From the author
His work splits b/n working for @theo.cottle as lightning assistant and a photographic agency for commercial production.
He shares tips on finding jobs in London as well as what he would like to see as changes in the creative field here in Bulgaria.
Portrait is made by @mat_scott_
Who are you and what do you at the moment?
My name is Petar Petrov (or Pete) and I’m a photography assistant and a photographer (sometimes).
You have mentioned this before in a private setting, but you tell us why you choose to study abroad?
It was a way for me to get out of the country and also look for bigger opportunities, ones that suited my taste as well as my ambitions at the time. I didn’t see much of my future back home, so I decided to go away.
How is London treating you and what is it like to live and work there?
London is… interesting. The buzz of London is very unlike what I was used to before. Busy, full of interesting people, opportunities and places. It’s great at times, but other times is quite difficult. Working here is also certainly very interesting - you meet people from all over the world, all sorts of characters. I love it most of the time but occasionally it gets difficult to keep up with it and keep up with myself too.
In terms of photography opportunities, would share how you find them, what do you do to make it happen and what is photography for you in general?
This is quite a big question. In terms of opportunities - I try and reach out to photographers directly for assisting work, whether email or Instagram. It has worked out a few times, but you’ll find that in a lot of cases the answer will be ‘no’. Most times there is no answer at all. But it can work out. That’s how I got to assist the photographer I mostly work with at the minute. But the best way in my opinion is through mutual connections. You make a good impression to someone, that someone recommends you to somebody else and so on. For me it takes a lot of time and patience as I do struggle socially in a lot of cases. I’m very serious about my work and my work mentality, but networking is definitely not my best.
Photography for me is a way of expression and discovery. In my personal work I use photography to figure out things and find new interests. The photographic process is also fun and I like having it.
But for the work I seem to get myself involved with, photography is much less. It has certain amounts of commercialism which I don’t like in a lot of cases. At the minute is quite confusing and I’m debating within myself this question as I always have that conflict between the work that I see is appreciated in wider medias and the work that I actually want to create.
What are the places you have worked at so far and which one was the place that gave you the most in terms of knowledge and pleasure?
At the minute I have a part - time job as an assistant in a little photo agency where we do primarily commercial work. But the place I’ve got most pleasure and knowledge from, is assisting photographer Theo Cottle for the last year. I work with him mostly on sportswear campaigns as a lighting assistant. Being on set is where I feel most in my element. I love playing with light, seeing how the whole creative process works between the team and helping to make things work more efficiently. I also love being practical and I get to exercise that a lot when working on sets. It’s certainly where I feel most useful and seeing the resulting imagery is very exciting.
Any plans to come back to BG or desires for particular change and if yes, what do you want to be changed or developed further here?
I would love to come back to Bulgaria. It’s my home and blood. But I feel I need to learn more here so that when I come back I can give back that knowledge to the younger generations, fully and confidently. However, I do want to see a few changes - I want people to appreciate creative work more. Considering the amount of extremely talented people we have it’s upsetting to see that creative work is still considered as a bad choice of career by most people based on my observations. Also, I would like to see people being more open-minded. One of the reasons I wanted to experience different cultures is the narrow-mindedness I’ve always been met at home. Even though it makes me sad I really don’t like it and don’t want to be a part of it.
Anything you want to add or say about your practice, people you work with or personal statement... Anything really.
I hate being in the spotlight but I’ll do my best. A little piece of advice to give to anyone who’s looking to go abroad in search of their realization. The three P’s - persistence, perseverance and patience. From my experience I’ve found these three the most important things to remind myself when it can get tough. It feels like a lot at the important times. I remind myself of those has helped me and hope it helps anyone reading this too!
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