name: Teodor Peevski
profession: cameraman/video editor, amateur photographer
current location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Mokuso: Tell us what do you photograph? Do you like it?
Teodor Peevski: My personal work is street and skateboard photography. I have super fun.
М: Is there a direction in which you want to turn?
T.P: Photojournalism and photographs with social content draw my attention recently and I am thinking more and more in this direction. This doesn’t mean of course that I will put skate and street photography behind me and switch entirely.
М: What is it to shoot street extreme sports and street portraits? What do both give you? And what do one need to know and do in both cases?
T.P: The thing they have in common is the street, the difference is in my approach I suppose. When I go out to shoot I don’t know what awaits me from the moment I step out of the house. Even if I walk and shoot on the same routes everyday is different aswell as the people that I meet, this is why street photography moves me so much – you never know what’s behind the next corner.
With skating things started long before I started taking pictures. I was a young skater and I remember when I first read Move (the first bulgarian skate magazine) and saw the pictures of Martin Chichov everything about them looked so interesting – the angles, the lenses (he was shooting from a short distance), he used flashes and although I didn’t understand a thing about skate photography I was already interested in it, I couldn’t wait for the next issue to come out. Later Boulevard started to be published and there it was the photography of Dolores Alvarado – her photographs will always be a good example to me.
So I can say my first inspiration are bulgarian skate photographers, not the ones from the States. Skateboarding is the coolest thing and the reason I shoot it is very simple – I simply love it from the first day, it doesn’t matter if I will go out skating or photographing – the pleasure is equal.
М: How did skateboarding influenced your work?
Т.P: I skate for 15 years now and I was very serious about it for a long period of time, recently I don’t have that much time to skate, but I still do it with friends whenever I can. I can say for sure it influences my skate photography in a good way. Very often when I see a skate picture I can tell if the photographer is a skater or has a glimpse on the subject.
М: When did you begin shooting and actually liking your photos?
Т.P: I started taking pictures more than 5 years ago, it took me 2 years to like a photo for the first time and maybe then I started being more serious about photography.
М: Does the equipment matter? In which case it is very specific and important?
Т.P: I think equipment should be considered more like an instrument that helps us to accomplish a certain goal. When I shoot on the streets I prefer one camera and one lens. I love the camera to be unobtrusive and small sized, so that it doesn’t attract too much attention and, although not very often, it happens that I shoot also with my phone camera. When I know I am shooting to print I need detail and resolution so I carry my larger DSLR, sometimes even two, a couple of lenses, flashes and tripods.
М: What emotions and thoughts devour you when you take pictures?
Т.P: When I shoot my personal things I try not to think, I don’t like analysing. If I shoot in the streets and think about it – to do it or not – I don’t push the button and a second later the scene has changed and I’ve missed the person and the shot. I love to let things happen and this works for me. I leave the thinking for later when I look trough the pictures, choose and retouch them.
М: What was your first printed publication and what is the difference between printed and online publications?
Т.P: My first printed publication was in an english magazine – black and white street shot from a series of people and trains, I don’t think the magazine still exists. I think every photographer should be happy to see his/hers work in print – it simply is a different feeling and you know the shot has longer life and probably stays there for longer. Whereas in online editions or social media the work “sinks”, often after a week it’s difficult to find or remember something, let alone after a year or so – all the information and pictures, that are constantly shared, are for me somehow cuttered, and therefore quickly forgotten.
М: You used to live abroad for some time. Tell us about what’s different there in your work sphere, is it better or not?
Т.P: I lived abroad for 2 years. I worked a low-paid and physical job, that taught me much – mostly what not to do and to not misspend my time, especially in exchanging health for money. I am happy this period is over and that I am here now and have the opportunity to work what I love.
М: Do you think that attitude towards photography in Bulgaria should change and why?
Т.P: From my position of an enthusiast I think we have a lot of very talanted photographers. I would like to see and be able to buy more books of bulgarian photographers, even though publishing here right now is not very easy. Respectively I would like to visit more exhibitions – solo or collective – and last but not least more social photography. I believe that everything is yet to come and things start happening better.
М: Who are the consumers of your photos?
Т.P: My personal stuff I shoot for myself, I do it ‘cause it brings me happiness. It’s cool of course when I get positive feedback from people. I have pictures published in Kingpin, Sidewalk – skate magazines that no longer exist as print media, I worked also for RedBull. Up to this point I don’t earn enough from photography that’s why I work as cameraman and video editor.
М: Future artistic plans and the place for self-promotion:
Т.P: I will keep photographing what really excites me. Pictures should say more about their authors and in this line of thinking – if my pictures say nothing to the people it means I’m nowhere.
М: Give some advice to the people who start to shoot now.
Т.P: I don’t like to give advice, not least because I don’t have enough for myself. Recently I keep saying to myself it’s good to take your photography and work seriously and yourself not that much, this is my advice maybe. The rest is clear – don’t stop photographing and when you feel you are a bit tired shoot a little more.