Svilen Nachev is a photographer, and what he captures through his lens are particles of everyday life. He has been shooting more seriously since 2011. He has been a member of BULB Collective since 2017.
I have spotted Svilen at various photographic events. From the short lines we exchanged, he somehow manages to show his attitude towards photography.
I advise you, if you meet him somewhere, to talk to him. He does not bite (may be) and he is the type of people who enrich others with their way of thinking and their philosophy of life in general.
Meet Svilen virtually 😉
Imagine you have a super power? What would it be and how would you use it?
“With super power comes super responsibility,” says Spider-Man. “… From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required;” says the Bible. In this line of thought, I want nothing more and less than what is given to me. ☺
What is good photography for you?
The one who manages to say something beyond the image it shows.
You say in an interview that by taking pictures of everyday life you change reality and make it look interesting. That you attach importance to things by putting them in frames. At the same time, you talk about the “spirit of the times” and that the most important role of the photographer is to show the time in which he lives, quoting Parr. Isn’t the change in reality you are talking about contrary to preserving the “spirit of the times”?
Very nice question. In my opinion, when good photography is taken, the two things overlap. “The time we live in” is a subjective category, as is photography. By capturing reality through purely photographic means, displaying three-dimensional reality in a two-dimensional image and framing it, we automatically change reality. My goal is to go even further and try to show a feeling that reflects my subjective perception of the world beyond the created image. The “spirit of time” is the feeling conveyed through this frame.
Why do you shoot? What does photography give you?
Photography, the way I deal with it, makes me love life as it is, without necessarily trying to change it. Uncertainty and coincidence, being alert at all times, make me feel alive, to live now, in this moment.
Who is Svilen without a camera in his hands?
Resident of Svishtov, married, with three children, seven cats, a hamster and fish. ☺
Where do you think the power of photography lies?
In that it can concentrate and preserve feelings, emotions and ideas and transfer them in time and thus have spiritual growth. In my opinion, this is the role of any art.
Where do you look for and find inspiration for your photos?
In photo books, looking at the work of the great masters of photography, in the music I listen to, in the books I read, in conversations with friends and family, when I ride a motorcycle and meet new people and places… As Henri Cartier-Bresson says – “You just have to live and life will give you pictures.“.
Tell us an event from your life that has left its mark on you and shaped you as the person you are now.
Every event changes us, whether we like it or not. Those who have left the biggest imprint are too personal to share.
What is the photographic project you would like to do?
I shoot many series at once – animals, second-hand car tires that have entered the urban environment, I make a project for my family and many other series that I will announce when I finish. I really want to collect all the best photos from Bulgaria in one photo book, but the time will come for that too. I shoot everything and I want to travel more.
Who or what can make you smile at any moment?
Conversation with family or friends, a fun event or story. I love humor, absurdity, paradox. I want to shoot the way Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams or Robert Shackley write.
Who is the photographer you admire most? Why? Which is your favourite picture from his/her portfolio and why?
I like a lot of photographers, even hundreds. It is very difficult for me to mention just one in particular. They even constantly change their places in my “ranking”. I will mention only one because he died recently – the American photographer Jeff Jacobson. I like him because of the way he looks at and shows the world. I show one of his shots, which I really like, full of humor, absurdity, specific aesthetics and the concept of the decisive moment:
What is the best advice you have received?
“Learn to see.” This is what we teach our students with my colleague Penko Skumov. We have realized that talking about good photography inspires, opens new horizons, builds thinking and aesthetics. We look forward to March to begin our new course .
Ask yourself a question and answer…
Why do you take and show this photography? – It’s a lot of fun and a huge challenge to be done well.
Flickr: Svilen Nachev
Interviewed by: Villy Goutova