MOSCOW: ''I take absolutely typical photographs,’’ said Sergei, 22, about his abilities. ‘My photos are nothing special.’’ His skill is in editing and its anything but typical. With the help of four applications on his telephone - including Snapseed, Union and Facetune - he began actively experimenting about a year ago with photos he took on his phone. He posted his colorful pictures on Instagram and attracted followers, including businesses and not just teenagers as he thought. One of his 65,000 followers - a bakery - offered Sergey work as a photographer immediately after he graduated university in July with a degree in journalism. His telephone-based photography and editing hobby suddenly became his job. While he says he earns just an ‘average salary,’ Sergey admits his work requires relatively little time, with everything done from his phone. Sergey also contributes photos to a monthly men’s magazine. You can see his work at @sergeysuxov
DAGESTAN: Magomed bought his first SLR camera in 2012 on the encouragement of friends that liked his photography. Until that moment, he had been using a point-and-shoot digital camera. In 2013, he registeted on Instagram, posting photos mainly from his phone. He quickly built up a following thanks to his landscape shots around the Caucasus. In 2014, while attending a university lecture on emergency situations, he got a call from the Dagestan Presiential office. The administration said they had an opening for a photographer and that he was recommended based on his strong Instagram feed. Magomed took the job. Magomed said one of his dreams is to visit Iceland to photograph. The island country offers diverse landscape photography opportunities, he said.
The son of an engineer and doctor, Ivan studied medical engineering as a compromise between his parents' wishes. Yet, he decided to pursue a creative career, first going into design. ''I thought I would save more lives if I didn't do [medical engineering]'' he joked. When he got fired during the 2008 crisis, he used the event to change careers and become a photographer. Seven years later, he runs his own studio and is in demand as a fashion photographer. He is using the latest economic crisis to expand his business into stock photography. One of his photography 'mentors' has been David Hobby, who runs the very popular site www.strobist.com. Ivan said he recently received an email out of the blue from David asking to use one of Ivan's photos for a project. ''I thought, oh my god, this is one of the best days of my life.''
Dmitry, 36 and a father of two, is among many from the former USSR that have moved to Dubai – at least temporarily – in search of new and better opportunities. Go into any major hotel or shopping center and you have a good chance that a Russian-speaker will service you.