Aleksey and Marina have been collaborating for five years but actually became acquainted on
a photo shoot in 1994 and have been inseparable ever since. They combine their creative efforts
through the use of unconventional photos resulting in experiments with negative film.
They were so inspired by the results that they decided to leave commercial advertising and model
photography. This difficult career decision was made in 1998 during a challenging time for the Russian
economy. This willingness to take risks has resulted in an eternal sense of optimism in everything
that they do.
Our work is our perception of beauty and erotica, and our philosophy. We are attracted to
everything that enhances the reality, proving its conditionality, everything that relates to it
and its inconsistency. The process of creating the photos is quite labor intensive and demands
some time. It all begins with the declaration and sharpening of any theme or idea. It can be
something abstract . . . any condition, it can be a simple fetish, anything that will draw our
attention. Usually at this stage we create draft sketches, which we lay down before shooting.
We have determined that it is necessary to have a concrete idea of what the photos will look like
before starting the actual photo session. We work with the model agencies to find out
what models are available, determine what accessories, clothes, suits, etc. are required.
This task is usually assigned to Marina, but Aleksey will do it on occasion.
Photography is handled exclusively by Aleksey. Marina is the makeup artist and assists him if it
is necessary. Aleksey uses a Nikon camera with narrow 35mm film. Quite often during shooting
he is using such techniques as repeated shooting on one still; zooming during one shot; overlapping
of different plots on one still; shooting of moving models on long exposures.
The most successful on film will be subjected to special processing. Marina’s unique specialty
is painting on the tiny negative, which leads to the distinctive end result.
Using brush and applicators solutions of weak acids, dyes and some other reactants are applied
on emulsion. Fine abrasives are also applied. The end result is an effect of old invoice-parchment
or pencil drawing with a luminous image and flashes etc. Aleksey has learned about this technique
from an old photo book, so we didn’t invent anything new. For example, many photographers
where we live in St.Petersburg, Russia also use it. See an example.
Our technique is unique, we took existing expertise and have brought it to a new level.
Using the painting on the negative technique requires the same amount of time as creating
a drawing. When all chosen negatives are treated and from them satisfying proofs are received,
a joint discussion is arranged. The result from our discussion will be to select the most, in our opinion,
outstanding prints. The prints are then retouched or painted in the areas
we were not able to reach.