Romanian photographer Aurel Vîrlan has mastered the magic and power of photography. He captures the beauty of the world almost as he were a “Lens Wizard”. Let’s find out his secrets as a professional photographer and the advice he has for aspiring young artists!
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First Steps in Becoming a Professional Photographer
His love for capturing unique moments and authentic human expressions first began when he was just 11 years old. In order to follow his new discovered passion, he enrolled in a club’s photography class (Casa Pionierului). “I was fascinated to see how I could capture some special moments and have them remain on film!” Romanian photographer Aurel Vîrlan shares.
When he received as a gift his first camera, he started taking photos more often. “That’s how my passion for photography began,” says Aurel Vîrlan.
His love for photography grew and developed along with him. The Romanian photographer began to shoot everything that caught his attention or interest. He then searched for books on photography and composition, and wrote ideas down in a notebook. Finally, he enrolled in photography classes at the Popular School of Art and the People’s University of Bucharest.
Several publications that had a strong need for photography appeared after the Romanian Revolution (1989). Photographer Aurel Vîrlan purchased his first semi-professional camera with multiple lenses and began publishing his photos in magazines and newspapers.
“When I saw that there was enough money to be made, I started publishing in several publications every week. In the first years after the Revolution, I earned in a month through photographic collaborations as much as I did in 6 months of work! Without even realizing it, I had stepped into my photography career, beyond the passion that had remained anyway,” shares the Romanian photographer.
Challenges to overcome in Photography
Like any artist, photographer Aurel Vîrlan had obstacles to overcome in his work, such as a lack of the right equipment or knowledge about a particular area of photography. He didn’t let those challenges discourage him though. He learned how to budget his money in order to buy the necessary equipment, and he began to study all over again for each new photographic genre he wanted to explore.
“There were moments that were hard to overcome: whether I wanted to take photos that required certain special objectives, or if I approached a new field for which I was underprepared. I learned to keep a portion of my earnings to be able to buy cameras, photo lenses, or other accessories. I started to learn again for every new photo genre I wanted, both from books and online,” says the Romanian street photographer.
Although handling criticism and negative feedback can be difficult, Aurel Vîrlan sees the silver lining and advises young people to view criticism as a form of appreciation and to use it as a means of improving their craft.
“Some criticisms and observations can have their good side, as they make you more attentive to the photos you take, to how you set the camera, to how to use light better. There are, of course, people who are malicious in their criticism. Initially, they bothered me, especially since many of them were unfounded. Then I realized that it is a form of envy! Colleagues’ envy is actually a form of appreciation, so they no longer bothered me, and I continued on my path as a photographer,” shares the professional photographer.
Finding Inspiration in Photography
So, what truly inspires Aurel Vîrlan to keep taking stunning photos?
It is his curiosity about everything around him, he claims. He draws inspiration from people, nature, and all the beauty that surrounds us. He finds enjoyment in taking photos of people when they’re doing something, regardless of what it is precisely because every human action has an element to it, that for Aurel is “real and sincere”.
“First, I think it’s curiosity about everything around me, from how people look and dress, to the light reflected from lanterns in puddles while it rains, from the first spring flowers to the brown leaves in autumn, everything arouses my curiosity. (…) New subjects can appear anytime, whether when I read a book, talk to someone and find new ideas, or when I ride a bike or walk barefoot on the beach,” says the Romanian street photographer.
The message Aurel wants to get across is that magic is all around us. “Every image says something, you express yourself.”
“I like to make people aware of the beauty that exists around us! People’s faces always express something, the sunrise is always different depending on the clouds, the shades of the sky, and the birds that fly. A street looks one way in the morning, another way in the evening, one way in spring, and another way when it rains or snows. I believe that if we talked more about the beauty around us, we would all be more beautiful!” says Romanian photographer Aurel Vîrlan.
Aurel Vîrlan’s Close-To-Heart-Photographs
Aurel confesses that he has several photos that are very close to his heart. One is the photograph that captures his daughter holding three red poppies in a field of green wheat. Another close-to-heart-photograph is the one of a young couple sitting on a sandy beach. In this setting, the man reads poetry to her from a book.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m proud of a particular photograph. I would say that certain photos are very dear to me. One of those photos is of my daughter with three red poppies in a field of green wheat,” shares the professional photographer.
Aurel’ Vîrlan’s Advice for Young Aspiring Artists
For young artists who want to explore and follow their passion, Aurel has some advice.
He says, “Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. Never stop learning, practicing, and investing in your craft. Be curious about everything around you. Listen to constructive criticism, but don’t let unfounded criticism bring you down. Remember that envy is a form of appreciation. Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. And most importantly, enjoy what you’re doing!”
Aurel Vîrlan’s enthusiasm for photography and his positive attitude towards challenges, and criticism are for us truly inspiring. Young artists can learn and benefit from Aurel Vîrlan’s experience and passion. So take his advice to heart and embark on your unique journey to self-discovery and artistic expression.
Start exploring all the beauty around you because, who knows?! You might find a new passion for the arts, whether it’s photography, like in Aurel’s case, or something else!
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