With the questions in this section I try to reach the person behind the camera, the heart and soul behind the photos. Today I present to you Orleff. And since I’m biased, I’ll stop here for Orlin to continue.
Here is how he presents himself:
“My name is Orlin Nikolov and I am a concert / music photographer. I love music and I try to keep the excitement of meeting favorite bands in my photos.
All this madness overwhelmed me ten years ago, when I realized that two of my hobbies – music and photography, actually can not reallly do without each other. After all, every artist wants to show himself in the best way. Then I started shooting in small clubs, at first mostly local bands, a lot of people encouraged me. Over the years I managed to gain many contacts, which took me to the photo pit of the biggest concerts in our country and the coolest European festivals.
The site I have been dedicated to for the last 6 years is RockTheNight.eu. In addition to concert photography, you will find information about the most interesting albums / singles / videos, a concert calendar with every great show in our country, the biggest western festivals and many other interesting and useful topics. “
How does photography sound and what does music look like to you?
My photography is loud, indecent, provocative – sticking its middle finger right in your face. It can sound like a small and almost unknown band in a smoky club, it can also be in a huge stadium, where tens of thousands of voices merge into one.
But it can also be immersive, personal and lyrical. It can be hidden in the strings of a lone acoustic guitar, or in the voice of a girl singing about lost love.
Music – it’s always exciting, it makes you goosebumps, sing out loud or cry. Music is everywhere, it is the background of our daily lives, it is the focus of our holidays. Music is life.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I don’t seem to have much free time (except for the last two years). I like to travel a lot, I like to visit new places and meet a lot of new artists. I love the thrill of preparing for a big festival – the ritual cleaning of the lenses, the arranging of cards and batteries, packing all the luggage…
And when I’m here – I love spending time with my son, he is almost 10 and is already a big man, every day I wonder how fast children grow. I love listening to music – it is not only the background of my daily life, I look forward to each new single and album of favorite artists.
Tell us interesting events from the concerts you are photographing
There are hundreds of interesting and sometimes risky situations. Sometimes it’s exciting – like standing 2 meters from Chris Cornell and forgetting to shoot, completely engrossed in this giant. Sometimes it’s stressful – like losing your phone at a big festival 1000 km from Sofia. Or drop a large mug of beer on your camera. Sometimes you can’t believe your eyes – when Queen Brian May writes you an e-mail that he chose your photo for the poster for his tour, or when Shinedown vocalist Brent Smith goes down to the photo pit and shakes hands with each photographer. Every concert is exciting, every meeting with a big star enriches my worldview.
What is good photography for you?
A photograph is good when it has soul. When you “hear” it. When she makes you remember exactly that moment from the concert, when she kept that perfect moment. However, I’m quite critical (not only) of my staff, I always want the technical execution to be up to par. And although I know that for the viewer it does not matter whether I focused correctly, whether the composition is good and whether I have correctly selected a bunch of technical parameters, I tend to abandon a frame if something is wrong.
Recommend us a movie / book
“Yesterday” by Danny Boyle. A film that takes us to a world where no one has heard of The Beatles, only the main character Jack knows that they existed and remembers their songs. And is on his way to becoming a big star. It was broadcast in cinemas in Bulgaria under the name “Yesterday is for yesterday” in 2019. Book – I am currently looking forward to the biography of Faith No More “Small Victories”
What are you dreaming about, Orly?
Against the background of the current world – I dream of peace. I dream of forgetting about the pandemic. I wish we had more concerts by really big artists. There is a category of superstars that we can’t even dream of seeing on Bulgarian soil – it’s obviously impossible to see The Rolling Stones here, I hope to see them in the west one day.
Where do you look for and find inspiration?
Mainly – in music. Every new album, every video makes me tremble in anticipation of facing a favorite artist and pointing my lens at him. Of course, when I look at shots of fellow concert photographers.
If you could have a superpower, what would you choose? How would you use it?
Teleportation. I’d like to be instantly transported to distant places. When the pandemic subsided, huge festivals broke out in the United States, with the coolest performers touring. And in Europe, things are still barely moving. I would like to be able to move there and be at the top of the big festivals.
What makes you different from others?
That I try not to enter the artist’s personal space rudely and that I try to present him / her in the best light. Compromising shots for me are dropped the second, I always put myself in the shoes of the artists – I wouldn’t be at all happy if shots of me I didn’t like appeared.
And one more thing – I always consider the audience. I try to stay invisible, not to disturb the fans in any way. After all, this concert is for them, not for me. They gave money and traveled to touch the magic called music – I have no right to interfere. I do my best to achieve the perfect shot, but not to interfere with a fellow photographer or the audience.
Who is the photographer you admire the most? Why? What is your favorite photo of him and why?
Anton Corbijn. Dutch photographer and director, worked with names such as Depeche Mode, U2, Metallica, R.E.M., Nick Cave, Rolling Sones and many others. He has a super unconventional look, presents the artists individually and his photographs are always memorable, distinguished by his unique style.
His favorite photo – the cover of “The Joshua Tree” by U2. Expresses in just one take the search for the primal rock and roll sound of this U2 album. During this period, the band moved from post-punk to their first albums and seemed to hint at the band’s upcoming stellar launch. After this album they are one of the biggest bands on the planet. And it’s really great – the music sounds in your ears while you hold the disc or record in your hand.
What kind of child were you? Tell us about your brightest childhood memory
I think I was obedient. I discovered rock music at 13-14, my mother took me to a concert of the Crickets. Then things came together almost chronologically – the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen were just the beginning, my first musical idols.
What is the best advice you have received?
“When the management or the security guards tell you ‘end’ – stop filming. In another 5-10 seconds you will not get the best photo in your life, but you risk ruining relationships built over years. “
Ask yourself a question and answer…
And now where? We have an exciting summer ahead – many concerts and festivals, we will see titanic bands like Arctic Monkeys and Slipknot. I also plan to visit some super interesting festivals abroad, including the biggest rock / metal festival ever held in Europe. Fingers crossed that the stars align the right way…
More about Orlin can be found here:
Author: Villy Goutova