Hi Andris, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a self-taught, professional wedding and nature photographer from Riga, Latvia. I’ve been a photographer for seven years now and have photographed about 53 weddings in Latvia and abroad. I’ve worked on many local and international projects in various photography genres and have been a part of many exhibitions in Latvia and Russia.
How did you get into photography?
I got into photography eight years ago. I was studying Public Relations at university when I realized that that was not what I wanted to do for a whole lifetime and that I need an artistic outlet to express myself. So I found photography: a whole new creative world full of experiments and endless possibilities. I took a risk – I dropped out of university and started to learn everything about photography. I never once looked back and now seven years later I am where I wanted to be and I am doing what I love to do the most. As they say : ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life!’
What are some of your favourite things to photograph?
I absolutely enjoy photographing nature because of its wildness. It is the only subject in a photography that you can’t adjust – it’s the way its supposed to be and you are the one who has to adjust to it. You can adjust people in pictures to your absolute liking, you can arrange things in a street photography, but nature stays the way it is and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Has Instagram changed the way you photograph?
Instagram hasn’t changed my ways of taking pictures, but it has definitely changed the way I showcase my work. For me Instagram is just that – a platform for showcasing my work on a larger scale to a larger audience. I carefully choose pictures I want to publish and think about the overall design so that my profile is aesthetically pleasing.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by the world around me, the music I listen to, the places I visit and the people I meet and associate with. I think that everything you experience, whether it is good or bad, becomes a potential canvas for creativity. You can create and achieve anything and there are no limitations. Creativity and inspiration is all around us.
What do you think makes a good photo?
A good photo has a soul. No matter the subject, you need to have a strong feeling that you put into the photo. A good picture with a good composition and a good story evokes emotion in viewers, the viewer sympathizes and relates to it. That is what I think is a good picture – it’s a story, a feeling and composition.
What do you want to say with your photographs, what message do you want to convey?
When a person looks at my work, I want that person to feel the same emotions I felt when taking the picture. To connect on a deeper level and to let the feelings flow.
What motivates you to continue taking photographs?
The prime motivation is the unknown, because nothing is set in stone and you can never predict what comes next. The calendar is there to put all your plans down, but every shot is something absolutely new, every person you meet has his own story and every place you go has something entirely new, unfamiliar. All these things combined give me motivation to go on with this creative adventure and at every project I’m constantly trying to push to the limit.
How do you find subjects that you want to take photos of? For example, do you travel to locations you know you’ll find appealing, or take pictures as you experience life?
I like to capture my experience in every subject, no matter whether it’s a person or a place. I want to show my emotions and connection towards the subject. For example, some of my favorite portraits are of my friends, because I have strong feelings towards these people, we have a certain kind of bond. In result, the pictures are better, in my opinion, more personal. Another thing, as I mentioned before – nature, new places I go to, traveling.
Do you have a favourite project you worked on, or a series that you’re most proud of?
The most favourite project is definitely my Faroe Islands series. It was a place I really wanted to go to for three years and when I finally made it happen, it felt absolutely surreal. The pictures I took there are by far some of my best I have ever taken and I feel proud about them.
Among your photos, which are your favourite(s) and why?
My absolute favorite one is the portrait of my late grandfather. It’s a black and white portrait which tells a story about the life of an experienced and broken man. He played a huge role in my life as I was growing up, because my father died and he taught me everything that a man needs to know. When I first got into photography he was there to support me, he believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. So because of all these things, the picture, which is one of the last ones of him, means the most to me.
And finally, what is on the cards for you in the future?
One of my goals is to travel and tell my story on the go. I think it is crucial to travel, because it is the most efficient way to recharge your creativity. Yeah, travel more, further, to cross off more places on my bucket list. An exhibition of my works would be pretty amazing, too. Everything else? We’ll see, I am open to whatever life throws my way.