Always a favorite with us here at Whattaroll, today we welcome our great friend, the talented Andrej Russkovskij! Taken during the Christmas holidays, his delightful imagery transforms his hometown of Sondrio in the Italian Alps into a golden backdrop that exudes warmth amidst the winter. Expertly blending the elegance of his muse with the use of cross processed film, his photos are enchanting as they are beautifully bold.
Engaging and strikingly rich in colors, you simply cannot help but fall in love with Andrej’s photography.
Talking to us recently, Andrej was kind enough to speak to us about his work on this particular shoot:
Do you think it has made a difference to your approach by working in such a familiar environment like your hometown and with someone you know so well? What qualities do you think this adds to the final result?
I’m not quite sure about the place because I never really had the feeling that whatsoever location was somehow making my life harder when it came to shooting, but it was definitely great to have Adele as a model again. The last time I had the chance to take portraits of her was more than two years ago! So, definitely a good comeback. I guess the familiar environment made her feel even more at ease in front of the camera, which is something that had quite a big impact on the outcome.
How much of your photo shoots are planned and how does this one differ in your process?
I used to plan pretty much everything: the set, the kind of weather I wanted, the makeup, the outfit, the attitude… I guess I was a bit of a control freak! Lately, my life has been so hectic that I could consider myself lucky if I had the chance to hold a camera in my hands and have somebody modeling for me. And, to be fair, I appreciate not having to stick to a specific plan and not knowing what’s going to happen next. It makes the outcome more honest and the process more fun. This specific photo shoot just happened while we were hiking on a mountain trail. We both knew that some shots would have taken place but neither of us knew where, how or when.
What makes this photo series special for you? If you had to select a favorite shot, which would it be and why?
I guess it’s the spontaneity and the complete lack of inhibitions on both mine and Adele’s side. The first shot of the session is probably my favorite. It may sounds very cocky but I wouldn’t change a single detail of it: the cherry lips, the confidence in her gaze, the hues, the light, the sharpness.
Can you recall any funny or surprising moments from this shoot?
You would never believe how much we laughed during the shoot, from her clumsy attempts to look glamorous while rolling in the leaves (she actually nailed it in the end!), to me shouting at her while she was posing behind some bushes, trying to follow my directions, “No Ade, that’s not right at all! You look enormous, hunchbacked, and dead!” I like to exaggerate and friends don’t take it personally.
It’s always a pleasure speaking to you and seeing the work you continue to produce; Are there any new projects and plans you can share with us and our readers?
Thank you, your support means a lot! Well, I’m about to go on holiday to Thailand and the plan is to take enough pictures to write another logbook on my website. I loved working on Iceland’s “Jörð + Vatn” and Florida’s “Flamingo Palm Neon”, so I really hope to continue the tradition.
Cool news is that I have an exhibition coming up on March 10th at Lomography Soho, where some of the portraits I took from September to November 2015 with the Lomography Petzval Art Lens 85 will be displayed. Nothing else is concrete yet, but I hope that London will open some other doors and that, if it does happen, I will have the time to take those chances!
To see more of Andrej’s work, please follow the links below:
Camera – Lomo Lubitel 166+
Film – Fuji Provia 100