Born and brought up in Moscow, Kirill Bashkirov received a cultural shock when he shifted to Spain in the 90s. Kirill specialises in portrait and event photography, but finds himself comfortable with fashion and landscape as well. Presently he is the official photographer for Albeniz Foundation and Queen Sofia Superior School of Music. Apart from this, Kirill also talks to us about his interest with e-sport event and games. Read on his interview to know more about his life and journey.
View Kirill’s portfolio at Kirillbashkirov.com
1. Share with us a little about your early life. You mention a ‘Culture Shock’ – how has the journey from Moscow to Spain been?
I traveled to Spain in the very early 90s, just after the Soviet Union fell apart, so the change was big. Although the education my parents gave me wasn’t “pro soviet” or “pro / anti anything”, the change was very big in general mentality of kids my age (10-11yrs). This and the language barrier didn’t help me to have a good time in my early years here, but I was lucky to study some years in an international school where my life started getting normal.
2. Did your early photographic goals include earning a living from photography, or did it start as a way to merely express yourself in a creative manner?
Once I took my fathers´ amateur semi/compact 35mm film camera, bought a B&W film and went taking pictures on the street. I still keep some of those pictures, since it all started then. I had no idea what I was doing then, I was just having fun!
3. You have achieved the Superior Image Technician Degree. How has that helped you in your career? Do you believe attaining a degree is a necessity as a photographer?
Although, I never imagined becoming a photographer until I actually became one. I just liked to capture moments. I achieved the Superior Image Technician Degree but never went to take the diploma. People ask me, if it is necessary today, and I truly think that it is not. Talent, will, internet and some money is what you need to become a photographer today!
4. You’ve been involved with many different genres like portraiture, photojournalism, fashion and landscape. Which one do you identify with the most and why?
I feel incredibly comfortable in portraiture and event photography. My portraiture tends to be very commercial and I really enjoy making my non-fashion clients look worth for a fashion editorial. My web portfolio is mainly oriented to portraits but I have recently expanded it to showcase some of my event photos.
There is a second side to my work which is completely opposite to the classical music world, it´s all about e-Sports events, gaming and cosplay. This can´t fit on the same website so we have created a brand, www.hellogam3r.com. This is a great showcase of heavy commercial photoshop work and quality event photography.
5. What kind of equipment and lenses do you use?
Right now I use 2x Canon 5D Mark III for event assignments (silent shutter mode, yes!). It’s important to waste the least time swapping lenses. I’ve got 4 prime lenses, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 100mm, and I use my f2.8 zooms, ranging from 16mm to 200mm. Here is a tip – always use prime when you can!
6. How important is it for photographers especially those selling their work, to have an online presence ?
Online presence is highly important today unless you are already established as pro and have lots of clients. I learned that to have a clear and focused portfolio really helps out. Social media is very important, although I am a much better photographer/retoucher than a community manager.
7. Could you give a piece of advice to photographers who find them in your shoes?
Never stop! This is my best advice. I mean, enjoy what you do, change styles or work areas, don’t get bored and experiment different techniques. Maintain the need to keep improving, it’s the key for progress!
8. How has your experience with Pixpa.com been?
Pixpa has helped me for some years now, themes just got better, admin interface improved a lot and as I mentioned before, a clean and focused portfolio is very important and I created it in minutes with Pixpa. I really hope you guys keep working on it and improving client experience.