Today we talked with Irina, a top photographer from Lisbon, Portugal. Irina and her husband have been living and successfully working in Portugal for several years. All the secrets of life and business in Lisbon – in our interview.
Hello, Irina. You and your spouse moved to Lisbon just a few years ago. Tell us how did you come up with that decision? After all, you were successful in Ukraine, in Kyiv?
Good afternoon. The third year has already passed, as we live and work in Lisbon. The decision was not as quickly, as we would like for us: 10 years ago my husband began to travel to Portugal every year for work, we had several vacations in Europe, and with each of our next trips the desire to live in a warm and friendly country by the sea grew in times. At that time, we were only constrained by the development prospects in Kyiv, because we were both successful managers. But, at some point, my husband realized that he had reached a maximum in his field, and we dared to conquer Europe. The spouse was the first to move, since he received the position of engineer in a Portuguese company, and then I came with a cat.
Now you are known as a cool photographer in Portugal, and it is in less than two years. Have you been in photography for a long time?
I started doing photography back in Kyiv, and always believed, that it was an activity for the soul, although it brought income. Therefore, when I moved, I decided to go with the flow, and do what I love. That’s how I became not only a family photographer, but I also work with guests of the city, because I am well versed in Lisbon, I know secret places for wonderful shots and always accompany the walk with interesting facts from the history of Portugal and the life of residents.
You recently had a shoot with the owner of an international marketing company, with a woman about whom Forbes writes – Elvira Gavrilova. Tell us, how did you work?
Yes, working with a professional is always great. Elvira is easy and open in communication, full of energy, and a positive attitude. I believe that due to the friendly atmosphere and well-coordinated work that Elvira set up our team from the first minute, the shooting went perfectly.
What kind of shooting do you like more? Family? Fashion?
My main focus is family photoshoots because I can easily find a common language with children. But, since I am ready for any interesting experiments, fashion photography suddenly burst into my life, and I do not exclude the possibility, that I will be involved in this direction even more.
Tell us about your most unusual shots.
It seems to me that each photoshoot is unique and unforgettable, but now I recall those, that took place in extreme conditions. For example, when a heavy downpour started, and we hardly managed to hide from it, or when there were only 20 minutes for shooting.
Give advice to all those, who want but are afraid to move.
Be open and attuned to a positive outcome. If you can’t move from the first time, try again and again, but do not burn bridges with your homeland. I would advise you to test the soil in advance in the country where you want to move, be interested in the peculiarities of the mentality, legislation, establish contacts with the immigrant community and not be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t you regret that you changed the head chair in favor of a camera?
I don’t have the slightest doubt that I did the right thing, nor do I promise that I will not return to my previous profession.
Do you think the key to your success is a photographer’s talent or proper marketing?
It is a very difficult question for me because in practice it turned out that one talent will not be enough. Marketing is an integral, I would even say, the main component of success.
How did you attract the first customers in Europe?
The first customers were the locals of Portugal, who later became my friends.
Which world celebrity would you like to work with?
I really love the actress Anne Hathaway, and also, I would be happy, if I had shot with Meryl Streep. Well, and also I would dilute this female photoshoot company with Gordon Ramsay’s family.