We discover this young talented photographers thanks to our
photographer's contest running on our magazine. Since I had the chance
to see his photos, I just felt in love with this young photographer's
work. What really catch me, on his work, was his gentle way to portray
women....with no clothes on!! Seems OK, but is not, always so easy to
remain gentle and glamour at the same time. Watching and watching again
at his work, it remanded me a great mix of two contemporary master's
photography style, Helmut Newton and the fashion- portrait photographer
Peter Lindbergh. Yes discovering Alex work it comes in my mind this
great style mix. On his photos I was able to catch the personality of
the model and at the same time a touch of glamour, melting together on
the same image and ending on Alex Machev photography style. We had also
the chance to interact with this artist, to discover a bit closer his
vision and maybe catch some interesting tips about his photo style.
Looking at your portfolio, we can admire so many nude beauties, but
the feeling a receive at the first sight is not at all a sexual mood. This is what happens in all your shots. They are super glamour and even a
bit provocative position some times, but at the same time they do not an
intense sense of excitement, they are more elegant than provocative. Is this the kind of feeling you are looking for.
I've always tried to show the woman as natural as possible without anything
extra. The energy I'm looking for is for the girl or woman in the
picture to look as if they do not know they are being shot. I made them
imagine that it was just another Sunday. That they were just being
themselves and in being naked, demonstrating their free spirits and
Your models, even completely nude act like they are totally comfortable with no dress on. Is this a model's ability or is it you, that somehow are able to eliminate any kind of barrier between you and them?
With every girl I'm about to photograph, I always try to get to know her as much as I possibly can, so she can get comfortable with my presence. This can happen over a cup of coffee or wine. Of course there is always a slight discomfort at the beginning of the
sessions, but the wine is always there to help me. In order for the
model not to feel as though this is a gynecological examination, the
photo sessions take place in stages. At first, I photograph the girl
dressed lightly, then in lingerie or with some transparent fabrics that
predispose her to what follows. Every one of them is familiar with the
aesthetics of my photos, and they are in the right emotional state in advance.
I definitely am very interested to know how come you decided to use just black/withe on your photos.
I've always said that in this kind of photography you don't need color
because it distracts the audience from the main subject of the picture. When you have black-white photography you can sense what the feelings and emotions of the picture are, and they somehow look like a memory from a past life.They are deeply melancholic.
Related to the previous question, how does it take to create an intimate mood to make the model to feel comfortable with no dress on if front of your lens? Do you need a long term relationship or you can create quite immediately?
It is very important to meet with the girl I'm about to shoot beforehand, so I can get to know her, and so she can get used to my presence. So during the filming we are no longer just strangers and the first layer of the ice is actually melted.
During the filming, so that the model relaxes, I get a lot of help from
my close partners — wine and pleasant music. A cozy environment must be created in which she feels secure and confident.And, of course, the
photo session with me is an experience that most girls go through for
the first, and maybe for the last time, and this definitely creates a
How are the Alex Manchev pictures created? Do you have an idea and then looking for the relative model to fit the story, or is the model itself
that inspire you for the photo section?
Mainly I improvise ...I choose the girl. Then look for an interesting interior with a vintage look and when we get there I start putting the model in different positions and poses according to the atmosphere in the place we are shooting in.
Do you make woman portraits or body portraits?
I would say that my pictures are more like an emotional portrait of a woman. The
female body in my photos is a bearer of feelings. The position it
occupies speaks about the emotional state of the woman. Very often they
ask me "why naked ?" and I respond — so that all the masks fall off and in order for the woman to be herself, she must first come out of her comfort zone"
I noticed that in your work we can not really focus on model's face, some way somehow their faces are always kind of hidden. Is there any reason for?
There are many reasons why ... My career started in Bulgaria (a post-communist country) where prejudices and stereotypes dominate the environment. I did not want the girls to suffer any consequences because
they have chosen to believe in my art. The other reason is that many of my clients are women, and they want to buy the art to see the actual
feeling of a woman, but without seeing the persona of the woman itself,
so that they can imagine themselves in her stead.
How is important the location graphic for your work? Could you be able to shoot without a graphical Architectural Environment!
I always said that about 30% of the impact of my photos comes from the interior or exterior portrayed in the background. Every picture starts with the energy of the interior, the mood that it creates. I usually look for interesting Airbnb apartments when I travel because it's the easiest way to find vintage interiors. Sometimes with the help of my friends I also shoot in old buildings or old houses.
Please let us know which one is your model's approach to make her star in your shooting?
The Muses surround us and you just have to be able to see them. I find muses every day on the street, on facebook, on Instagram.The first step is always for her to fascinate me with her appearance, but I'm not looking for just beautiful empty packs, but women with unique emotionally and deep thinking. Unfortunately, It often happens for me to like some girl purely visually, but for our perceptions and visions not to match and in these cases she simply can not become my muse and maybe here's a good place for me to mention my favorite quote from The Little Prince: "You're beautiful, but you're empty".
Alex, have you ever had models taking off clothes for the first time in their life in front of your camera?
Absolutely! Most of the girls in my pictures were posing for the
first time, not just nude ... it was their first photo shoot at all. I always explain to them that this shoot will be a once in a lifetime experience. I will capture them as they are. I'm going to show their current emotional state through their beautiful bodies.
Do you need to have a total control during the photo shooting by directing the model in any detail, or you let them express them self?
It's a magic combination between letting them express themselves and being in control of the pictures as a whole.
Is it glamour photography your main professional goal in life, and do
you have enough commission to just remain into art photography?
Well, I used to be a fashion photographer, but for the last 3 years I'm only into art photography . I sell framed limited edition photography and prints. It has been hard at first, but now I have more and more clients worldwide.
Bio and technical information
age 31, living : Sofia Bulgaria study: National Academy of Arts - arts photography, special classes related to photography.
camera using Canon 6d lense using mostly ff24/105 mm
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