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Evgeniya Dovgalyuk | European Photography Awards

Evgeniya Dovgalyuk

Evgeniya Dovgalyuk, a self taught photographer with an interest in storytelling, discovered her passion at age 18 and has been creating images since then. Her ultimate goal is to evoke deep emotions and capture meaningful human experiences.

Interview With The 2023 European Photography Awards Winner – Evgeniya Dovgalyuk

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

Hello, I'm Evgeniya Dovgalyuk, a Russian photographer who lives abroad.

I found my passion at the age of 18 when my brother gifted me his old film camera. This unexpected gift sparked my interest, leading me to explore photography as a form of self-expression and storytelling.

2Where did you study photography?

I didn’t get a high education as a photographer.

All of the knowledge I have, I’ve got from different online courses and YouTube videos. So can I say that I am a self-made photographer? :)

3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

I don’t remember the first shot, but I remember the first film. It was a black and white film. I worked as a counselor at the summer camp. I made a few portraits for my coworkers for sure.

And then we moved beds from one building to another. I realised that the bed in the woods looks really great and a little bit weird. I like that! So I made a shot with the bed standing in the woods.

4What equipment do you use?

I have transitioned from film to digital photography. Currently, I use two digital cameras. Sony for commercial and art projects, and the tiny Fujifilm for everyday use and travel.

5What do you hope to achieve?

My ultimate goal as a photographer is to create images that evoke deep emotions and tell meaningful stories. I aim to capture the essence of the human experience, even in its most vulnerable and profound moments.

6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

The compliment that truly touched me was when one guy decided to be a photographer because of me. I have inspired him and it was so great!

7What inspires your unique storytelling?

My storytelling is deeply influenced by my personal experiences and emotions. The themes of emptiness, loss, and the human condition are central to my work. Additionally, the exploration of nature and the contrast between vulnerability and strength drive me to create images that resonate with viewers.

8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?

Emotive, Vulnerable, Introspective.

9Congratulations! As the winner of the European Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

This recognition motivates me to continue exploring new avenues of storytelling and pushes the boundaries of my artistic expression.

10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 European Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

This project was particularly close to my heart as it is about my family. When my country began the terrible war in Ukraine, my husband and I left Russia. Our families are still there.

In the photograph, we are sitting naked at the rainbow hills. Our hands and legs are bound. We are unprotected but we are together. We are the only ones we have at the moment. And it is so powerful to me, because we can do everything together.

11How has winning an award developed your career?

I’m just in the beginning of my art journey. But this award makes me feel that I have done everything right.

12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.

Saul Leiter, Nick Night, Tim Walker.

13What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?

One of the best pieces of advice I received was to always stay true to my artistic vision and emotions. Because true emotions are the key to strong art. And the second great advice was “shoot more!”.

14What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

I would advise aspiring photographers to explore their emotions and personal experiences as sources of inspiration. Dive into the technical aspects of photography, but also prioritise developing your own unique style that reflects your inner voice. And remember, photography is not just about capturing images; it's about telling stories.

15What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
The key to my success has been my dedication to authenticity and the ability to translate emotions into visual stories. I believe that every artist has a distinctive voice, and by embracing it, you can create work that resonates deeply with others. Don't be afraid to push boundaries and evolve your style while staying true to your core values.
16How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
Staying receptive to new information and knowledge is crucial for growth. I constantly engage with the photography community, attend workshops, and immerse myself in the works of other photographers. This helps me to stay open-minded and continually learn from both my peers and the evolving trends in photography.

Winning Entry

We | 2023

The union of two people in a relationship is a beautiful and powerful thing. It represents a coming together of two separate individuals to form a partnership that is greater than the sum of its parts. ... (Read more at European Photography Awards)

Evgeniya Dovgalyuk

Evgeniya Dovgalyuk, a self taught photographer with an interest in storytelling, discovered her passion at age 18 and has been creating images since then. Her ultimate goal is to evoke deep emotions and capture meaningful human experiences.

Read more about this interview with Verena Panzitt from Austria, the Platinum & Gold Winner of the 2023 European Photography Awards.