Meet Igor Sakharov:
Professional Commercial Photographer from Russia
Maestro Igor Sakharov: Renowned Commercial Photographer
Igor Sakharov is one of the best advertising photographers in Russia, winner of many international advertising photography competitions, a member of the Artists’ Union, a member of the Guild of Advertising Photographers, the first and only Russian photographer who received the title of “Qualified European Photographer of advertising”.
He studied and trained in Germany. Total experience in the advertising business – over 15 years. Known as a photographer, capable of completing a shot of any complexity.
We asked Igor to share secrets of his craft with Photigy readers, and here they are: years of experience behind few words…
Try to go into the studio to shoot with an idea in your head or with a sketch in hand. If there is no goal, it will be a waste of time. Press the shutter button only when the picture in the viewfinder has coincided with a picture in your head. In the studio the photographer must think.
Strive to shoot that way so the viewer could read your photograph, let them imagine a short story behind the picture. Opening, development, culmination and conclusion must be present. You have to remember that the audience looks at the photo from left to right and top to bottom, i.e. writes and reads books. Accordingly, for ease of perception, light and composition should be placed the same way. Lighter on the left, darker on the right, lighter on top, darker at the bottom. And remember that the viewer’s eyes are always attracting the brightest spot in the picture. The most important story component of your photograph should be the lightest.
Do not be discouraged if someone does not like your picture. Any visual art is subjective. It is impossible to take a picture that will be liked by everyone. Same as you cannot take a picture that will be disliked by everyone. Each image will have its own audience.
Below Few Secrets From the Master!
Let’s talk a little bit about jewelry photography. Everyone knows that the image is made of a light and shadow, and the shape of the lines. On a black background easier to work with lights, and on white – shadows. The beauty of the light is easier to show on a beautiful product, such as the one below by Anna Nova.
Generally, it is best to photograph jewelry on a dark background, that way bright and colorful background won’t overpower the beauty of a product. In advertising, there is an unwritten rule – the more expensive the product, the darker the background. Shooting black on black is considered to be a top notch.
Use of different textures makes your photograph unusual and helps it to stand out more.
Now let’s talk a little bit about wine. Not always is necessary to fill a glass and place the whole bottle next to it. This shot was created for the Italians as advertising of collectors wine.
I tried to consider collector’s feelings who keeps wine corks as a memory of the wine consumed. Two light sources, Box 150×150 and Pulsospot with 150mm lens.
Let’s talk about woman’s drink – champagne or sparkling wines. This shot I also made on the long exposure, because my medium format back didn’t support multiple exposure mode at the time. To begin, I aimed a Broncolor pulsed light at the glass of champagne, then the glass was replaced with a flower.
In the complete darkness I used a Broncolor light brush for about 20 Sec. When the shutter was closing the strip box was triggered on the champagne glass (which I put in place of a flower) and the light with the honeycomb grid in the background. For the background I used a canvas splattered with paint.
The flower was added to the composition because women are very fond of champagne. Three light sources: Light brush used to highlight the flower.
And in this photo the light brush was used too. Two strip boxes on the sides left the middle of the plant in shadow, and that is where I slightly applied the brush, and also on the top of the wine. Instead of red wine I always use cherry juice without pulp, which I also dilute with water. Red wine is too dense and the light cannot penetrate it.
If you’re not tired yet, then let’s talk today about tea. The viewer’s brain can also be deceived by a color scheme! There is no tea in this photograph, just hot water lit by an orange gel through a pale plastic. In the future, we will have more detail look at the theory of relativity of greatest Albert Einstein. To this date he helps me as a philosopher.
Light sources: Broncolor Lightbar (very thin metal box) was used on the top.
Continue about wine. Here is what was submitted to the French. This shot was born completely accidently: I needed to choose one glass out of the two and was examining curves for possible defects against a box 150x150cm as a background.
Placing one glass behind another I discover and interesting effect caused by distortion, an illusion of a third glass! All that is left to do now is to place a skeleton of the Ikeev leaf into the front glass and place black flags on the sides to preserve the edge of the glasses.
Continuing the theme of drinks. In this photograph I tried to portray the cocktail being cooling and hot at the same time. For this I used the not only the visual range (ice and fire), but also involved the color scheme.
The hot was taking on a long exposure with sync on the first curtain. First you trigger the flash, and then you light a piece of newspaper in the background.
Two light sources: a small box on top, on the back I placed standard reflector with honeycomb grid and blue gel through a pale plastic.
The camera of course was on a tripod. The six seconds exposure was enough. Shooting took place in total darkness, and do not forget the bucket of water, in case you need to put out the paper.
This is what I shot for the advertisement of this chemical beverage. Picture was rotated in Photoshop 90 degrees counterclockwise. Can is lying on transparent glass and assistant pouring mixture from the glass: tinted with potassium permanganate water, acrylic ice and berries.
The can was attached to the glass with tape, after every take we had to wipe the glass from potassium permanganate and berries. Two light sources, box 150x150cm and box 40x80cm and two sheets of white plastic as reflectors.
Speed of the poured mixture was so fast that the Broncolor generator had to be set to a short pulse of 1/7000 sec. We took about 10-15 shots.
That’s actually the peppers themselves. They were taken in an aquarium with mineral water, one strip box and one reflector, peppers bought at the market.
When I chose them, I called the customer and communicated with him over bluetooth device. I raised my head to the counter and see how one vendor pokes another on the side, points at me and twirling a finger at her temple. From the side it looked really funny – a man walking, talking to himself and applying two peppers to each other.
How this shot was done. We had to photograph special footwear, in particular a footwear resistant to aggressive environments. Inside a rubber mat with the walls we poured the mixture of waste engine oil, water and glycerin. Above this mixture, on the fishing line, we hung the boot and began to swing it back and forth.
Fishing line was shortened so the shoe heel touched the mixture creating a wave. All that’s left to do now is to release the trigger in time. The boot was returned back to the client almost in its original condition 🙂