Ira Jigilo
In conversation with

Ira Jigilo

Berlin, Germany

Hi Ira, please introduce yourself.

I’m Ira, and I’m 32 years old. I was born in Belarus, now I’m in Berlin. I don’t want to get too deep into politics, but the politics was the reason I left Belarus. I guess you’ve heard about the 2020 protests, so many who took part in them had to leave after, and I was one of them.

I never studied photography. I was 10-year-old when got my first camera from my dad for a birthday, and it was on! I tortured everyone around me, made them dress up and pose, sometimes in the strangest places. I once made my younger sister pose with our great-grandfather’s monument in the village cemetery, she was terribly afraid and cried, but I took the photo.

What does analog photography mean to you? What excites / fascinates you about it?

Like I said, I got my first film camera when I was 10 years old. And I’ve never switched to a digital camera, and never will. Moreover, I’m sure that If I try digital camera, pictures will not be good at all! I just don’t feel it. Digital photography’s adepts love the fact that you can immediately see the result and then frame the shot differently. It doesn’t work for me. I take a picture and I don’t want to see it right away. I prefer to prolong the pleasure.

In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of analogue photography?

This divine feeling when you see the pictures for the first time — it’s a million dollars feeling. I’ll never trade it for a stable result in digital photography. Disadvantage is film pricing. Thanks God I got my film dealer in Warsaw, and so far he sells me film at a reasonable price.

Do you concentrate on a certain topic in your work? ​

I mostly take pictures of people, and I specifically love filming passersby. Sometimes it’s not easy — people can overreact and even be aggressive. I still remember a story from Istanbul when a woman, fully dressed up and looking like a witch, pounced on me. But I can’t help my passion to shoot strangers on the street.

I also love taking pictures of cats and dogs — they’re the best. I have the whole series of pictures dedicated to my cat, and it could be a great exhibition one day!

Are there (analogue) photographers who have influenced your aesthetic and approach?

I love aesthetics of Stephen Shore, Martin Parr, Nan Golding, David Giorgadze, Dmitry Markov, Zuza Krajewska and others. There are many inspiring photographers whose work resonates with my perception of the world.

Do you have certain cameras and films that you prefer to work with?

I’m currently shooting with a Japanese camera Yashica T5. it’s a camera with autofocus, compact and easy to use. And it looks very sexy. These were discontinued in 2005, I bought mine on ebay from some collector in Sendai.

Speaking of films: What does your workflow look like? ​

I don’t develop or scan film myself, but I would like to be able to do it. Now I just take my film to the lab I trust, and then check e-mail every hour.

What advice would you have for other photographers who are reading this interview?

Follow me on Instagram haha. No, for real.

If you publish your work on Instagram: curse or blessing?

Why curse? I do really love Instagram — I used it as a portfolio for a long time until I made a website. I have nothing against Instagram, do you?

Which 3 photo books can you recommend / should you definitely own?

You should definitely have my photo book, but it doesn’t exist yet. Stay tuned!

Thank you so much for your time!



Yashica T5


Kodak Portra 400

Farbe & s/w


Selected works

© Ira Jigilo
© Ira Jigilo
© Ira Jigilo
© Ira Jigilo
© Ira Jigilo