Photography has been my passion for years. I had a camera from an early age and so my artistic sense developed over the years. Back in the days of analog cameras and film, I had a home darkroom to develop film and take photos. I have had incredible moments of creativity, change, success and failure. Over the years, I gained more and more knowledge and experience, which led me to create photographic series on various subjects. Most of the series present details of architecture, nature and life. I also love landscape and street photography. As a person addicted to travel, I have had many opportunities to meet different cultures, with amazing natural corners and unique architecture, capturing these memorable encounters with my camera.
If you could choose where to wake up tomorrow morning, where would it be?
On Mars. I’m joking, of course. There are many places I would love to wake up, but the truth is, I want to wake up at home. Home feels wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
What would you change in the world?
Many things, but I do not have the strength to do it. I would change myself and by my example change others so that we live in a better world, without violence, without wars, without hunger, without greed.
Why are you taking pictures? What does photography give you?
I’ve been shooting since I was little. Then I wanted to capture the beautiful nature pictures and memories with friends. After that, I became passionate about the processes in the darkroom. And finally I started shooting purposefully and creating series. I have always been drawn to creativity. Photography gives me freedom. The freedom to be where I want, with whom I want, to communicate with people and enjoy the pictures of life.
Tell us an interesting incident from your travels
Many events, as much as for a whole book, but the most vivid memories remain from my trip to Iran. We get up early in the morning to make it to our next destination in time. All the shops are closed and we need fresh supplies of drinking water in the car. As we make our way out of town I see a store just opening. We pull up and I go to buy water, I say I want a whole stack of big bottles. The seller nods affirmatively, we take the water and I begin to pay for it. I get a flat refusal and despite my strong pleas to the seller, he flatly refused to be paid for the water…
Recommend us a book/movie?
The last film that shook me was “Woman” by Jan Arthus-Bertrand. A one-on-one meeting with many women around the world who have shared fear and pain, joy and pleasure, victory and defeat. A message of love and hope wrapped up in a single word, “Woman.”
Where do you look for and find inspiration?
I don’t look for it, it just finds me. Every trip I take is an inspiration, even if it’s for a day, and the paintings sometimes find me on their own, and sometimes I purposefully seek them out.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that people believe about the other person (be it a neighbor, stranger, of another nationality)?
It’s hard for me to answer. I think we are always mistaken about people until we get to know them well. And to understand what a person is like, you have to either travel with them or live with them.
What is good photography for you?
The one that makes you think, admire.
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose? How would you use it?
I want to have a magic wand and stop wars and famine.
Who is the photographer you admire the most? Why? What is your favorite photo of him and why?
I don’t have a clear answer here. But still, a few years ago I had to give a presentation about a photographer who impressed me. It so happened that I had seen the film about the Turkish photographer Ara Güler “The Eye of Istanbul”*, which amazed me. He primarily shoots street photography, and I was impressed by how deeply he studies the places and people he photographs. Communication is important to him, which subsequently makes his shots exceptional.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Strangely, I rarely get advice and I can’t think of any that have left a mark on me. I guess I’m the one giving advice. And apart from me, let me give myself a good piece of advice – Live so that every day is a pleasure for you, no matter what you do.
Ask yourself a question and answer…
What does traveling around the world give you? Travel** gives me wisdom, freedom of body and mind. Communicating with other cultures makes me richer. I feel happier when I travel.
More about Maya can be found here:
* until 25.01.2024 you can view the exhibition Istanbul by Ara Güler in Gallery Syntesis
** on 09.01.2024 at 19:00 the joint exhibition of Maya Doichinova and Ivaylo Sapundjiev “Moments of Life” opens at the House of Cinema
Author: Villy Goutova