Original online course
on photography
by Jurij Treskow
01. Part 2
Intro
1
First steps. Photo-school & assisting.
How I became interested in photography?
Short Biography.
First steps and shootings in Brest. First mentor.
Moving to Berlin.
Why I was not accepted by photo-schools.
Why I've never assisted.
2
Berlin. Teamwork. First editorial, campaign & look-book.
Shooting in teams.
First breakthrough.
Who and how influenced my photography.
How I've got on German TV.
How one interview brought me to my first printed editorial then to my first paid campaign and a look-book.
How did I find a photo studio for 45 euro a months and what equipment I was using.
Progress through self-education.
3
Moscow. Dark side period.
Project "SladkoeNaPotom".
Moving to Moscow.
What was Moscow like in 2010 and how its underground art scene has influenced me?
Establishing a dark side style in my photography.
First experiments with models tests.
Going back to Berlin after 3 months in Moscow.
4
Paris. Model tests. Magazines & celebrities. Muse.
Moving to Paris.
My first exhibition in Minsk in 2010.
All about model tests for agencies in Paris.
My first experiments with nudes.
Entering the high fashion world.
One muse that made a profound impact on my photography.
Shooting for magazines.
Celebrities: Pierre Cardin, Takado Kenzo, Christian Louboutin, Dolphin, Jean-Paul Belmondo...
5
First exhibitions and lectures.
Exhibitions in Minsk and in Moscow.
First lectures and how it improved my photography.
Curating a retrospective of Elliott Erwitt in Moscow.
6
Photo agencies. USA. Europe. Russia.
Factory 311. Art Board. Walter Schupfer.
The Industry. Onirim. Vitals.
7
NYC
Moving to NYC in 2015. Restart.
How NYC revealed both strengths and weaknesses.
8
Los Angeles.
Moving to L.A. in 2020
1.5

First exhibitions and lectures
Exhibitions in Minsk and in Moscow.
First lectures and how it improved my photography.
Curating a retrospective of Elliott Erwitt in Moscow.
MINSK 2011
Minsk 2011
My second exhibition in Minsk was at NSHK (National House of Fashion). A huge venue in the city center in a historic building.

After my first exhibition at art Gallery Y in Minsk a year ago I wanted to repeat success. This time it was my own initiative and I was responsible for the whole process of organizing and covering all the financial costs. I didn't have any sponsors and needed to pay for the printing of photographs, transporting them and for the rent of the venue. I didn't have much money but it was a reasonable investment in my career.

....

Continue to read
Post-production Exhibitions. Fatal
ARTPLAY
WORKSHOPS AND LECTURES
Lectures
I had my first lecture in Minsk in 2011. I made an announcement on facebook and to my surprise more than 60 people applied. I wasn't expecting so many participants.

I have been doing photography for about 3-4 years already and I had enough material for my 2 hours lecture. I talked about shootings in Paris, Moscow and Berlin. I got many questions and a great feedback.
__

Since then I've done more than 15 lectures in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Minsk.

Then came the idea to launch online education. I also had more than 70 students at my individual online courses.

I always saw lecturing and sharing knowledge as an important and meaningful part of my photography. A great tool to review your path and to structure your experience in photography.

Preparations would take me several weeks. I felt responsible to people who pay money to come to my lectures. To be effective and valuable you need to stay true, be open and sincere.
CURATOR. ELLIOTT ERWITT RETROSPECTIVE IN MOSCOW, 2015
Elliott Erwitt
I had an exhibition at ArtPlay in Moscow. It became a big success. Many people came to see the exhibition. We got great feedback and very positive reviews.

Few months later I got a call from the organizers. They've got an idea to exhibit work of a one the most famous photographer ever - Elliott Erwitt's in Moscow next year. They asked me if I am interested to curate this event?

I've already moved to NYC and I didn't have any plans to come to Russia anytime soon.
And after all I've never curated any exhibition before. And to begin with on of the most famous photographer ever was a big challenge.

I took some time to think about it. Actually I had nothing to loose in accepting their offer. Moreover I can get new essential experience in organizing big events, meet representatives from Magnum agency and even meet with Elliott in NYC.

Few weeks later I sent a detailed concept and shared ideas with my partners about my vision for the upcoming event. They've approved it and gave me carte blanche.
Preparations for the exhibition.
For the next months I was intensively involved in preparations of the upcoming exhibition.

I didn't have much experience in curating exhibitions of other photographers. But I had a great supportive and very engaged team to help me. We were open to experiment and there were no boundaries or frames to fit it. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed the whole process.

I met with Elliott Erwitt for an interview at his apartment at Central Park in New York. It was a great opportunity to meet him in person at his home and his studio to look through his archives and ask him some questions about photography.

As a curator I was in charge of all art direction, banners, ads and the opening of the exhibition and PR.

I applied some tricks and methods from my previous exhibitions in Minsk and Moscow. With my team we made a short cartoon about Elliott Erwitt's artistic life.

One months before the opening I flew to Moscow to take care of the construction work.

Elliott Erwitt is one of the founders of legendary Magnum Agency. His representatives and agents came to Moscow to help our team with the final steps.

We spent many hours on hanging the photographs on the walls. It's the most important part of any exhibition. There were around 150 photographs and we all were looking to find the best way how highlight and reveal his genius art.

For an opening we organized a big Vernissage party with the press, celebrities, critics and many photography lovers.

In the end it became a great success.
1.6

Photo agencies.
USA. Europe. Russia.
Factory 311. Art Board.
Walter Schupfer. The Industry.
Onirim. Vitals.
PARIS
Art Board Paris. Part 1
In 2014 I met with Vincent at a dinner party. We had a friend in common and he introduced us to each other.
We talked about many things and also about photography. I showed him some of photographs and he was very excited about it. Vincent had a production company and several photo studios in Paris.

Vincent invited me to come to visit his studio. He told me if I need a place to shoot I always can use one of his studios for any personal work. One of his studios was close to my place in a historic building, high ceilings and fully equipped. I did few shootings there.

We also spent a lot of time together and soon we became good friends.

Short before me going to NYC Vincent decided to launch an agency that will represent artists such as photographers, stylists and make-up and hair artists. He invited me to join the agency so we could work more together. I was very happy to be part of this exciting project.

Finally I got an agency that could help me to move forward with my photography and will take me to another level.

Vincent's partner Nico who is a casting director who helped me a lot in organizing my photography and in building my professional portfolio to show for future clients.

Nico also helped me to organize several meetings with the agencies who represent stylists. It was important to show my work around, to get feedback as much as possible and to make new connections and get new clients.

Another goal was to get me work more with the magazines and push my photography. Next step is to get more commercial work, campaigns and look-books.

I could get a lot of feedback about my work from professionals from the fashion industry and also see how things work.
Art Board Paris. Part 2
We organized few shootings for magazines and also did some commercial work before I left to NYC. Magazines like Interview Russia and Lui France. I also did few shootings for my personal work at Vincent's studio. The agency team was very helpful and we had a lot of fun together.

Actually in 2 months I supposed to come back to Paris but in the end I've stayed for almost 3 years. And ArtBoard didn't have an office in NYC.

For a healthy and productive collaboration between a photographer and the agency you need to stay based in the same city. So they can organize meetings with some potential clients and work on building your career.

So we kept our friendly relationship for the next 2 years and in between we made some projects together like a big shooting for the Flair Magazine in L.A.

With time the agency was getting stronger and took new artists on board. New great photographers and new agents to straighten the team.

At the same time I got some requests from other agencies in NYC and had several meetings with their management about representing me. I needed an agency in city I am living.

When I moved back to Europe I spent a lot of time in Paris and we gave another try to revive our collaboration with Art Board.

We could organize exciting shootings for Zadig&Voltaire and we also did a big commercial work for BlueForet. Plus we shot some editorials for fashion magazines. But not as much as we both expected.

But in the end we couldn't find a solution how to make me work for their clients and how to adapt my quite specific style to new commercial and editorial clients.

We've decided to stop our collaboration but we stayed good friends.
AGENCIES IN NYC
Walter Schupfer. Andre Werther & Onirim. The Industry. Quadriga
NYC is all about networking and meeting new people every day and night. You show your work around and listen, get feedback and move forward.

One day I met with the Walter Schupfer agency (one of the most famous and biggest agency that represent photographers) and I got some opinions for my photography. He said nobody is looking to have another Helmut Newton and I need to concentrate on one style in photography, one direction and become best in this chosen field. Then I can get more work and money.

