TIFA 2022 Interview with Michael Dorohovich
1st Place winner in Fine Art, Professional, “Life On A Prosthesis.”
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. How did you develop a passion for photography?
I started taking photographs at the age of 15, when I studied at the Art College of Arts. I immediately fell in love with photography and devoted all my free time to it. At the age of 18, I started working in the local editorial office of the newspaper, where I got a lot of practice in reportage photography, although I was always drawn to artistic photography, which I eventually plunged into with my head …
Q: Could you provide more details about how you captured this award-winning photograph? What was the main idea behind it, and how did you go about constructing it?
This photo was born during the project “Famous and interesting personalities of Transcarpathia”, where I found the most interesting personalities of our region and one of these was Tatyana Litus – a ceramics artist and a very strong-willed person! Tatyana is a very open person and I offered to shoot her naked, like many other heroes of my project, to which she agreed. It was hard for Tatyana to stand on one leg for a long time, because the prosthesis was kept on her thigh without a special garter, which we removed in order not to interfere with unnecessary details in the frame. She was holding the hand of her husband, who is not in the frame, but his presence is felt through the hand of support … I was very pleased with the result when I saw this frame, she conveyed the true story of this couple!
Q: What does it mean to you to get this award?
This award is a great honor for me, which inspires me to create and gives me more confidence that I am on the right track. Such awards help not to give up in difficult times, but to move forward!
Q: Photography is a great medium for communicating various messages to people. What are your thoughts on this tool and how do you use it?
Yes, photography is a very powerful tool with which we can influence the world, reveal important problems of society, teach people to respect, compassion and take action to improve this world.
Q: What one thing do you wish you had known before you started taking pictures?
Since childhood, I dreamed of high mountains, mountaineering, traveling to the most remote points of our planet, but I still managed to connect mountain travel with photography. I visited the highest peaks of the Caucasus, Pamir, Tien Shan, Kamchatka, Altai, Alps and Carpathians and recorded all my travels in photographs.
Q: Could you tell us what photography gear you personally like to use?
Two years ago, I switched to the Fujifilm mirrorless camera system because of its compactness, especially the lenses, which was very important for me when working with people who paid less attention to photographic equipment, the dimensions of which affected the psychological state of the person you are shooting! When a photographer shows up with big cameras and lenses, many people can’t fully relax and open up, which often affects the final result of the shoot.
Q: What would you say are some essential tools for new photographers?
Beginning photographers often spend a lot of money on a top camera body, leaving no money for good optics, which is very important for creativity and self-discovery as an artist. Therefore, I recommend focusing on a good lens, even better, a few that will untie your hands and you will feel real pleasure from the world of photography … And the matrix is a secondary thing that is needed in creating a good photo.
Q: Whose work has had the greatest impact on you?
I was very impressed by Jatenipat Ketpradit’s “People of the Omo Valley”, “Reign of the Eagle Hunters”. His works are very saturated with cultural content and color.
Q: What are your future plans? Do you have any exciting projects going on right now that you could tell us about?
There is a war in Ukraine now, a very difficult time, so I live more for today, with faith in a peaceful future! But this year I would like to shoot one project, the high-mountainous inhabitants of the Carpathians, who have remained traditions and culture unchanged for many years. I would be very happy if I could realize this shooting.
Q: If you had limitless funds for a dream project, what would you do?
I dream of Patagonia and if I had such an opportunity, I would be very happy to take pictures of the mountain inhabitants of this beautiful area of our land! This would truly be my dream project!