Maxim Dondyuk cover11 1440x900 Photographer Feature | Maxim Dondyuk
After the clashes with the protesters riot police protected APC which takes away burned buses from the carriageway in the center of Kiev on Jan. 22, 2014.
Shanna June

Shanna June

Community Manager

Photographer Feature | Maxim Dondyuk

We feel very fortunate to have Maxim Dondyuk a straightforward, brave, utterly dedicated and emotionally in touch Ukrainian documentary photographer on board +PS this week. Maxim was one of our 70K YAY! competition winners.. But it wasn’t just him that won – we did too! It’s been a total pleasure having this opportunity to get to know Maxim a little more, and on top, to be able to share with you all these intense images – 100% thought and feeling provoking!

Good vibes and endless inspiration,
Preset Shop Team


Who is Maxim Dondyuk?

Maxim Dondyuk is a documentary photographer and photo journalist.

How did you find out about Preset Shop?

About Preset Shop I found out in a very accidental way. I saw an announcement about a Preset Shop contest on a photo site. More information about the presets I found on your site and after I submitted my application also, as I wanted to try them but at that time I didn’t have enough money to buy them.. And to my big surprise I was one of the winners, and won a complete pack of your presets!

What is the best advice you have received so far about photography?

I got a lot of advice. Some helped me, others just screwed me over.

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Riot police before the attack.

How would you describe your style?

Classical documentary photography. I’m not interested in conceptual modern photography at all.

What does fashion mean to you?


As you look through the viewfinder, what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?

I’m sure that it’s very important for a photographer to be interested in art, literature, music and cinema. All of these broaden our mind and the not so evident become evident. The photographer who looks not for a form but for associations and emotions with his inner world reacts in a special manner to all that’s happening during the shooting.



What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?

Mostly I’m influenced not by photographers but by writers. In photography I prefer the classical school and such photographers as Eugene Smith and Sebastião Salgado. Of the photographers who shoot colour photos I’m interested in Alex Webb and Gueorgui Pinkhassov. At the beginning of my professional journey I was a great fan of James Nachtwey.

What’s the most important thing you want potential clients to know about you?

I’m not thinking about clients at all. Photography is a philosophy for me.. It’s a possibility to know an outside and inner world.

What is your favorite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?!

I prefer MacBook Pro 15’’, Lightroom for processing photos and FinalCut Pro X for making videos.




How important is Photoshop in your final images?

I don’t like digital photos in their pure form.. That’s why processing RAW files is very important for me, but more often it’s just colour correction.. I don’t use classical photoshop tricks and haven’t for many years. Actually, I think I wouldn’t remember how to use it.

Cos we just have to ask…!! 😉 What is your favorite +PS tool? And how has it improved workflow time?

I like +PS Retrograde.

Do you maintain a studio or do you rent one when needed?

I never work in a studio.





Three photography pet hates and why?

I don’t want to concretize the situation. I can just say that I don’t understand modern photography, I don’t like it and sometimes it’s even disgusting. And I also don’t understand modern documentary photography as it has nothing except an idea. For me the most important elements are the visual and emotional. I’m against photos that don’t show emotions. If the photographer thinks only about himself, makes conceptual decisions and doesn’t think about the suddenness, visualization and emotions it’s ununderstandable for me.

Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?

I would like to live in New York for one year, and then Paris.

What five words would your friends use to describe you?

I think it’s better you ask them 🙂

Do you play music whilst shooting? If so, what are you digging right now?

I don’t listen to music during shooting.. For me it’s very important to have natural sounds, and also I talk a lot with the people when I’m photographing.

What lies ahead for you?

I think it’s better not to plan.


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