A wedding photoshoot abroad is different from the one in your motherland, both for the photographer and the couple. Igor Shevchenko, a photographer from TOP15WEDDING told us about his personal journey in the wedding industry and working experience in Europe.
How did you start shooting?
After a successful career and constant studying, I decided it’s time to take a rest and live for myself. Luckily, I had enough savings that allowed me to dedicate a few years to traveling and enjoying life. I bought a camera, but the photos didn’t turn out well. Friends were telling me to take up some classes, but as a non-artistic person, I didn’t take it seriously. Yet as I had enough free time, I ended up taking some courses. Master classes, personal lessons, photoshop courses have borne fruit.
What has led you to the level that you are currently on?
I started with shooting portraits, visited some festivals, and even won second place in the biggest Ukrainian competition among amateur portrait photographers. Little by little friends started asking me to photograph their weddings. Usually, I would agree, but to shoot a wedding for a portrait photographer has somehow seemed embarrassing – wedding photography wasn’t for me. I used to think so until a certain turning point. I visited a master class of a photographer, who had a burning enthusiasm for wedding photography. The energy and mood transferred to me. I had reviewed everything from a new perspective and as I have a marketing degree, I made a plan of step-by-step development. And it ended up giving certain results. Constant analysis and economic perspective on my work allowed me to reach a significantly high level pretty fast.
How did you start shooting weddings in Europe?
To shoot weddings abroad seemed like a fairytale to me. To photograph somewhere you need a portfolio of works from that region. Basically, that’s why I ended up signing up for a workshop in Rome. It played a major role in my future projects in Europe. I was able to shoot in the region and was getting requests for small projects through a special resource. My first full-fledged wedding was in France: the buffet wasn’t big, but I was able to visit a few towns. When my photos started to differ, I would try to get on big projects as a second photographer. I was able to work with some top photographers in the industry. I perfectly felt the moment and complemented the “staged” photographers, and from them, in turn, I adopted the necessary and missing qualities.
What did your collaboration with Vogue UA give you?
I can’t say that it was a full collaboration. Vogue UA published a photo from a wedding of a famous Ukrainian football player, where I was the photographer. Perhaps for some clients publications of my works in Vogue will be an additional bonus. But for now, that hasn’t made any significant changes.
Is a wedding photoshoot abroad more expensive? What does the price consist of?
Yea, I have a separate price list for that. It’s due to the fact that I have to spend a few days on such shootings, and additional spendings as flights, accommodation, food, etc. If earlier shootings abroad used to be simply an inspiration for me, now my price list corresponds to the quality of work and the final result.
Who looks for interesting locations for a wedding photoshoot abroad?
In general, most of the wedding photoshoots happen to be as follows: morning of the groom and bride, restaurant, and portrait photography. As such, ‘interesting locations’ - is an additional shooting. That’s why there is usually no request for interesting spots, as it is mostly impossible to shoot there on the wedding day.
In which countries have you already worked?
Most often it was Italy, Montenegro, France, Portugal. Mostly Europe. There is also such a moment – I am afraid to fly, so 4 hours flights are my maximum.
Which country is your favorite?
My country is probably Italy. I even wanted to move there but understood that I love Kyiv more. I can live in a country for a certain period, but I no longer consider moving anywhere. Italians are too emotional, sometimes you may find it tiring, but I adore their ease, enjoyment of life. It’s seen in every detail: it’s how they talk, drink, for instance. They have a different system of values, they focus less on problems, and I love it.
What are the possible problems one may face when shooting abroad?
It’s important to understand where you are allowed to photograph and where you are not. In some countries, you may be asked to show your working permission on popular locations. And in some places, authorities may come to a wedding and check if all professionals are working officially. It’s also important to know the location: understand where the light would be, the sunset. It’s better to check it 1-2 days before the photoshoot.