Honestly I wasn't ready to choose only one direction. My curiosity always brought me to keep on trying new and new styles and techniques. If even my work was influenced a lot by Helmut Newton but with time I could find my own voice and transform and reflect it in an authentic way.

Another agency took a look at my portfolio and without signing a contract with me decided to send my work to some of their clients to see how they would respond. Some got interested but not much happen later.

One of the reason was that I didn't have a working visa and nobody wanted to have extra paperwork here. It's a risk to invest some money into a photographer that is not very known yet, who had no commercial clients and mostly shoot in black and white. And plus his style is quite provocative.

Later I got contacted by another big agent Andre Werther and we met for a coffee to see if we can work together. I was very excited because this was a great opportunity for me to work with a very big international agency. For hours we were discussing photography and my work. I got many significant advices and tips. He suggested to stop by his office next time I am in Paris. In meanwhile I was sending him my new work.

I had a great feeling about our future. But months later when I met with Andre my dream to be represented by big international agency broke apart. He has changed his mind and the agency wasn't ready to take another photographer. I almost cried.

Pier59 studios in NYC opened their own talent agency and reached by me to set an appointment. It was also a major opportunity to start to work with such a big and well known company. But few months later they've changed their plans and decided to not represent photographers and concentrate on make-up, hair and stylists.
RUSSIAN MARKET
Vitals
Connections. Social Networking.
Russian Market !
If you're an independent photographer trying to grow your career, taking pictures is just a small slice of your job. You must be a marketer, salesperson, negotiator, accountant and more depending on the day. Photography agencies and agents are there to fill those roles. But instead of hired help, a photo agency is a true partner, which means you help each other grow. You bring the talent, they bring the business acumen, and if all goes well, everyone wins.

It's more about partnership relationship. You have to need them as much as they need you
You have to be a good investment for them. At the same time, they should be a good investment for you.
As a photographer you have to give your agency imagery to market with. They can help you get your career to the next level, but you have to help them do that

____

What agencies do?

Build relationships with clients.
Pitch their roster of photographers to clients.
Market and promote their roster of photographers through ads, emails, mailers, etc..
Negotiate rates and contracts.
Handle billing and other paperwork tasks.
Help coordinate shoot production details and rentals.
Provide general career guidance.


Source: photoshelter.com
AGENCIES WORLD
Q & A
If you're an independent photographer trying to grow your career, taking pictures is just a small slice of your job. You must be a marketer, salesperson, negotiator, accountant and more depending on the day. Photography agencies and agents are there to fill those roles. But instead of hired help, a photo agency is a true partner, which means you help each other grow. You bring the talent, they bring the business acumen, and if all goes well, everyone wins.

It's more about partnership relationship. You have to need them as much as they need you
You have to be a good investment for them. At the same time, they should be a good investment for you.
As a photographer you have to give your agency imagery to market with. They can help you get your career to the next level, but you have to help them do that

____

What agencies do?

Build relationships with clients.
Pitch their roster of photographers to clients.
Market and promote their roster of photographers through ads, emails, mailers, etc..
Negotiate rates and contracts.
Handle billing and other paperwork tasks.
Help coordinate shoot production details and rentals.
Provide general career guidance.


Source: photoshelter.com
Agencies & Fairs
Photo Representations:

www.models.com/agencies/PhotoRep

Extra:

- Le Book is a global network and resource that offers exposure to companies and members of the creative community. The company operates three offices in three countries producing five sets of books annually that are internationally distributed.
www.lebook.com

- The Modem editions are the working tool and source of professional information dedicated to those who operate in the fields of fashion and design.
www.modemonline.com


- A collaborative platform that links the international photography community; World-class artists / photographers, galleries, dealers, & publishers.
www.photola.com

Paris Photo brings together up to 200 exhibitors from across the world, offering collectors and enthusiasts the most diverse and qualitative presentation of photography-driven projects today.
www.parisphoto.com

Articles:

- apanational.org/news/entry/looking-for-representation-read-this-first/
- productionparadise.com/blog/must-have-photographer-features-advices-for-young-photographers-and-more-photo-agent-angela-woods-interview/

1.6 EXERCISE PHOTO REP
Look for photo reps worldwide. What photographers they represent? Check their portfolios and lay-outs.

