There are many Russ­ian pho­tog­ra­phers whose work is unique in its own way. In this com­pi­la­tion, we will talk about such pro­fes­sion­als: from reporters who reveal the prob­lems of soci­ety in pho­tographs, to beau­ty artists who strive to show beau­ty. We select­ed those who liked our edi­tors in recent months.

Yana Romanova

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er-video­g­ra­ph­er Yana Romano­va cre­ates pic­tures with per­for­mance ele­ments. She inter­acts close­ly with her mod­els in order to con­vey con­cepts: self-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, fam­i­ly, social inter­ac­tion. Yana her­self calls her works exper­i­ments in which peo­ple can open up. She has cre­at­ed sev­er­al projects (“Wait­ing”, “Exo­tar­i­um”, “W”), holds reg­u­lar exhi­bi­tions and par­tic­i­pates in com­pe­ti­tions.

In 2014, the British Jour­nal of Pho­tog­ra­phy includ­ed Yana Romano­va in the list of promis­ing pho­tog­ra­phers — Ones to Watch.

  • From Yana, you can learn how to inter­act with the char­ac­ters in a pho­to and how to per­ceive a pho­to in the con­text of a ser­i­al project.
Source: dommetenkova.ru
Source: janaromanova.com

Elena Chernyshova

Ele­na is an archi­tect by edu­ca­tion, which in a sense forms her vision of the frame and reliance on com­po­si­tion in film­ing. Ele­na empha­sizes that she is self-taught in pho­tog­ra­phy, and most of all she is engaged in doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy.

Accord­ing to Ele­na, pho­tog­ra­phy for her is a way to show the pecu­liar­i­ties of the life of dif­fer­ent social and cul­tur­al groups in the con­text of changes in the world. Ele­na works with Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Rus­sia, GEO, Stern, Figaro, Le Monde and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions, reg­u­lar­ly holds exhi­bi­tions in Europe and Rus­sia.

  • You can learn land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy and urban pho­tog­ra­phy “with char­ac­ter” from Ele­na.
Source: elena-chernyshova.com
Source: colta.ru

Zalman Shklyar

A street pho­tog­ra­ph­er with 20 years of expe­ri­ence Zal­man Shkl­yar found­ed his own pho­to agency ZS Pho­to Agency. He is also the edi­tor-in-chief of the online mag­a­zine “Pho­to­cul­ture”.

The aspi­ra­tion of this pho­tog­ra­ph­er is to “reveal the beau­ty of the world, peel­ing it from the husk.” There is always a mood in Zal­man’s shots, and the whole city can be seen through just one char­ac­ter, a shad­ow or a cor­ner of a house.

  • You can learn how to work with shad­ows and reflec­tions from Zal­man.
Source: rosphoto.com
Source: les.media
Source: 500streetphoto.net

Boris Nazarenko

The Moscow-based pho­tog­ra­ph­er, who gained pop­u­lar­i­ty in 2016, cap­tures moments of every­day life in the city in seem­ing­ly ran­dom shots. Each pho­to is a sep­a­rate sto­ry. Boris’ pho­tographs are essen­tial­ly not a series, but a mosa­ic, the frag­ments of which form the face of a city or coun­try. The pho­tog­ra­ph­er often holds exhi­bi­tions in Prague, Budapest, Moscow.

  • You can learn from Boris how to work with black and white shots and street pho­tog­ra­phy.
Source: lensculture.com
Source: lensculture.com

Alexander Petrosyan

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er from St. Peters­burg spe­cial­izes in reportage and urban pho­tog­ra­phy. His pho­tographs are large-scale and often built on con­trasts. He uses var­i­ous themes and tech­niques to con­vey the look of the city. And the reports are very frank and straight­for­ward. Pho­tos of Alexan­der were pub­lished in Newsweek, Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, Geo, Le Monde and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. He is also the win­ner of numer­ous com­pe­ti­tions and con­ducts mas­ter class­es.

  • You can learn from Alexan­der how to work with a col­or frame and cap­ture the moment.
Source: photar.ru
Source: photographer.ru

Polina Tverdaya

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Poli­na Tver­daya works in dif­fer­ent direc­tions, but most often you can find her work in the fash­ion genre. Poli­na has pub­li­ca­tions in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, SNC mag­a­zines.

