The photos of Lidiya Kulekova reveal the image of a frank, strong woman who has looked forward to the future. Without fear or embarrassment of ups and downs, go forward with camera in hand. She is defiant, smiling and down-to-earth, which her self-portraits speak "without words". To know more about her photographic dreams and torments, read the interview
You can see Lidiya Kulekova's photos at http://photo-cult.com/author.php?aut=Amelid and at www.photo-forum.net (Amelid profile)
What profession did you dream of as a child?
I always wanted to do art, to be creative, to play. I like to draw, to invent various stories, to immerse myself in a role. In general, I preferred boys' games and active activities - football, all kinds of shooting, playing with soldiers, balls, constructors. I imagined that I would be an athlete, a researcher, an astronaut, an investigator, an airplane pilot, a diver… But I never imagined that my passion would turn out to be photography
What are you currently doing and what are your professional ambitions?
For the last year I have been working as a freelancer, and everything from everyday life to production comes before my lens. I like to shoot both in studio and outdoors. I shoot mainly at events, such as wedding and family celebrations, company events and cocktails, children's parties, proms. Also artistic and advertising photoshoots of designer collections and products. I have a permanent commitment to "Bulka" magazine as a photographer for advertising sessions
I would like to work in the field of advertising. To combine my artistic skills and photography to produce a conceptually, artistically, technically sound and finished product.
What is the most interesting and challenging thing in your profession?
The challenge in photography is trying to recreate a state, a movement, a thought, a story or even a whole life in just one photo. It is very important to learn to listen and feel in order to gain the trust and revelation of the other person, to feel the energy of the place, to get to know it so that you can show its essence and be credible. You need to train your eye and senses to be able to catch the moment, to look at an object from a different angle, so that it, although the same, is new and intriguing.
Tell us about your exhibition and your self-portraits.
When a person creates, he develops and changes. He needs to periodically stop for a moment and look back to make a self-assessment. For me, an exhibition is the embodiment of some established result, at a certain stage - started or finished. In the last ten years, I have attended almost all photo vacations. It was there, in 2002, that my first appearances as a model began, in a friendly environment, by the way. Gradually, I began to refract my view and perceive myself from the other side of the lens. At the moment, the idea of self-portraiture is a challenge for me and an experience of self-knowledge
My exhibition "Lidiya Kulekova - photographer and model" was opened on September 7 at the XII Photo Vacation in Primorsko MTC. In addition to my photos, I also included photos of my closest friends, which captured typical states and situations for me. My wish was for the viewer to empathize with my emotions in order to get to know me as a character.
Since then, I have new additions to the collection of self-portraits and I hope to exhibit the exhibition again in Sofia by the end of the year.
Share some of your biggest prides professionally.
In the period since 1997, I have participated in many plein airs, the best organized and most fruitful for me being "Glass World" inTarnovo in 2001, "Stara Zagora today" in the city of Stara Zagora in 2003 and "Bodigrafia" in the city of Tarnovo in 2006, photos from which subsequently brought me awards. I have also participated in several plein airs and a workshop as a model. In addition, I have posed for several Bulgarian photographers, whose photos have participated in exhibitions and competitions, and one of them won many awards in Bulgaria and abroad
This year, I was invited as a model to the open-air "Bodigrafia" in the city of Tarnovo, but the organizers also included me as a photographer. I was completely satisfied because in the final collection of the exhibition as a model I was present in 16 of the photographs out of a total of 51, two of which are my self-portraits.
I have participated in five competitive exhibitions of the Photographic Academy, and in 2003 I had an incentive. Also in all competitive exhibitions of the National Photographic Salon Varna, with an incentive in the last 2 years and an accompanying solo exhibition in 2006. I have participated in several competitive exhibitions at the Annual Review of Canon, as well as at the Photo Vacations at MMC Primorsko.
In 1998, I received my first prize in an international competition in Belgrade, and in 2001, I made my first solo exhibition "In Search". In 2005, I won the III prize at the "Music in the Lens" contest in the "Photography with a pronounced creative intervention in the image" section.
In the competition of www.photo-forum.net - "Lumix Awards" this year I won the 1st prize in the category "Still life" and participated in a general exhibition. In the contest of www.photo-cult.com and jeans.bg - "Cool, sexy and fashion" I won a prize for the month of May 2006 and participated in a general exhibition. My photos are often in the featured weekly category collection.
What do you dream about?
I would like to travel, to go around the world. If I had a longer life, I would spend several years in each city, village or locality with different people, nationality, customs, nature and animals. But since it is short, I would be satisfied even with a caravan and a plane, with which I could visit the most desirable places in a shorter time. When a person travels, he breaks away like a free electron from the solid and secure earth. Only when he is small and one of many can he appreciate what a richness life is, overflowing with all its possibilities and faces.
As I get older, I dream of having a small bookstore - a workshop where, in addition to magical books with the effect of preserving childhood, creating a thirst for an active life and returning faith and love, there are various small things for the soul, such as carnival costumes, music boxes, kaleidoscopes, piggy banks, old photographs, crooked mirrors, changeable ink pencils, dried flowers, peppermints, seashells on a string, boxes of different smells, and all sorts of other temptations. I would sit by the window in the winter in a rocking chair, with a kitten on my lap, hidden behind my glasses in my memories…
I dream of having a plane, a paraglider, a horse, a motorbike, a camera for underwater photography.
And now seriously – I want to equip a large studio with the photographic equipment I need. Dream, dare and love! To be alive, wild and happy!
Is it heroic to be a woman nowadays?
I define people as human first and divide them into strong and weak, good and bad, smart and stupid, etc., and then into male and female. The body is the packaging of the content - the personality. The definition "strong sex" could be given with equal force to both men and women, according to the different characteristics. There are difficulties and facilities for both.
I think it is important that every person should be able to stand up for his position and pursue his ambitions without losing balance with the environment. Heroism is achieving yourself.
Favorite color? A song? Taste? Place?
It is difficult for me to name a favorite color, song, taste or place, as my preference is determined by the setting, state, momentary need, mood, company and generally everything that surrounds me. No strict definition can be given. Life is dynamic and that's what's good about it - variety.
Favorite recipe? Something you enjoy cooking for your family and friends?
I'm not a big glutton, which is probably why I'm not a good cook. For me, eating is more of a duty than a pleasure. Of course, I have my favorite dishes, such as roast chicken, grape vines, mish-mash, tripe soup, tarator, and more. I like to cook meals with vegetables and grains, as well as soups. In addition to being useful, they are also easier and faster.
Comment by Geri Alexandrova: Hello! I was very impressed by your interview with Lidiya Kulekova. It is wonderful that there are still such people - positive, courageous in the pursuit of their dreams, devoid of envy and malice, full of love and thirst for life. If I could, I would have congratulated her in person, but that is also an option. I'm glad there's a place for the reader to voice their opinion. I wish you all the best and brave forward! Stay informative, interesting and trendy!