I am a Bulgarian-born, Chicago-bred, NYC-based photojournalist. The spark that wakes me is my passion for photography, writing, music, the economic and political state of the world, and genuine, interesting, kind people.
My camera defines my geography - from the minutiae of life across the States, to that in Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and Asia. My clients include The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Bloomberg, Getty Images, AFP, Rolling Stone, New York magazine, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, TIME, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune, with my background in writing, reportage, and multimedia serving as an additional source to diversify the content in my photo stories.
It is my ultimate motivation to create pictures that combine unique aesthetics with a strong narrative - style with content - whether in a historic or a seemingly mundane moment.
From the first black president, to the first female to potentially occupy the Oval Office, to a reality TV star candidate with a much-discussed hairstyle and derogatory tongue, the U.S. presidential campaign trail has hardly been accused of being boring. Since first setting foot on the campaign trail in 2007, I've felt drawn to both its theatricality and red tape. Each season offered a new source of fascination: the excited vigor of the 2008 Barack Obama campaign, the sudden restrictions to access by Mitt Romney in 2012 (very much on the way of becoming the norm,) the polarizing rhetoric of the 2016 Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton campaigns, paired with an increase of violence toward protesters and the press.
Photographed for: The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Newsweek, TIME, and Getty Images, and as personal work
“Trump Gawkers" is a visceral look at what draws people to Trump Tower, the current residence of U.S. President elect Donald Trump. Hoards of people undertake the trek, bearing security and weather roadblocks, to stare, gawk, absorb, record. The magnetism to the tower (and by extension, to the man inside it,) manifests in the sheer numbers of daily visitors, as well as in the fascination etched across their faces. Upon first look, the time so many spend there seems like sport and amusement, but underneath upturned eyes and selfie smiles prevails an undercurrent of anxiety - and not just for those who didn't want Trump in the Oval Office. Some of the electorate that voted against Hillary is now unsure for which version of Trump they voted. People's upward gazes, no matter their political views, seek answers: How could this happen? Or now that it has, what will it mean?
Fraying family pictures from pre-1989 Bulgaria inspired this portion of a long-term project on Democracy + Communism. The parallels between them and photos I'd taken in present-day Cuba surface best when juxtaposed - one image layered on top of the other. And so, I attempted to bridge one country’s past to another country’s present - to show that political ideals, its profiteers and its victims, can remain unchanged by time or geography.