In September 2019, I travelled to Bulgaria for an opera studio at Varna Opera Theater, where I sang the role of Giannetta in Donizetti’s opera L’Elisir d’Amore.
I was looking for a portrait photographer for my singer portfolio.
I contacted Tsanislav, and we met in Varna, had a few drinks on the black sea, and walked through the city’s mysterious archaeological ruins in search of the antique shooting location.
Let me introduce you to Tsanislav Hristov!
Tell us about your journey and what drives you into the world of portrait photography?
My journey began maybe 10 years ago and was sparked by some emotional photos I saw in National Geographic and that keeps driving me to do what I do – to show emotions, to store them in time for those after us.
What is a must-have in your camera bag, no matter where you go?
Some light sources and duct tape.
What makes a good picture? Which criteria do you consider while shooting portraits?
For me it’s a combination between the emotional state of the model, the lighting and the composition ( but most importantly it is the model and her/his expression).
How do you add your personal signature to a singer’s portrait photography? Does it differ with music genres and styles?
Definitely the music genre makes a difference. That’s why I try to listen as much as possible to the singers portfolio or the genre that the singer works in.
Alia Models Models: Calvino Bizerra and Niklas Cédric Styling: Yordan MihalevPosted by Tsanislav Hristov on Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Do you think good photography affects the singer’s image and career?
As an artist I know that every detail is important and the photoshoot of the singer is one big part of their online and visual presentation. So, yes, it has a huge affect.
If you have to choose your most memorable shoot to date, which one would it be and why?
Hm.. I cannot choose only one. I have so many memorable photoshoots. For example with you Rita, it was so fun trying to find the perfect location and I was so happy of what we found. Also listening to your performance before the photoshoot was such an honour for me, you threw me closer to your world.
Besides being a photographer, I know you love to go to the opera and even listen to rock music. Who is your favorite singer? and which singer you’d love to photograph considering its charm and attitude?
You are so right, I do love opera, rock and so many other genres. I like creative and unique artists and that’s why I would love to photograph Patti Smith, Grace Jones, Bono, Sting and so many more…
Being an opera singer myself, I must ask how were you introduced to the world of classical music? What is your favorite opera house? Best opera and composer?
I think I introduced myself to opera. As I told you I listen to a lot of different genres and I like to turn to opera in moments of excitement, passion, but also when I am totally relaxed. The opera has so many different faces. I don’t have a favorite opera house. But one of my favorite operas is “La Bohème” by Puccini and I also adore the composition by Zbignew Preisner – “Dies irae”
Any advice for singers working on their social image and identity?
Know who you really want to be and even though it is best to be yourself, you still have to work hard to create the best version of the “yourself” you want to present.