People and Nature by Nick Bondarev

Nick Bondarev has a true talent to inspire people through his images and words. He shows the beauty of our World, the power of Nature, the soul of People. Nick has been doing photography for the last 9 years, and he is also creating amazing videos. His life is filled with adventures, and we are so excited that Nick gave us an interview where he shared his experience, thoughts and emotions.

Check more of Nick' work on his site built with Onyx.


People and Nature by Nick Bondarev

1. You’ve been doing photography for 9 years. It’s a very long journey. Tell us about that moment when you decided to become a photographer.

I've always had another vision of the world, and actually I've been living in my own world, and photography was just a bets way to show my vision. 

2. What did you do the first two or three years of your photography? What did you shoot and what emotions you felt at each shooting? Did you have challenging moments, feeling of doubt whether this is your way or not?

Of course, its a hard way, specially if you doing in in Russia. Nobody appreciate art there, nobody gonna pay for it. First few years I've been working as a portrait, wedding and reportage photographer. Also, I did many other things, because photography was not enough to make money in my place, (Siberia) It was such a hard way, but it gave me understanding that I can do everything, if I really need it. 

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3. Russia and photography. What genre of photography is popular now in Russia and how’s the competition? What are the main differences between photographers? How easy or difficult it is for new photographers to access the market and find their type of client? And what kind of images Russian audience wants and values now?

I think mostly people doing wedding photography, cause it's easiest way to make money, competition is really strong but it's a huge market anyway. As I know, prices in Moscow around 1500 - 2000$ for full day shooting for best photographers, who usually working with film cameras. Moscow has completely different market, for other cities 800 - 1000$ for full day for best photographers. But usually people working around 500 - 700$ for 12 hours wedding day.

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4. You travel a lot and organize trips for others. The list of countries which you visited is breathtaking (equally as are your photos from these countries). Do you remember your first trip? Why did you decide to go beyond the borders of big Russia? And is there a particular reason why you chose countries as Iceland, Mongolia, Alaska, Greenland?

I've never been like Russia, actually. I was burn in Uzbekistan, and moved to cold Siberia when i was 7 year old. It wasn't my choice and I decided to run from Russia when I only can do it. I did my first journey when i was 19 - I went to south eastern Asia for 7 months. Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, China. My first journey with clients was 2 years ago, it was Iceland. I'm in love with scandinavian and northern regions, nature, people and their interaction. I love wild things, real people, relationships and culture and ethnics. My goal there - find new challenges and new experience. Meet new people, who has same lifestyle and vision as I have. 

5. You have a special relationship with nature, animals, as well as speed and motorcycles. Tell us about it.

I love nature. I like to be in offline world and just enjoy and explore wild things felling myself a part of the nature. It's something about deeper experience that way older than we are. 

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Motorcycles and cars always been my favorite toys. Just a small thing with wheels can take you wherever you want and gave you feel like home in your jeep or van, or feel you absolutely free on motorcycle. I have many projects in my plans with cars and bikes. Soon I gonna go trough part of Russia and all Europe with my 85 Toyota Land Cruiser fj 60.

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6. When traveling, besides your passport and camera, you always have your notebook with you. What is in it? Can you show us some snippets with your notes? :)

:) Russian is gonna be unrecognizible for most of readers. There is usually some notes about my changes, my mood, text for my book, writings from other books I'm usually reading. And some business plans. 

7. Your book “Northern Winds”, which you’ve worked on for the last couple of years, will be published soon. Tell us about it, what’s the goal of the book and how do you believe it will affect your readers? (P.S. we also want a copy !!!)

This book about norther countries, people and their interaction. My goal - collect my stories and photos in a one place, and look at this. And share with people, wha has same interests with me. Here is more -

8. Which step or decision, do you believe, changed your life radically?

Of course to be a photographer. I made a step away from reality of my region, away from people who was around me, I made a biggest step on the way to myself. 

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9. Share your playlist, what you listen when you go on a trip. (5-6 favorite songs)

Oh.. its always different.  For example in Mongolia I'm with local music, to be deeper in the atmosphere. But mostly folk and rock, The Lumineers, Gregory Alan Isakov, Iron and Vine, Moby, Radical face, Linkin Park(and so many old bands like Rasmus. Placebo) and many many others. Music it a real magic and always been a big part of me.

10. We think that you must have seen these movies: “Into the Wild”, “Wild”, “Tracks”. Did you plan to do your own long trip alone for a couple of months?

Not really, couple weeks in Alaska, few journeys in Asia. But I love to be alone time after time, its a great opportunity to focus on my thoughts and feelings. 

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11. You have your vision of photography, your own unique style. This doesn’t come immediately, and many photographers fail to achieve this. What advice can you give to those who are just entering the photography world? What do you advise to your students?

Surround yourself by the right books, things and people. World around you - its you. Your reality forms your vision. Our taste is a clear system of aesthetic landmarks, and our task is to select them correctly and remove all unnecessary ones.

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12. If you caught a goldfish and she would realize 1 of your cherished wishes, what would it be?

Time machine! I want to go to beginning 19xx and 18xx! Explore world without internet, explore real style and fellings. This is my magical wish, other thing with my life like money, love, happiness - i can probably manage somehow by myself  :)

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