What happens when photography and travel merge into one, is that a photographer ends up following his passion all the while doing the two things he love most. This is the case for Yury Birukov, who has transitioned into a traveling photographer and has an impressive record of 62 countries where he’s left a mark.
Today Yury shares his story, his early beginnings and his line of work which continues to flourish and embellishes our Depositphotos library of images. Looking at Yury’s work, one likely feels the urge to abandon everything and travel the world in search of inspiration and adventures.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background.
My name is Yury Birukov. I live in the city of Gomel, Republic of Belarus. I have been taking photographs for more than 20 years and have tried myself in different genres – wedding, family photography, work for newspapers and magazines. For the last 10 years I began to actively travel, spending almost half the time traveling around the world. Since then, I mainly deal with travel photography, the main topic of my photos are other countries, people and landscapes around the world. Two of my hobbies – photography and travel have merged into one.
Where have your travels taken you thus far?
I have traveled 62 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, in some of them I have lived quite a lot of time.
Do you have a favourite location that inspires you?
For a long time, my favorite destination was central and southern Asia, especially the Himalayas and India. My favorite country, which has inspired me for many years, was and still is the country of Nepal, where I’ve been 8 times. I also spent a lot of time in interesting and picturesque India, where I’ve been 10 times already. Among the beach countries my favorite is Indonesia with thousands of beautiful islands. In recent years, I’ve traveled a lot to Africa, and I can say that I fell in love with this continent, because there are a lot of untouched nature, interesting tribes and nationalities, an unusual wildlife world. Traveling to Africa is always a real adventure.
What have you learned so far from working with stock photography platforms?
I started to sell photos on stock platforms relatively recently. First of all, for me it was a revelation. Before, I believed that there are a lot of limitations and technical requirements for stock photography, and this somewhat stopped me from selling on stocks. Therefore, for many years I did not sell photos through stocks, but sold photos from travel only to magazines. However, everything was not so scary as it first seemed.
From your experience, what kinds of photographs sell best?
I understand that photos that have commercial appeal and those that can potentially be used in advertising are sold more often. However, to be honest, I still wonder when photos are sold well, something you didn’t even think would sell, and others that you deem good ones aren’t sold at all.
What is your philosophy in regards to your work?
Honestly, I do not want to follow the trends. I just take pictures of everything I like. It seems to me that when you photograph from the heart, the picture is more sincere and honest. You follow your path, you get pleasure from work, and it’s great when your passion brings you money.
How do you choose which photographs will be part of your portfolio? Are you quite selective?
In the beginning, I paid more attention to the choice of photos, but recently I began to upload a lot of different photos, realizing that even those that did not seem commercially attractive initially could be sold.
Do you follow trends and do you think there are some photography trends that will always be relevant?
I do not try to follow trends. But I think that photos will always be relevant like the ones reflecting an eternal search for happiness, freedom, love, and health. Also topics such as happy old age, love, family values, travel, beautiful paradise places, active leisure and a healthy lifestyle. There will always be demand for photos with philosophical reflection and filled with deep content, photos using symbols and allegories. However, photos on business and money were also always selling well.
Do you have a favourite photograph? If so, what’s the story behind it?
I have many favorite photos, but perhaps there is one with which my hobby began. This photo was taken in 2007 in Tibet, during my first big trip to India-Nepal-Tibet. Being in Tibet, I went to Nam-Tso Lake a hundred kilometers from the capital of Tibet Lhasa, where I spent an unforgettable time on the shore of the lake in silence, surrounded by beautiful landscapes. There I witnessed an unusually colorful ceremony held by followers of the Tibetan religion Bon. They read mantras, burned juniper and performed ancient rituals. And after it was over, I photographed the silhouettes of the pilgrims in the smoke from the holiday. This photo won in various photo contests several times and inspired me to continue to travel and take pictures on travel.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve received that you’d like to pass on to fellow photographers?
I think the most important thing is to photograph with inspiration, with love, with all your heart, only then the photo will be very sincere and interesting to the audience, it will touch them, and will become popular and in demand.
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