INTERVIEW WITH… SERGEI SARAKHANOV

Positive starts a new series of interviews realized by our new editor from Ukraine Alexandra Serafimovich. She will focus on photography in her country: the idea is to keep our eyes open about Est Europe Photographers.

Sergei Sarakhanov is a portrait photographer and cinematographer from Kyiv, Ukraine. Sergei was born in the north of Russia and he was raised around the mountains, nature, snow and northern lights: all this we can notice in his incredible portrait works. He graduated from St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts. Sergei is the winner of the “Best Photographer of the Year – 2010” in the category “Portrait.” Today Sergei gives lectures in the Kyiv College of Art and spends lots of time teaching students “Fine Art Portrait Photography”.

When did you start to think about photography?

From the early childhood I was surrounded by pictures and albums different artists like Ivan Aivazovsky or Valentin Serov and it could not but affect the way I am thinking now. I started taking pictures when I was sixteen years old. I came to Karelia to my stepsister who was in photography at that time and I was watching how she did it. Then I bought my first camera and shoot everything I could.

Portrait by Alexandra Serafimovich
A Portrait of SERGEI SARAKHANOV by Alexandra Serafimovich

What does photography mean to you and which kind of photography do you like more?

I try to be guided by the principles that I have to do what I really love to therefore photography is the primary activity in my life. If I live somewhere in the forest I will shoot animals but I live among the people thus I take portraits.

When you take a portrait, what is important for you?

Most importantly is to define emotional resonance. Portrait is a method of cognition so it is important for me to shoot in a silent places where there no people but me and the person I am shooting. I firmly believe that the real sincerity could exist only between two individuals.

Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?

Despite I have a Higher Education in Cinematography and Photography in the CIS countries it does not make any sense but when it comes to more global it is quite necessary to learn this sphere professionally. But anyway nowadays people have an opportunity to study photography just using internet and books.

What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?

I want to shoot Louis Franck. His creativity affected on me very much. There was a project “Atlantida” and I always dreamed to create a picture with Louis Frank in the water.

What’s your photo-mission?

I want to exalt my portrait hero as much as he actually is without any not inherent to him revisions.  I am creating portraits not self-portrait. I am looking for the kindness, property, emotions and for the deepness.

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