Spring is almost there and our Photographer Of The Month series takes you to Rome, Italy to discover photographer Dmitry Agishev.
Dmitry Agishev is a wedding & engagement photographer based in Rome, Italy. The team has selected him to be March’s photographer of the month. Let’s dive into Dmitry’s photography world through this interview.
Dmitry, what is the one thing you wish everyone knew about you but (almost) no one does?
Dmitry: People usually don’t know that I’m a singer and that I dream to sing in opera one day. I’m thinking that it would be nice to make a surprise for my clients and to sing some opera piece for them in the end of the shoot. But usually I’m sooo tired that the only thing comes to my mind is how to not to collapse 🙂
Where are you from & How did you get into photography?
Dmitry: I was born in Riga, Latvia. My dad was an engineer and my mother was a journalist. So, from the beginning, there was no choice to become a bad person, because my parents taught me what is good and what is bad from their highly educated journalist/engineer point of view ;D
First of all I was studying in private school, but then everything rapidly changed when my parents decided to move me into a public school. There was no need to keep much attention to classes, because I was in teenager’s age and the most important was of course girls and how to make people laugh. So since then I’ve started to work with the public. At that time in school I started to sing, because I believed this was the best way to grab everyone’s attention and stand out from the crowd. So I asked my parents for birthday’s present – karaoke! I was practicing very hard. Elvis, Sinatra, Dean Martin – I knew 200+ of their songs in total. Everybody knew I sing good, so I was participating in every party. Then it became necessary to add something else to my entertainer’s business, and a camera became my second main weapon. I was probably 17 at that time. It was nothing special for me. I just was photographing everyone who asked and sitting in front of photoshop night and day. It was just a way to chill out for me. I never thought about becoming a professional photographer.
The time was passing by and after school I entered Latvian Baltic-Russian design university for graphic design program – because I was crazy about drawing and photography. I liked it very much and after one year of studies I’ve got a job as a graphic designer in a Latvian business magazine called Business Class. Photography and singing were my greatest hobbies at that time and I never abandoned them. My cameras were getting better and better and so were my skills.
In the meanwhile I was participating in singing competitions, changing singing teachers and finally one day a friend of mine brought me to a classical singing teacher. That’s how I went singing opera. So, after finishing Design university, I decided to go further with singing and entered Latvian academy of Music. There was a big competition to get a scholarship and I got it!!! So since then my priorities slightly changed and my dream: to become an opera singer. In the same time the main photographer in our magazine got ill and the main editor asked me to do a couple of reportages. I succeeded also in this, and since then I was photographing each event and sometimes even photoshoots for the covers.
On the third year of studies in Music Academy I won Erasmus scholarship and went for one semester to Rome’s Conservatory of Music of Santa Cecilia. I deeply fell in love with this city, but wasn’t able to stay, because I had to finish music academy in Latvia. After I finished Academy, there was a special occasion where I was singing in concert with a friend of mine, Vadim, who was living in Rome at that time, and he motivated me to move to Rome to study with a great teacher. At first sight it was impossible for me, but then a great idea built up in my mind: that I could work as a professional photographer in Rome! So the decision was made and in May 2015 I moved to Rome! And since then photography became my life and I’m photographing the greatest couples from all over the world and I’m going after my dream!
What is the most difficult part in becoming a professional photographer?
Dmitry: The most difficult part is that photography is very demanding business and in our era when everybody has a camera on their phone, you have to try really really hard to stand out from the crowd and to be able to sell your photographs. Probably without any talent it’s impossible to feed yourself and your family with photography.
What was the best photoshoot you’ve had so far?
Dmitry: My best shoot – is my last shoot! I’m always trying to do my best, to overcome myself and to exceed client’s expectations.
First of all usually I’m trying to get to know my clients, to make them feel comfortable and easy in front of the camera.
The last time I was shooting a great woman from Prague, fantastic model! And we managed to get outstanding shots, which I will soon add to my portfolio 😉
What is your dream photoshoot and where?
Dmitry: My dream is to shoot the happiest weddings and love stories in Rome, to become a true expert in knowing this city and to make my clients bring incredible images to their homes 😉
If we take only one shoot, then I would make it a wedding shooting in Rome’s historic center and surroundings , such as Villa D’Este and Sperlonga’s seaside.
I would take a cabriolet car for the bride and groom, some important accessories such as flowers, candies and champagne to make some lifestyle shots, and of course some romantic music with us. We would make it beautiful.
I think that the most important part of every photo shoot in Rome is it’s mood. When you look at the photographs and you want to feel the same 😉
Any advice for future clients who want you to capture their love in Rome?
Dmitry: The number one thing is that you get to Rome – One of the most romantic cities in the world – it’s a miracle! Your excitement is going to be beyond any boundaries and my mission is to make it even better.
Number two, is that I’m open to any kind of creativity, as a photographer in Rome I want to make your images to look like out of this world, I mean fantastic!
On our shoot I will tell you the main information about Rome and about each place we’re going to visit. So if the Rome photo shoot takes place in the beginning of your holiday then it will be good for you because I will give you all the important suggestions.
What are your 4 favorite images ever? Could you tell the story for each one of them?
- Martin and Heather
Roman holiday of a wonderful couple from USA, San Diego: Martin and Heather… Amore on Sant’Angelo bridge.
They came to Rome to spend amazing time together and prove their love another time. After Rome they went to Paris, where Martin proposed to Heather…and she said YES 😀
- Espen and Caroline
Just married – Essen and Caroline from Norway. One of the most spectacular places in Rome – Spanish Steps 😉
This marriage is not the only proof of their love. They have amazing son, which is almost one year old now. I was amazed how they adore each other.
- Ken & Isil
Magic AMORE on Sant’Angelo bridge. Crazy in love couple from Turkey, Ken and Isil. She was a ballet dancer, he was a business man. Next step was love. This couple was so beautiful, that I felt like I was shooting models for the Vogue magazine 😀
In fact, I get very lucky with beautiful couples 😉
- Marat & Dilyara
Falling in love at Trevi… Wedding in Rome of a great couple from Russia, Marat and Dilyara.
This lovely couple came to Rome from Siberia to get married in this incredible city, not only to forever give their hears to each other, but also to prove that magic do exist.
Of course for the shoot they have chosen the most magical places in Rome – Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Villa Borghese 😉