rus | eng




When it came time to remember where you were born.

Photography or death

May 18, 2019 marks exactly ten years since I received my first press card, and therefore came to photojournalism. Small anniversary. The figure is small, but significant for me. My first job was "Sevastopol newspaper". At that time, in comparison with other local publications, this newspaper stood out for its quality approach and diligence. Of course, I often disagreed with the editorial policy on photography, but it was a good practice after a year and a half of photojournalism training.


Thus grew self-awareness and self-determination of me as a photojournalist. At the same time, almost immediately, began cooperation with The Associated Press and struck up a great friendship with the chief photographer of the AP in Moscow Alexander Zemlyanichenko that I cherish up to this day. Photography has become my way of life, a coordinate system.


In parallel with looking for stories for the international agency and shooting for the newspaper I tried to observe life around me through the prism of a mobile phone camera.

...When I'll come back,

Whistle in February nightingale -
That old motif is that long-forgotten, forgotten, stained.
And I'll fall,
Defeated by his victory,
And stick your head like a wharf, on your knees!
When I'll come back.
And when will I be back?


Alexander Galich

After years of work came the realization that my involvement in photography and love for it did not really arise from the desire to capture anything beautiful. But from the fact that you cannot live otherwise - it's your language of communication with the world. A nightingale sings not because it wants, but because it cannot be otherwise. I mean you just can't not shoot.


My memory didn’t save exactly everything that was happening in my life over the past years, there were a lot of events. The number of shots per day could reach five when the picture of the world began to blur after the third shooting. After years, it is difficult to restore the whole picture. But when I look at these pictures, events and people, life around emerges in my memory. I want to peer into some shots for a long time. This is one of them. The image of irretrievably bygone time.

  Sevastopol, Victory Avenue

This story, Motherland flashback, wasn't born at once. Shooting began in 2009 and is still going on. I was creating this story without thinking about anything, instinctively, not knowing that the story will come out. Just documenting the world around me. But all this time I lived photography hoping to learn to own it better.


At that time I read Alexander Lapin's book "Photography as ..." and many others. Most of these shots I did mostly on the simplest smartphone with a 3.2 x megapixel camera, which could be switched to black and white mode. In my soul was ease and was flight. Stories didn’t need to be found - they were near.


Life itself led me by the hand through the alleys and courtyards of my native places, showing amazing scenes. Sometimes I could walk down the street and suddenly something turned me 90 or 180 degrees, and I was walking in an unknown direction. So one day I went to the station and took the train, finding there sleeping girl-student going home from school - one of my favorite shots.


However if I look back at these ten years in photojournalism and ask: what is my greatest achievement during this period? I do not hesitate to answer: the birth of a son. Even the greatest victories and defeats are forgotten. Children remind of themselves every minute.

Despite the fact that the technical quality of some shots leaves much to be desired they have life and it is much more important. Ten years is not such a long time, but a lot has changed not only in my life, but also in profession itself. Big is seen in the distance. From the very beginning I tried to learn how to shoot better, to understand some ephemeral heights. Perhaps it is ironic that since I've learned to shoot I dream to shoot in the same way when I started. After all it turned out that this photo captured on a banal mobile device is much more meaningful in its statement than the shot taken on the best and most expensive device.


It's not about the technique, of course, though it's partly about it too. But the state of mind is the most important thing. The photographer is a man of free consciousness and any restrictions are painful and detrimental for the result of creativity.

  Snezhetok Village, Tambov Region

Photojournalism gives you the freedom to go where you can't and see what you'd rather not see. Every day is not like the previous one, a new day is a new story. But the more you know, the greater the sorrow is. Such a way of life, as it would not be desirable, often leads the photographer to cynicism, skepticism and misanthropy. Rich experience does not always change a person for the better. Therefore I want to keep this childish casual look at things, this sincere connection with people through photography, because sooner or later there may come a time when it will be the only unifying factor.


The photographer begins to feel big and bloated and so big he can’t walk through one of these doors because he gets a good byline, he gets notices all over the world and so forth; but they’re really – the important people are the people he photographs

  Sevastopol, Chaika market, ceremonial portrait on the 8th of March