You'll have seen Almin doing expert critiques in the magazine as well as here on the blog, but who is he, and how did his passion for photography start? Find out in this interview...
Almin, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how your passion for photography started?
I'm a 23 year old studying Computer Science, but my passion has always been art in the form of photography and videography.
I began studying and practising photography long before I even directed my first video despite photography becoming a side interest second to videography. It all began in high school, with my IT teacher voluntarily presenting us the basics of photography in the spare time that we had after the teaching part of the class. I really have to give props to Mensud Bečar, my teacher, as he really lit a spark in me for photography and gave me a great mould for me to build on in the future.
What are your favourite genres and how do you improve your photography skills?
Personally, my favourite genre is portrait and wedding photography since this is the genre where I'm working as a freelance photographer. Even though these are the genres that I make money from, I never limit myself to only one genre. I love to capture literally everything, ranging from landscapes to street photography to food photography, no limits set at all.
I try to study every genre and it's characteristics so improving my skills starts firstly and foremost by being self critical. I always look at all my photos through the eyes of the viewer. If this is pleasing for my eye, is it pleasing for someone else's too? From that, I try to bring out a photo that will meet everyone's expectation.
What do you think is important when you are just starting out in photography?
Ambition. That's what makes all the difference. It doesn't matter if you don't have a DSLR to start with, I didn't have one myself, but that didn't stop me from wanting to know more, practising what I already knew, and trying something different - all with the limitations of the camera of my mobile phone.
What I'm trying to say is, you have to be ambitious in order to keep improving yourself, because ambition is what drives you to be better. Even if your current gear isn't what you'd like it to be, you can still do wonders if you have a strong desire to learn and maximise your potential.
Can you tell us the story behind this photo?
This photo carries some strong messages. I was walking along with my friend on a cloudy February day in a suburban area of my town where it really isn't densely populated. The monotonic and partially depressing everyday life of the older folks living in this house really was able to fit inside of a camera frame. It features only the essentials, and that is what this photo is.
You are providing reviews for our community members, how do you go about providing a critique?
The first rule is to give someone a boost of confidence by providing them with all the things that they have done correctly. This is very important. It's always encouraging to give someone a detailed explanation of all the things that they did well and it's for this reason that this rule goes first. It's easier for someone to accept criticism of what's not good about a photo after they know what they did well. This brings us to our next rule which is introducing our members to the negatives things about the photo, but in a gentle way. We don't want anyone to feel discouraged which is why the last and the final rule is to provide practical ways that someone can improve their photography next time they're out.
How can people do a quick review of their own photos?
Well, I'd say start with fundamentals. Ask yourself Is my composition on point? Is the photo overexposed? Underexposed? Is it symmetrical? These are just a small handful of these question, but you get the idea. If the fundamentals are alright, your next question should be about the message of the photo. Does my photo carry a strong message? Does it 'touch' the audience in a unique way?
You can find and follow Almin's profile on Excio here: http://albums.excio.io/profile/Almin