To celebrate World Photography Day and visual artists from all over the world, Depositphotos, a content marketplace with over 210 million images, music, and videos, is introducing a new project called “The Photographer’s Way”. Over the next 2 weeks we will present 2 portfolios a week from their selection, this is : Andrey Gudkov.
The project explores what it takes to become a photographer. What stereotypes do artists face during their journeys? How do they cope with personal issues through photography? What helped them expand their boundaries and follow their passion?
A Russian wildlife photographer who takes images of animals in different corners of the world.
I had more falls than victories in my career. Sometimes, I asked myself, “How long do I keep on trying?” This very thought made me want to quit.
Photography was about trial and error for me, because there were no schools or courses to study wildlife photography in the early 2000s. The best I could do was explore the works of famous photographers and analyze every image myself. This was the only educational material available, which is why there were more falls than victories. Sometimes, I asked myself, “How long do I keep on trying?” This very thought made me want to quit.
I’ve been shooting the migration of animals in Africa for 12 years. It took me four years to capture breaching humpback whales, and three years to organize an expedition to Cuba. After three years of trials, we were given permission to visit one of the largest flamingo colonies in the Río Máximo Wildlife Park in Camagüey.
We were able to see and photograph 120,000 Caribbean flamingos. Can you imagine how lucky we were? Cuba is a unique place!
After spending 10 days in the park, I finally captured everything I had in mind. The conditions were far from perfect. I had to walk through a swamp in rubber overalls and was waist-deep in a warm and dirty slurry. The temperature was above 35 degrees Celsius. The air was humid and swarming with mosquitoes. I had to wear clothes that covered every part of my body. If you accidentally exposed a finger, it would look like a red balloon the next day. My face was also covered with a hat.
But this is wild nature, there is nothing refined about it. It’s tough. Real jungles, savannahs, and forests. Real rivers, swamps, and oceans. There are no air conditioners. You are one with nature, attempting to get the best possible shots.
For professional wildlife photographers, these challenges aren’t even challenges. They’re everyday things that are an integral part of our profession. They’re only part of the iceberg.
The beautiful image that ends up hanging at an exhibition is the tip of the iceberg. The main part of it consists of preparing, organizing, budgeting, licensing, shooting, and finding transportation, as well as security. The shot itself is the quintessence of many different things.
In the end, the material about flamingos was named one of the best by National Geographic’s main editorial board in Washington, D.C.
Depositphotos is a leading content marketplace with 210 million royalty-free images, videos, vectors, illustrations, and music. It fosters a community of 100,000 creatives, who submit their works to help clients from 192 countries visualize their ideas. The company’s headquarters are in New York, with offices located in Milan, Kyiv, Moscow, and Limassol.