Critique

Portfolio: Ivan Orlov

Today in Portfolio series meet a Moscow photographer, Igor Mukhin’s pupil, who had no doubts in his choice.


Ivan Orlov, 30

Born and resides in Moscow. A student at Rodchenko Art School (Moscow), instructor Igor Mukhin. Also studied for-profit photography at Moscow Polytechnic College (Mossovet) and TV journalism at the Moscow Institute of Modern Art. Exhibited his works in Moscow, Minsk and Vienna. Published in Stolichnaya Evening Newspaper, Rossiyskaya Newspaper, Trud, Aktsiya, and Trade Secret (Sekret Firmy) magazine.

In 2001, my mom brought me a 3-megapixel Olympus from Vienna. At the time, I thought I’d be doing web-design and use the photographs as decorations for my websites.

After a year and a half of studying in the TV journalism department at the Institute of Modern Art, I took an academic leave as I had difficulties studying and I hated exams. I had no skills at the time, but I thought, why not try being a photographer? So I came to get a job at Kodak. They gave me a ten-page test. On page five I went out for a smoke, had a smoke and went home.

I chose about 40 of my pictures and started going around to editorial offices with them. I remember coming to Afisha and even to the Zhyzn newspaper. In spring 2003, by virtue of some miracle, as I was very inexperienced, I was employed as a freelance photoreporter at the Stolichnaya Evening Newspaper. I learned on the fly, and it was going well. My co-workers told me they liked my photographs. I had about 20 shoots a month. Later, they gave me the equipment: a modern DSLR Canon and four top lenses to go with it. Unrelated to the job, I quickly started having psychological problems, so I had to stop working. And the newspaper was shut.


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_01.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From the «Metro» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_02.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From the «Metro» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_03.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From the «Metro» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_04.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From the «Metro» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_05.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From the «Metro» series”}

I never doubted that photography was my thing, but neither was I entirely sure. In both the very beginning and now I simply shoot for the sake of shooting. I don’t need to look for reasons or pass any kind of tests to be a photographer.

I capture the things I find interesting. If I feel uncomfortable during the shoot I can stop it. I can take five and sit on a bench. Or got to sleep. Or listen to a song.

I like it when I can make an idea come to life. I’m good at shooting from the hip. I don’t like solving ethical dilemmas: is it ok to shoot this? is it ok to publish this?

Sometimes there is nothing to capture, and then you have this eternal search for meaning… And sometimes you run out of film when you least expect it. Or your battery dies. A brick may fall on your head.


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_06.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_07.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_08.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_09.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_10.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_11.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_12.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_13.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_14.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_15.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_16.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Quiet Department» series”}

It makes me angry that I can’t earn decent money with photography yet, enough so that I could make a living with it. No one buys my prints, or showers a stream of invitations to shoots, or even organizes exhibitions of my work.


{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_17.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_18.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_19.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_20.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_21.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_22.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_23.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_24.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_25.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_26.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_27.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_28.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_29.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_30.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_31.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_32.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_33.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_34.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_35.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_36.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_37.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_38.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_39.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”},
{“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Orlov_40.jpg”, “alt”: “”, “text”: “From «The Man and the Sea» series”}

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