Make a portfolio out of your work for agencies you like.
Compose and email about you and your work and send it.
Agent Kelly Penford at Jed Root
For most photographers, getting an agent is a smart business move that can take a career to new places. Along with access to new clients and help with the business tasks many photographs dread, entering into a photographer-agent relationship means you're part of a team rather than going it alone. When you're ready find one for yourself, take the time to research your options and meet with as many reps as possible to find an agent you trust and feel comfortable with. With mutual respect and hard work on both sides, you'll hopefully enjoy many fruitful years as your career grows


How do you find new photographers?

We get 50 to 100 submissions per week.We get 50 to 100 submissions per week.
Include images in the body of the email so that when we open it we look straight away
The more traditional routes are still open in terms of photographers that have assisted other photographers and people that we've worked with here or people that we know within the industry. We know if someone has gone down the assisting route that they're going to have a great technical knowledge. They understand the business in terms of what's needed on set and how to handle professional relationships

How much experience do you look for when considering new photographers?

We look at the apprenticeship phase of the photographer in the range of five to 10 years.
That amount of time investment in learning and understanding the industry puts you in good stead to be able to have a career that spans a lifetime.

What are some other qualities you're looking for?

People who are good team players and have the confidence to be able to direct. Taking images is 25 percent of the job. Handling the relationships with people, dialogue with other creatives, working with production in terms TIPS TO GETTING A PHOTO REP 26 II III I © Guy Aroch / Coca Cola of being able to problem-solve—those elements cannot be underestimated. That's all part of the development work that we do with artists that we take on.

What is your vetting and interviewing process like?

The analogy we use is, this is a marriage. You wouldn't necessarily get married after the first date. You'll want to develop a relationship that's built on trust and honesty and transparency. Getting to know each other means that we'll have multiple meetings, then start to get a handle on people's ability to deliver professionally and maintain relationships with people we're going to introduce them to. Often we'll set up do meetings for the prospective talent with industry leaders that we really trust and respect. Then we would ask the clients for their feedback and thoughts. You're looking at three to six months before you would make the leap and say let's do this.

Any other tips for getting an agent's attention once the conversation has started?

The most important thing I would say is to take pictures every day. We might sit down and have meeting with someone and say, "Your work is coming along great; let's get together again in a few months." If that photographer comes and shows us the same work again, it's doubtful our opinion will have changed that much since the last time we spoke. Seeing the way people are thinking about imagery is really instructive to us.


Once you do ask someone to come on board, what happens next?

The process means getting the work ready to be able to take it to market. What can be confusing for photographers, especially ones that have a background in fine art, is the idea that we are a business so we're going to be looking at ways to grow a photographer's business by monetizing what they do. You want them to be hired by people so they can actually make revenue and are able to reinvest in what they are doing. Maybe they need to buy new technical equipment or maybe they need to do additional testing or editorials that need to be self-financed. We educate our talent so they understand that part of the process—that what you make should be reinvested in your future. Even if you're able to start working quickly, you really have to think about how you're going to reinvest into your work so you can keep attracting new clients.

What types of goals do you set with your photographers?

The key to this industry is getting repeat business so that as you build a relationship with clients you have the ability to work with them for months or years. That's what we're trying to instill. So much of that has to do with the relationship you have with the client and the creatives and being able to be a team player. It's as simple as being courteous. If you're not able to work in a professional way then your career won't last two minutes. That's something that can be very difficult for creative photographers to grasp because the integrity of their work is obviously very important. We definitely welcome people who have very strong creative opinions, and part of our job is to give the photographer the freedom to operate but also for the client to feel as though they've been accommodated as well. I ultimately want the images to do their job, which is to grow the client's business

What are some of the learning curves for your new photographers?

The hardest thing to deal with is actually success. They may get a great editorial opportunity or a fantastic advertising campaign, and it might come very early in their career. If they haven't gone through and made some mistakes, things can be a problem. That's when it becomes difficult to control your ego or get a realistic grasp of what this industry is about, which it's about a lot of hard work. And, of course, the very hardest thing is if your work isn't being accepted. If an agent finds you and they really believe in you, and then for people not to hire you, that can be a very difficult point. In all of those areas, it's important to know that there are ways to work through everything. There are many different peaks and troughs in any photographer's career. If you've not had the success at the beginning, it's not time then to throw back the camera and say this isn't going to work. There's a way of examining what the issues are and really listening to people and to yourself in terms of what your convictions are and what kind of work you want to do. What's difficult is if an agency has a certain idea of where a talent should be headed, and then the talent has their own idea of the kind of work they want to do, but they're not TIPS TO GETTING A PHOTO REP 28 II III I © Bjorn Iooss / CR Fashion Book producing the kind of work that is going to get them to their goal. There's always this constant tug between the art and the commerce of the industry and trying to strike that balance is one of the major things in terms of career management.

