For Dinara Khairova, photographer, musician and dreamer, searching for beauty to achieve the best image is part of the love you have towards the arts as a professional photographer.
Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Dinara remembers beautiful memories of her childhood were she observed people around her had simple film cameras, but it was not until she was 18 that she received a special gift, a tiny Olympus camera.
It was then that she began to create images as a hobby, but her concern to learn more led her to buy an old Soviet Chajka camera, in order to continue her passion for photography.
In an exclusive interview for perlarico.com, Khairova shares with us what led her to move to the United States and how a childhood dream of living in New York as been accomplished and how she is conquering the big city.
1. How would you describe yourself?
Dinara: I’m an art person, and in my art I am always looking for beauty. I try to find it everywhere even if it’s hard to do so. I love to do something good for people, to give my help to anyone who needs it. As a teacher, I love to see how my students grow, that makes me happy. I love to travel, especially with my husband. Travel inspires me to be creative.
2. You were born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, how did you end up moving to the US?
Dinara: New York was my dream city from childhood. I always wanted to visit and when I did with my husband a few years ago for the first time, I loved it so much. We decided to move here for a longer period of time and now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I grew up with American music and movies, I always loved to speak English and sing it too. I love to see how people support each other, being part of this city. It was my dream and this is my life now!
3. It’s great you have found yourself in New York City, and have the opportunity to capture it as well. How would you define the word, photography?
Dinara: This is a person who through images, conveys what is happening around. My vision is that the photographer should be responsible for what he/she brings to the public, what emotions and what message he/she wants to convey in a photo.
4. What motivated you to become a professional photographer?
Dinara: Since the days of music school, I have become used to immersing myself deeply in a subject. Photography is what inspires me, there are endless possibilities.
“It is self-expression, it is a statement about me. But the most important thing is the ability to preserve history and leave your mark on it”.-Dinara Khairova, photographer, musician and dreamer
5. We see you capture travel moments, how did that come about?
Dinara: Oh! I love to travel a lot and long ago I started to bring my camera with me everywhere. Someone can call me crazy but there were moments when I was carrying a heavy backpack uphill just for a few shots, or I went downhill on skis with a photo backpack in order to capture an interesting angle on my film camera. I know that I probably will never go there again. Therefore, I have the option to see it again after 10 years, that kind of mood. When the pandemic started and I lost the possibility to travel I escaped depression by looking at my travel photographs.
6. What do you look for when showcasing a human being in photography?
Dinara: I’m looking for beauty, smiles, kindness, every good part of this person I want to show by my photos. Sometimes people don’t realize their beauty, and when they see the result they are surprised. It’s like therapy for some of them, when they start to accept themselves, love themselves. It’s the most important thing for everybody.
7. You were in the Annual New York Marathon 2021, how was your experience behind your lens?
Dinara: I was amazed at the support of people who weren’t running that day. Strangers who decided to spend their weekend by supporting runners, giving all the love they got, kept smiling and saying: “You can do it!” “Keep going!” So, most of photos are about that. I walked about 10 km with runners from Brooklyn to Queens and it was an absolutely amazing time. You can see it and feel it only in New York.
8. Nowadays, technology has brought cameras to cell phones with the ability to modify colors, closeups, light, what are your thoughts about photographs in this medium or do you prefer traditional photography?
Dinara: Yes, modern technologies do not stand still. Smartphones are great for travel, capturing everyday moments, but they never compare in quality to professional photography equipment. If you ask me, if I prefer an old film camera or the newest smartphone, I will choose the film camera. Because this is art for me.
9. You’re a musician as well? What can you tell our readers about your musical phase?
Dinara: This is part of my life, as huge as photography. I have been learning music since I was 5, so it has accompanied me almost all my life. I see a lot of similarities between performing (singing) and photography and I just realized that even though I’m on the other side of the camera, I still feel like I’m on stage. This is my performance.
10. You know, I’ve never seen it that way. It is a great way to look at your artwork! Would you consider yourself a dreamer?
Dinara: Yes, because I love to dream. I love to imagine something bigger. It inspires me to think about how to get what I want, and what I should do to get it. It’s very cool to look back and understand that you have achieved what you dreamed of.
11. As a seasoned photographer, are you born with the ability to capture the right moment through the lens of the camera or it comes with experience?
Dinara: I was lucky to have an artist in my family. Thus, the skills that I got in painting I used in photography at first. Nonetheless, the theory is nothing, you have to practice. A lot. In my opinion, if you think that you know everything about photography and don’t need to keep learning and practicing, you have to leave it. The same in music. I think every photographer wants to have that special shot that will make him or her famous.
12. Inspiring words. Which was your favorite moment to capture and why?
Dinara: It’s so hard to choose my favorite one but I can single out one photo session with a Russian dancer. She was so gorgeous, her movements were so beautiful. I wanted to capture every second of her dance before me. I didn’t want to say what to do, but I had to be fast to catch the best moments of her performance. It was an amazing experience that became an art project.
13. Over time you have managed to perfect your images and take them to another level, what advice would you give to other aspiring photographers?
“Know your photo camera, know the theory about taking pictures. Practice every day. Ask your colleagues questions, even if you think that your question is stupid. Look for your own style and don’t let anyone tell you how your photos should look, it’s your own vision”.-Dinara Khairova, photographer, musician and dreamer
It is an impressive work you have done and I am just astonish at how you dissect your artform and share your knowledge with us. You are an inspiring woman and I hope you instilled drive to all of your readers.
Thank you Dinara Khairova for giving me the opportunity to know your work as a professional photographer and musician. I invite everyone to follow Dinara’s journey through Instagram and Facebook and her official site, khairovaphoto.com.