control over you and your creativity, there wouldn't be any art creation coming from your side, you wouldn't be the photographer anymore. Thus, a good photographer always makes all the decisions themselves.

Maksym Kolotun

Maksym Kolotun

When working with a model, do you usually lead them? Or is it a mutual collaboration where anything goes?

The main thing is not to control the model, but at the same time, not to completely go with the flow thinking that everything will go well. Professionalism in this regard means to find mutual ground on an energetic level; that's how a truly remarkable photograph is taken.  

What kind of image-editing software do you use to edit your photographs? Do you spend a lot of time editing your pictures? What is the usual process of doing that?

95% of the time I use Adobe Photoshop. For me, it's the best photo rendering program, of course, if it is properly configured. I try to spend as little time as possible on editing, otherwise, it's not a professional photograph anymore but an average drawing. The only thing I cannot absolutely do without is retouching models, this is where I transgress a bit. 

I usually correct brightness, saturation, and white balance when editing. When it comes to retouching models, it gets more meticulous and technical and I can't do without special filters.

Maksym Kolotun

Maksym Kolotun

Tell us an anecdote of your most favorite photo shoot to date?

This happened when I was in Canada in the summer. On one beautiful summer day, I was taking photographs of squirrels in the Westmount park. I was capturing them in different positions: standing on the front then rear legs, jumping, tumbling, etc. And then out of nowhere, children appear. There were about 10 of them, 5 years of age. They start hugging me and asking me what I'm doing and why I'm laying on the ground. They were all touching my nose, my ears, my hair. I had take a long time to explain to them that I was photographing squirrels, but fortunately, their mothers came to take them away, they were literally sitting on me.

Maksym Kolotun

Maksym Kolotun

Do you prefer shooting outside or in the studio? On an overcast day or during the golden hour?

Personally, I prefer taking photographs outside. I'm a big fan of natural light. I generally dislike anything that's artificial. 

The golden hour, that's great, but you can't always find yourself in the right place at the right time. Thus, I take photographs when possible not without learned skills on how to avoid overbright light during peak sun hours. Likewise, I love it when the sky floats with white, large, fluffy clouds; it definitely adds some dash to the photographs. 

What kind of plans do you have for the future?

I'd like to do my first fashion shooting in Montreal and do a road trip across Canada, see the beauty of this country. 

What kind of advice would you give to aspiring photographers?

Only one: paint photographs with your soul; only then will you find yourself in them.

Maksym Kolotun

Maksym Kolotun

More photographs by Maksym Kolotun:

 

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