‘Portraits of Shame’ – Ivaylo Petrov shares the story and passion behind his emotive portrait series

Gold medalist Tsvetelina Tsvetanova seen standing in a hotel room at her training facility in Vidin, Bulgaria.

Gold medalist Tsvetelina Tsvetanova seen standing in a hotel room at her training facility in Vidin, Bulgaria.

When I first saw the evocative work of Bulgarian photographer Ivaylo Petrov in his series “Portraits of Shame,” I was immediately captivated.  The series is a collection of images depicting Bulgarian athletes inside their training center in Vidin.  The most startling aspect of the project, as I came to learn, is that these are not creative images in some nostalgic urban decay environment – these are photographs inside an active training ground that’s still in use today.

I wanted to know more about the project and Ivaylo’s passion behind it, so I decided to ask him some questions.

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Athletic Portrait Lighting Breakdown + Getting Models

Last week I shot an athletic portrait session for emerging fitness model Kristin Cavarzan. 

In this article, I want to touch on the studio lighting setup that I like to use for athletic portraits, the benefit of using modeling lights, post production photo editing, the importance of unique photographs and where to find and hire models.

Fitness model athletic portrait

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