What do you do in terms of marketing your photographers?

All of that kind of promotion would be coming from us. If you're represented by an agency, that's one of the things your agency should do for you is really working on the marketing and promotion of your work. Own agency website has become the main way clients will look at work from us. We work a lot with our own internal promotions and have a graphic design team that is set up to showcase imagery and to make things look more crafted toward a particular client or a particular need that they have. Also with photographers now having their own Instagrams or websites, we really work together in terms of how we're communicating about their work. Somebody's Instagram may be very personal, and that allows clients to get a real grasp of who this person is. Others use their Instagram as a showcase for their work. That can be a great way for clients to get an overall picture. We talk to our talent about their Instagram feed and what they're putting out there. There is a certain curation process that goes on with everything that goes out into the world.

What do your contracts typically stipulate?

Contracts used to be extremely heavy in terms of restrictions. I've worked at a number of agencies, and there's always a fear for an agency thinking they need to tie down a talent with them. Our philosophy is definitely a lot more free in the sense that we really want to have a great relationship with people. There aren't any handcuffs attached to our contract. If we're happy working together, let's work together. If there's an issue or problem and we're not going to work together any more, so be it.

___

Source: photoshelter.com
1.7

NYC
Moving to NYC in 2015. Restart.
How NYC revealed both strengths and weaknesses.
2015
2 weeks before my birthday on 12th of May I arrived in JFK.
In 2010 I moved to Paris from Germany and it was also on the 12th of May. Such a strange coincidence.

After a very long flight I took a cab and went straight to East Harlem where I was staying for the next 3 weeks. I took a quick shower, left my bags at home and went for a walk. I couldn't wait to explore and start to discover the city. My perception was impacted by the jet-lag that I was experiencing for the first time in my life.

Actually I already knew this city pretty well. From all the movies, tv-shows, advertisings, books and music videos. Images of American Culture, American Dream and American Way of Life were already pre-programmed and pre-installed.

NYC as once Berlin, Paris and Moscow, made a huge impression on me. But it was not about falling in love. This time it was very different. It took me a while to realize what was it.
It's all about NYC's energy that makes it so special and unique. Raw and wild energy that is storming and raging from everywhere around you. In some way you might feel that electricity passes through your body and your mind. Buildings, cars and people are in a constant vibration and in hysterical dancing.

With time you get addicted to this constant rush of adrenaline.

You would walk the streets and see great buildings, fantastic architecture and next to it terrible houses, streets full of trash, homeless people laying in the streets. Craziness everywhere. You don't walk you start to run keeping the tempo.

I walked for hours non-stop, observing and absorbing this energy. At some point it was too much so you would feel your brain about to explode.

And I needed this explosion to happen in my life. After 5 years in Paris I got stuck and framed into my own style. I became predictable for clients and for myself as well.

I desperately was looking to restart and to reinvent myself and my photography. I needed new challenges and NYC is a right place to be to challenge yourself to extreme.

At first I didn't have a plan to move and live in NYC. My initial plan was to stay for 6 weeks and just see how things will go. Without any pressure and no expectations. But something would tell me I am staying.
FIRST SHOOTINGS
2015
Few days after my arrival in NYC I made appointments at all major model agencies in town. I was curious to know what they would say about my work and my chances in NYC.

My friends bookers in Paris helped me to organize my first meetings with their colleagues in NYC. My model tests were already well-known among agencies. Many models I shot in Paris were based in NYC so the agencies would use our photographs for their books.

To my delight I was received very well. Most agencies were excited and interested to start to work with me. I would get models from the mainboard and also get paid very good money.

Some agencies would also send me models that were doing Victoria Secrets Shows. They needed strong images for their portfolios. And I was the right one. I knew how to make powerful portraits and also I knew how to shoot great body shots.

La femme fatale style that I brought from Paris was in demand. It was different to most of photographers based in NYC.

