I came across the LiveJournal profile of Sergey Dolya by chance. Or maybe it was destiny, I cannot be sure. My search for stunning photos of Russia to show you has in fact churned up some of the most interesting characters in my 60 years here on planet Earth. And the CEO of Soundline, co-founder and Board Chairman at Advertos Media, blogger and photographer extraordinary who is the subject of this photo essay is no exception.
Author of two books, including the most recent photo journey "Overtaking the sun," Sergey has had a roller coaster ride to becoming a success at everything from technology sales to being a restaurateur. I actually find introducing this extraordinary talent to you. The only term I find to accurately describe him is, "jack of all trades," but restless genius comes to mind too. Maybe the best way to profile him is simply to paraphrase his own mini-bio, while showing you the magnificent photographs he has accumulated in his travels across Russia. Oh, but I should mention, Sergey has pretty much been everywhere else too.
Dolya is technically Ukrainian, given his birth in Kharkov during Soviet Times. The moved from there at age 1 did not sit well with the young upstart, he claims he complained miserably about the transplantation to Dubna, near Moscow. As you might suspect, he's talented in the sense of humor department too. The author come entrepreneur describes his early years as less than tumultuous, and a good bit rebellious toward classical school-book-learning. And in this I can identify because of my own protest to becoming a cookie like all the others. As for Dubna, his mediocre adherence to school theory gave way in the afternoons to mechanical work. Sergey tosses out the notion of "meh" grades like most of my maladjusted friends in America do. And like them, he seems to have ended up as a sort of migrant worker focused on experimentation.
Excuse all the metaphors please, it's just that a man who takes up dubbing video, works as a disc jockey, and later a physics student at Tver State University, he's got to be on an experiential adventure into self discovery. I guess Dubna forgot astrophysics about the time he failed at door-to-door sales, but he certainly learned good lessons - lessons put to good use now.
Graduating the university, our seemingly reluctant hero somehow ended up with Philips, and from his account the electronics company hired him out of sheer curiosity. By this time though, the nervous energy and intelligence that leads restless geniuses, it propelled Dubna into his first really successful venture. Cast as an accessories specialist to begin with, he ended up product Manager across audio for the entire Russia market.
Then, leveraging his newly won experience of 2 years, Sergey wrote a business plan, found investors and then opened his own company promotion accessories distributorship. The boy who got "3s" (Cs to us Americans), he'd become the exclusive distributor of headphones, microphones, remotes and antennas for Philips in Russia. With new clients like Eldorado, Technosila, M-Video, Svyaznoy, Euroset and many others, it seemed Dubna's fate was cast. He hired, and hired, and grew his new business until becoming the exclusive distributor of Thomson in 2006. Now the tot who had complained of a single move of a few hundred kilometers, he was traveling about like a jet-set playboy.
Today Dubna's company distributes a wide range of electronic accessories. Dubna promotes scores of brands including, Philips, Logitech, Sony, Thomson, Denn, Samsung-Pleomax, Jabra, T&B and others. He's employed some 100 plus employees in 12 Russian cities, and according to Dubna, he's no intention of slowing down now. Branching out, the now renown photographer/blogger celebrity opened a restaurant called Deltabar in 2012.
If there is one constant for our subject today, it's travel. Or perhaps it's more fair to say "movement" is the chrysalis that protects this man from growing stagnant. I so identify with this, my own life having been one of constant moving, exploring. The video above is an interesting departure from Dubna's other exploits, a video shot aboard the nuclear ice breaker 50 Years of Victory seems a perfect talisman of sorts, to show why some individuals set a different course all along. Then again, maybe I am being too ethereal in trying to describe a guy who is just another Russian with a camera? Yeah right.
This man is prolific in all his endeavors. Just attempting to share a tenth of the photographs he's taken on his various journey, it's proved hopeless for one article. With his kind permission, I'll share more in another reportage, but for now time and space prohibits. Before I leave off, I'd like to point out Dubya's contributions to such endeavors as "Blogger against garbage-2011", which saw thousands of people in 120 cities across Russia to clean up the landscape. The initiative is now a yearly event, and boast of more than 16,000 permanent participants. Sergey also organized the site "Gracon" so that people could report dumping of garbage and waste, and he established the autonomous Nonprofit Organization "Change the world" too.
Anyway, I wish to thank Sergey for graciously allowing us to use his wonderful photos. Until next time remember, it's your Russia too.