Find Me Where Dreams Are Lost in Reality: wIth Israeli Photographer Michael Govorko
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
My name is Michael Govorko, I’m a lifestyle photographer from Tel Aviv, Israel. I started taking pictures in 2011 with my iPhone 3G, when I moved from Minsk, Belarus to Israel. Most of the first years I was really into architecture photography, I really enjoyed making pictures of beautiful buildings and city landscapes. But with time I have started to grow and develop my own style, combining pictures of people, streets and lifestyle.
I think when I started to make my first portraits I understood that it feels amazing and my friends really enjoyed the pictures I made, so it made me really happy. The human connection gives me some unreal energy that I can’t get in any other type of photography.
Photography is my passion, it’s my daily drug I can’t live without. I don’t smoke, I almost don’t drink alcohol. So really photography and maybe also music are my drugs and I can’t live without them. I think it's pretty difficult these days to become a full-time photographer. First of all, there is a huge competition in this field. And second, I think last year and still this year in most of the countries is pretty tough for young freelancers and photographers in general. We can't do most of our shootings from home, maybe only editing and planning. But I hope soon we will overcome this COVID time very very soon. Here in Israel right now we have less and less cases and most of the people got vaccines already, so the situation is getting better here.
I think photographers influence me the most right now. But also movies, like Amelie, had a huge impact on me. Sometimes I try to transfer this into my works as well. My favourite photographers are Sam Elkins, Andre Josselin, Joe Greer, Joerg Nicht, Salva Lopez, Stephen Shore. I think what I love the most in their works is how they work with colors and angles. When I see works from these guys sometimes I find myself saying “wow”. And all of them shoot people in some way.
Usually I try to express a feeling through my works. It can be nostalgia or anything else. I try to add more and more narrative. Sometimes I can imagine one shot or to choose one picture as inspiration and from there to make a mood board with the model and in the end create the final mood of the photoshoot. I shoot with Fuji XT-2, an old but great camera and mostly 23MM F2 lens.
I would say that you have to try to make things by yourself. Be innovative. The chance that some model/magazine agency will find your work on the internet and will give you amazing job is close to zero, if you don’t have a great portfolio and connections. So I think to focus on your portfolio and getting to know people from the industry is the key thing.
Most of my edits I do in Lightroom, and usually I use my iPhone 11 for that. I try to do the culling at the end of the shooting day or the day after. The edits itself I make usually during the week. There is no formula for me to know that the image is “good to go”, but when I feel that I really enjoy the image I’m happy to go on. Most of my edits I make at home, without any music, just focusing on the image itself, but if I do, I listen to 1975 or The Neighbourhood when I edit, I like relaxed vibes when I work.
The main goal is to make art that will live for ages. Something that hopefully my grandsons will see and keep with them for their kids. And of course to make people feel happier!
Photography by Michael Govorko