I started to work with best agencies in town: The Society, The Lions, IMG, Next, DNA, One, Elite ...
LOCATION
Indoor + Outdoor
As I came to NYC from Paris quickly I met many french friends and their friends who had moved to NYC before me.

I was looking for indoor locations to shoot when one of this friends suggested his place for shootings. It was a huge triplex in Chelsea, a dream location with 3 floors, a lot of day light and modern furnished. Plus a rooftop with a terrific view over the city. I organized more than 7 shootings over there.

Everyday I would meet new people and I would never hesitate to ask if they have a place where I could take my new pictures. I could get the keys from the rooftop in Lower East Side for some shootings with Victoria Secrets models. I also used my airbnb apartments as venues for the shoots.

I felt like a new born. I was open to every opportunity and possibility to create new images and get new experience.

Soon I had shootings almost every day. Many model tests and I did some personal work.

NYC gave me this dynamic and energetic tempo I was enjoying a lot. It felt like I was inhaling pure oxygen that made me feel high sometimes. I became productive, creative and effective.

I had many great indoor and outdoor locations. I was getting fantastic packages with models for my shootings, I was meeting a lot of new brilliant creatives and each day I was discovering NYC more and more.

I was happy with the results of my first shootings in NYC and it fueled my enthusiasm to keep on going.
How NYC revealed both strengths and weaknesses. !
My first six weeks in NYC were very intense and productive. I could organize many great shootings with fantastic photographs as the result. I fall in love with one girl. Anya was based in NYC. I couldn't imagine to be without her.

I came to Europe in June and all I wanted was to move back to NYC. It took me sometime to renew my visa and to do some paperwork. Then I packed my stuff, took a plane and said yes to a new exciting adventure.

I trusted my gut and my intuition. I needed this new challenge and I felt I was ready for it.

Few months later I will develop a different approach to the city, less romantic and more realistic.

The pressure will became to intense and I often would feel depressed. NYC is about changing the world, about working every day. On days when you don't shoot you feel like shit.

____


1.8

Los Angeles
2020!
Los Angeles
I had been to L.A. twice before I finally moved here in January, 2020.

In 2017 I came for a 2 editorial shootings for a German magazine Flair. We shot a a beautiful house close to Malibu. Preparations and organizing took me and my agency in Paris (ArtBoard) almost 5 weeks.

Quality of the natural light in L.A. is fantastic. Almost every photograph taken with just day-light was already great and juicy. Colors and contrasts were so vibrant, bright and strong.

I could see plenty of opportunities and potential for myself and my photography in this city. A lot of creative artists, thriving movie industry, blooming music scene and most importantly great locations to shoot. Impressive nature, landscapes and terrific weather all year round.

In 2019, after I've spent more than 8 months in Moscow and Europe, I was looking for a new base, for a new city to move and work.

In many ways L.A. was an unknown and mysterious city for me. I will need to restart again from the beginning. Building my network, scouting for locations, meeting new people, finding places where to stay and creating a new identity for this city.

I came to NYC first in December, 2019 and spent almost 6 weeks there. Not much was happening during this time. There were not many shootings, I didn't get motivated by the city as I expected and quickly got stuck.

I decided to give L.A. a try. So I packed my stuff, took a plane and came to L.A. in January.

A new adventure has began.
Part 2
I came to sunny L.A. from cold and windy NYC. For the first few days I was just walking for hours and enjoying the nature, the trees and flowers, fresh air. It was such a huge difference to lifeless and rough NYC in winter.

L.A. is extraordinary in terms of its light and scenic qualities. The colors are very vibrant and bright.

Nature is everywhere and it's so diverse. You have ocean, mountains, deserts and lakes and all of this within a ride of two hours by car.

People are very open, kind and welcome. You still have a lot of turbulent energy like in NYC but much less stress and hustle. Fashion industry and art scene are blooming and more and more creative people coming to live in L.A. from all over the world.

I urgently needed new photographs to update my portfolio with more color photographs and great outdoor locations. L.A. has everything you need for this.

I also was interested in building my portraits and celebrities portfolio with new shots of actors, musicians and artists.

Plus it was a great opportunity to reinvent yourself and apply a new identity to your personality. You can be whoever you choose to be in this city.
P.S.
I always went to places that I found interesting and challenging, where my intuition and heart took me. No comfort zones for longer than 2-3 months.

Photography may take you places you couldn't access otherwise. You meet new people, start relationships, get new friends and you live the life.