Interview with Ivan Mamalyha from Saudi Arabia

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Ivan Mamalyha

Ivan Mamalyha sharpened his skills in photography by channelling his perspective to his masterpiece which lead him to amassing knowledge into becoming a photojournalist and a nature photographer.

Interview With The 2023 MUSE Photography Awards Winner – Ivan Mamalyha

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

To create a successful photography portfolio, I started by shooting film and telling photos through my own perspective. Over time, I gained so much knowledge about the craft and became a professional photographer, working as both a photojournalist and nature photographer.

I shoot both film and digital now, depending on the project at hand. My goal is to make sure that the viewer can feel something when they look at my work. Film events are a great resource for me to showcase my work and connect with followers who appreciate my actual work. When I was in college university, I photographed events for brands and created stories that resonated with people beyond just the images themselves.

2Where did you study photography?

When asked where I studied photography, my answer is simple: a school that offers digital photography courses. I started with an introductory photography course to learn the basics of camera works and how to use a camera properly.

As my creative photographic ability grew, I explored other areas such as fine arts photography, photojournalism, and even wedding photography. When it comes to developing students' vision in photography, there are many respected undergraduate courses to choose from.

3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
Of course, it was Maraya Concert Hall in province AlUla, Saudi Arabia. The world’s record on the biggest mirrored building in the world located in the middle of desert.
4What equipment do you use?
My main camera Canon EOS R with sorted lenses of the same brand.
5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

I can say that receiving compliments is always a great feeling. For teachers, hearing from their students can be especially meaningful. Being thanked by a student or receiving a gift card on your special day can remind you of the impact you're making and inspire you to continue making efforts to see your students succeed.

One compliment that touched me the most was when a student told me that I create a strong learning atmosphere. It meant a lot to hear that my efforts to give my students the best education possible were noticed and appreciated.

6What inspires your unique storytelling?

I can say that there are various ways to find inspiration for your unique storytelling. One way is to explore different books genres and find great stories that resonate with you. Another way is to take general ideas and add your own intent to create a sound idea. You can also seek inspiration from people's stories, experiences, or even from nature.

What inspires my unique storytelling is the challenge to build story ideas from a simple writing prompt. I love to spin stories in different ways, and there are five ways that I use to pump my creativity muscle for hours on end.

7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Minimalism, light, idea.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, it is a great honor for me and my team. This recognition means a lot to us as we have been working hard to capture the essence of arts and culture through our lenses. It also inspires us to continue our work in promoting the arts culture and supporting cultural field trips in deserts of Saudi Arabia.

We believe that programs like cultural field trips are essential in educating people about the importance of art and its impact on society.

9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
As a photographer, I have always been fascinated by minimalistic photography and the ability to capture the unique essence of each individual. When I heard about the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards, I knew it was an opportunity to showcase my expertise and creative vision in this genre. My winning work was inspired by the mythological muses and their influence on art and creativity.
10How has winning an award developed your career?
MUSE Photography Award inspired me and my team to move forward to new winnings and the most important development in my career.
11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.

When looking to find photography inspirations, studying the work of famous influential photographers is a great place to start. Their portfolios can provide inspiration jumping off points for your future projects and help you take great photographs.

Personally, I have been inspired by the work of Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, and Steve McCurry.

12What 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 when starting out in my career was from a mentor who emphasized the importance of seeking out mentors and becoming a mentor myself. They encouraged me to not only seek guidance from those who had more experience and expertise in my field but also to actively seek opportunities to become a mentor to others.

This position as a mentor not only helped me grow professionally but also allowed me to support the learning and growth of my mentees, helping them attain their goals. By becoming role models for a few mentees, we can create a ripple effect that impacts multiple people in our place of work or industry.

13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
Don't get disappointed, keep going
14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Keep going! It is most important to move forward, a better self than you were yesterday.
15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
Keep in touch with other photographers, continues self-education and self-discipline.
16Anything else you would like to add to the interview?
I would like to thank the jury panel and for being given the opportunity to present this interview to the MUSE Photography Awards.

Winning Entry

Father's day | 2023

Father's Day | Ivan Mamalyha
Captured during my stay in Saudi Arabia province AlUla at Harrat view point. My attention got those loudly and laughing kids in ...
(Read more at MUSE Photography Awards)

Ivan Mamalyha

Ivan Mamalyha sharpened his skills in photography by channelling his perspective to his masterpiece which lead him to amassing knowledge into becoming a photojournalist and a nature photographer.

Read more about this interview with Giuseppe Satriani from Spain, the Gold Winner of the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards.