STILLS + MOTION
"My life is full of energy, rich in color and always moving forward — my life is vibrant. And because my life is vibrant, it is not surprising that so is my photography."
My life is full of energy, rich in color and always moving forward — my life is vibrant. And because my life is vibrant, it is not surprising that so is my photography.
I live every day full of determination and energy. As someone who detests standing still, in work and life, I value progress and innovation. And, I believe that both would not be complete without the richness of color. I can say this with confidence because my life’s early experiences completely contrast with this notion. I grew up in communist Romania, where we were not allowed to step outside the lines and be creative. My early environment was monotonous and limited to “do what you are told, or face the consequences.” For a very long time, my life was the opposite of vibrant, and due to the highly controlled media, we had no idea of anything different.
Romania taught me some impactful lessons, chief among them being that hard work and perseverance were key to survival. Society dictated that mistakes were not permitted and failure was not an option. As a result, my schooling was bloody aggressive, and playing tennis required perfection; or else.
Whether conquering my times’ tables in school or hitting the winning tennis backhand, I learned to go beyond what was being asked of me; finding success meant putting in much more than the minimum amount of effort. My father, who was one of the few individuals allowed to travel outside of the country for work, mirrored this thinking in his career, demonstrating a strong work ethic. But it was also from him that I began to understand the world outside my somber upbringing when he brought bootleg copies of National Geographic and the Indiana Jones movies from his travels to the Western world.
Our family moved to England when I was eight. It only took visiting my first candy store; in absolute and complete awe of what I saw, to realize that life was full of color and choice. Today, I choose to see endless possibilities everywhere I look, and I have that life-altering moment from years ago, to thank for it.
That’s why I love the notion of travel. It is a metaphorical journey to go from seeing photographs in National Geographic to stepping foot in those same places, learning what is hiding around every corner, and experiencing the landscapes, culture, food, and people. Having visited 85 countries and counting, travel is sustenance for me. And just like that candy store, it provides rich layers of flavor, color, and a sense of wonder at the previously unseen and unknown.
England gave me a chance to grow, learn and move forward at lightning speed. But, it wasn’t easy. It required flexibility, grit, and a dauntless spirit. Being teased for my heritage and always the outsider; learning and speaking English was not easy at such a young age. But my mother instilled in me the idea that I was not less than others. She reminded me that there were no excuses and that I needed to keep moving forward. Always.
Resilience became my chief asset, allowing me to see each challenge as an opportunity. As a teen-aged sponsored tennis player, I traveled to far-off countries like Brunei, Syria, and Tunisia successfully increasing my rank. Later, realizing that education offered more possibilities than tennis ever could, I studied economics and graduated with a Masters Degree in Finance and Investment. Investment banking became the reward for that hard work but with it came burnout. Feeling the pull of creativity influenced by my travels, new technology, and automobiles, photography became the natural next step for me.
Whether shooting landscapes, aerials, automotive, or products, I constantly push the boundaries of my abilities and always look to evolve; believing it brings versatility. I am inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s brilliance and ability to create something unique with The Lord of the Rings. With my imagination as my guide, I try to emulate Tolkien’s greatness; creating something unique through constantly evolving technology. Exoskeleton and Wilson Observatory are two recent examples of putting this thinking to work.
As someone who continuously looks to the future, I get energy from researching, practicing, and perfecting. I’m excited to bring my current concept ideas to life and am hungry for those I have not yet considered. It is necessary for me to approach my work with a “yes, and” mentality, as it invites collaboration. I am looking forward to the clients I am yet to meet and the projects that will come — where I’ll infuse the vibrancy that inspires my life.
Andrei Duman's 'ExoSkeleton' is a Confluence of Creative Fervor, Technology and Curiosity
Andrei Duman's ExoSkeleton project showcases his creative versatility in harmony with his technological prowess through detailed images of insects.Read more