INFO

In your work, you usually combine fashion, documentary and street photography, how would you define your style/attitude? And which among these sides of your work did you "exercise" the most in your days at Pitti Uomo?

It is all about balance for me. When shooting reportage/documentary I have to understand that I cannot create, or “fake” a situation. It is all about documenting what is real, what is actually happening, and about being in the right place at the right time to capture that moment with my camera. My style is to be as invisible as possible, which can often be very demanding in environments such as Pitti where many people are extremely self-aware. It makes it more difficult to try and find the moment, as opposed to creating one- as I would do in a normal fashion photoshoot- but the result is worth it, and the happiness from capturing a successful shot is much greater.
Pitti is an event where I get to showcase the most balance between fashion, documentary and street photography. 

When and how did your passion for fashion photography start? And when did it become a career? Could you tell us something about your path and work? Where are you based now? Which is the part you appreciate the most in your work?

 I got my first camera from my grandfather when I was in my early teens; photography was a dear hobby of his, and we would wander the streets of Ukraine documenting life on film together. But it was a long path towards realising that photography was my calling, as I didn’t previously think I could take it seriously. It took me many years, a massive burn out from my retail career and guidance from a Finnish fashion editor, Mia Dillemuth, to finally quit my job. Mia has advised me from the beginning of my career. Pitti has also had a huge impact in my career. I used to go there for work and take personal photos there for fun, but over time it began to escalate after posting images in my social media and gaining recognition from them. Now I have been doing this full-time for 1.5 years, and it has been absolutely amazing. Currently, I travel frequently but divide my time mostly between Helsinki and Milan. I appreciate the freedom that is involved in photography. I don’t have to do this for any other reasons but pure love towards the craft. I appreciate the endless beauty of people and places that I get to experience through the freedom that photography gives me.

How was your experience on the occasion of Pitti Uomo? What did you like the most? And what about the special events? Anyone in particular?

Pitti will always have a very special place in my heart, so the experience is always great. I love the light in Florence, all the new information and inspiration, as well as getting to meet my friends whom I tend to see only twice a year there. The J.W.  Anderson fashion show was spectacular- the location obviously played a huge part for me, but I also liked the collection a lot as it was very wearable yet fun. The special events at Pitti also never disappoint and are the highlight of the event. 

Looking at your photos I noticed them as very cinematic, intense.... how are you able to capture a "normal" instant transforming it in something so intense and deep, beyond the simple concept of fashion?

For me it is all about observation and focus. I isolate myself from everything else,

and it is a sort of meditation moment for me when I shoot. I observe people, how they move, what do they do and try to anticipate their next gesture or movement. Whilst shooting I am making up a storyline in my head, in which the people I shoot are the characters. So in documentary/street photography I try to mix my own imagination into the images, which somehow brings more intensity into the end result. I think there are a lot of straightforward reportage photos or street style photos around. I am trying to go beyond that, to make it more dramatic, to create an illusion whilst capturing a real moment. 

How is it important for a photographer to understand the right moment and the people in front of you? And talking about street photography and fashion/ documentary photography, how do you think has changed the work of a photographer in these recent years?

To understand the moment and observe people is essential to my job. I think you have to love people if you want to capture people, as that love creates a strong photograph. I am still a newcomer myself, which scared me at first due to the amount of photographers around. I think nowadays you cannot be only a photographer- a lot depends on your social skills in addition to your talent, and I see that this is beginning to matter more and more. Since photography has become so easily reachable to people, the competition has grown and you have to find ways to make yourself visible- and the biggest outlet for that is currently social media. I think today a photographer has to be so much more than just a photographer in order to succeed