Nev­er­the­less, fash­ion shots are not her only mer­it. It is enough to look at a series of pho­tos of choco­late for the Ptit­sy cafe, although it would seem that you will not sur­prise any­one with sub­ject pho­tog­ra­phy.

  • From Poli­na you can learn how to work with col­ors, light, geom­e­try and com­po­si­tion in pho­tog­ra­phy.
Sources: spb.allcafe.ru / ptverdaya.tumblr.com
Source: ptitsy.ru

Marina Gorbunova (Ada Ocean)

“There is beau­ty in every­thing,” reads the front page of beau­ty pho­tog­ra­ph­er Ada Ocean’s web­site. Her port­fo­lio includes works for Hel­lo, Vogue Italia, Cos­mopoli­tan Beau­ty Rus­sia and many oth­ers. The pho­tographs of this pho­tog­ra­ph­er com­bine dynam­ics and gen­tle thought­ful­ness. And Mari­na her­self claims that it is impor­tant for her to con­vey the atmos­phere and frank emo­tions through the pho­to.

  • From Ada Ocean you can learn pho­tog­ra­phy for fash­ion mag­a­zines and light­ing design.
Source: oceanfoto.ru
Source: oceanfoto.ru

Alexander Gronsky

Alexan­der Gron­sky was born in Esto­nia, but has been liv­ing and work­ing in Moscow since 2006. His spe­cial­iza­tion is land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy and reportage projects. The most famous frames of Alexan­der cap­ture the vil­lages and small towns of Rus­sia, the sub­urbs of Moscow. Among the pho­tographs of Gron­sky there are also por­traits — both pop­u­lar peo­ple and ordi­nary peo­ple. In this genre, he seeks to con­vey the char­ac­ter of a per­son against the back­drop of the world famil­iar to him.

Alexan­der’s pho­tographs are known all over the world, his exhi­bi­tions were held in Moscow, Paris, Lon­don, Wash­ing­ton and oth­er cities.

  • You can learn from Alexan­der Gron­sky pho­tog­ra­phy, built on con­trasts of col­or and bright­ness.
Source: alexandergronsky.com
Source: alexandergronsky.com

Sergey Gorshkov

Moscow-based pho­tog­ra­ph­er Sergei Gor­shkov cap­tures most­ly wildlife. He has four pho­to books and many series of pho­tographs of ani­mals liv­ing in the Russ­ian expans­es. Gor­shkov’s pho­tographs often made it to the pages of Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, and he him­self is a reg­u­lar win­ner of the British Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry. In 2020, the award in the adult nom­i­na­tion went to a pho­to­graph of the Amur tiger, tak­en in the Land of the Leop­ard Nation­al Park. Alto­geth­er, it took Gor­shkov 10 months to make this shot.

  • From Sergey Gor­shkov, you can learn the tech­nique of shoot­ing ani­mals and, def­i­nite­ly, patience.
Source: nhm.ac.uk
Source: nhm.ac.uk
Source: nhm.ac.uk

Sergei Ponomarev

Sergey Pono­marev is one of the most titled Russ­ian pho­tog­ra­phers and the only Pulitzer Prize win­ner on our list. He received it for a pho­to ded­i­cat­ed to the immi­gra­tion cri­sis in Europe. From 2003 to 2012, Pono­marev con­stant­ly shot for the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, and in 2012 he col­lab­o­rat­ed with the New York Times.

“Sergey’s visu­al per­cep­tion works at a high lev­el. He has the abil­i­ty to orga­nize what he sees in a com­plex man­ner, using the full range of the pho­to­graph­ic dic­tio­nary, and he does it mas­ter­ful­ly, ”said the well-known Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­ph­er James Nachtwey about Ponomarev’s work.

  • From Sergei Pono­marev, you can learn how to express what you see and cap­ture emo­tions on film.
Source: lensculture.com
Source: lensculture.com
Source: lensculture.com

Liked the work, want more inspir­ing pic­tures? Then take a look at our selec­tion of 10 lit­tle-known but tal­ent­ed for­eign pho­tog­ra­phers!