My name is Mariya, I’m originally from Bulgaria, but at the moment I’m based in Luxembourg. I’m originally working as a Graphic Designer, but I’ve always liked to take photos. I specifically fell in love with Analogue photography around five years ago.

I love to take photos in the cities I usually live in, when I travel and I also like to take portraits, but unfortunately this year I haven’t been able to take as many portraits as I’d like, since we get hit by a worldwide pandemic…

Since I’m working as a designer and have experience with web design, few years ago I’ve decided to combine my love for analogue photography and what I do for a living and I’ve created a website dedicated to analogue photography – 

On the website I publish the work of people from all over the world, we also have a blog section and instagram account.

I’m currently renewing the website and I’m planning to develop it further and add more people on it.

What are the rules of your photographic work?

I’m not sure if there are specific rules that I follow.

Sometimes I have an idea how I want the photo to look like, sometimes it is just a feeling and just being present in the moment.

Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes the difference?
I’m not a fan of heavily editing a film photo. Sometimes I change the exposure, or the contrast, but that’s about it.

Since I shoot on film, I like to take photos with the camera itself and let the camera, lens a certain film and the light to do their magic.

A technique that I use is, trying to take the photos at a specific time of the day, which of course it’s not always possible, but as a lot of photographers, I love the light during golden hour.

Tell us about an experience that definitely changed the way you work and made you grow.
At the moment I’m working on creating my own photo prints, which is completely new to me and I’m really excited to start doing it.

It’s definitely not that easy and you need time until you perfect your colours on the print, but it’s really exciting to learn and I’m considering it as a next step in my film photography journey.

At some point, I’d really like to do an exhibition with my photos, but that is a next step for me.

Was there ever a difficult situation? How did you react? Tell us.

I don’t work professionally as a Photographer, nor I work with clients, so I don’t remember a specific situation where I had some difficulties. Maybe something I find difficult is to ask strangers on the street if I can take their portrait.

I always feel embarrassed to do it, but the times I had the courage to do it, it turned out great.

Note to myself: Do this more often 🙂

How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?

Before I take a photo I usually observe the object or the scenery.

Really often when I’m just taking a walk around the city, I get inspired by something and I want to snap a photo of it.

I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.

Usually like to take just one photo of a certain object, or scenery. I know that a lot of photographers won’t agree with me, but that’s how I like to do it.

Maybe an exception will be when I’m taking portraits of someone, but even there I do 3 to 5 shots and that’s it. I don’t like to have one roll just with the same portraits. Analogue is not like digital photography, where you take 100 photos of the same thing and you don’t really care how many you did.

I’m not sure if this will be useful to anyone, but just take your time when you are taking a photo. Look closely at what you are taking a photo of, select your composition, be sure to nail that focus (sometimes that’s tricky I know, especially to someone like me, that needs to wear glasses :D) and then take the photo.

Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?

At the moment I’m using 8 or 9 cameras, or at least I’m trying to use all of them.

One of my favorites is the classic Canon AV-1 with a 50mm lens, which I have since I started shooting film, few years ago and it’s still my favourite.

Another camera that I love is the Yashica Mat 124G. I love medium format and at the moment I’m trying to get better at it. Favourite film at the moment is Kodak Ektar 100, I just love the colours that this film has.

Are there any books you would recommend?

The book I’d like to recommend is called “The Photographer’s Playbook.” It consists of different Photography challenges which you can do.

They are all listed by different photographers and let you experiment with different techniques. If you’d like to challenge yourself as a photographer and try something new, I highly recommend it.

What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?

I guess a lot of creative people will understand me when I say that sometimes you lose your inspiration and it takes time until you get it back. I get inspired by music, a beautiful movie, or a book.

Sometimes I get inspired by simply taking a stroll around the city, or in nature and I just start observing what’s around me and try to be in the present moment as possible, taking it all in, almost every time there will be something that will inspire me to take a photo. That’s why you should never forget to bring your camera with you, when you leave the house. 🙂

Mariya Todorova