“Taking pictures represents an escape from my daily routine and the possibility to explore the other half of me that I always tried to ignore. So you can call me what you want, but I’ll go with ‘half photographer’!”
Andrej Russkovskij (born in 1987) is a contemporary photographer from Italy currently based in his hometown Sondrio, Italy. He’s self-taught when it comes to photography. Working as a veterinarian in his main job, for Andrej Russkovskij photography means to break away from his daily routine and explore his creative side.
“I don’t have one (and sadly nothing smart comes to my mind!).”
“Artist Profile” – Andrej Russkovskij
Andrej, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
It depends on what you mean by the word photographer. If you are talking about somebody who has decided to pursue a career in photography by being trained by professors and specialists in order to make money out of his shots – well, sadly I am not. I respect people who followed this path and therefore I would feel like an unfair cocky liar proclaiming myself a “photographer”.
I chose to become a veterinarian as a profession, trying to suffocate the urge that I always had towards art. Of course if it wasn’t for photography, I couldn’t make it. Taking pictures represents an escape from my daily routine and the possibility to explore the other half of me that I always tried to ignore. So you can call me what you want, but I’ll go with “half photographer”!
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
I reckon my photographic language totally the opposite of cryptic, I somehow dislike not getting the meaning of somebody else’s art and I don’t want people to feel confused or awkward in front of mine.
“Eventually in my mind I end up having a complete and detailed picture of how I want the shots to be like.”
The creative process is not following a specific rule. Most of the times ideas come out of the blue while I am doing something else (travelling, running, wandering around). I just found myself overwhelmed in front of specific places and I start thinking about using them as the sets of possible sessions. Eventually in my mind I end up having a complete and detailed picture of how I want the shots to be like. At this stage I like talking about it with the people I want to portray and see how far they are happy to go with my idea. Most of the times I’m not reaching my goal entirely but I am trying to get as close as possible.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
David LaChapelle, because I love the way he’s giving a colorful depiction of beauty in his totally unconventional and unique way. I’m amazed in front of the attention he’s paying to every single detail and I’m enchanted by the crazy worlds his mind can create. He’s a genius.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“I never read, I just look at pictures.”
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I use analog cameras.
Lubitel 166+ is my favourite because of its sharp images and great adaptability in wide-ranging light and weather conditions. During my travels or everyday life I always have the Diana mini F+ or the LC-A+ with me, because they are easier to carry and funnier to use in a careless/random way. Lately I’ve been starting using an Olympus OM10 which I’m feeling pretty comfortable with.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
I like www.lomography.com. It hosts an amazing cheerful and supportive community and gives you plenty of chances to see masterpieces and be inspired by the work of yet not famous lomographers.
What book about photography would you recommend?
Honestly I only have a few because I find it more immediate, and way less expensive, to search what I am looking for on the internet and discover new artists in online magazines.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
Don’t be afraid to start, choose what makes you feel more comfortable, don’t be ashamed to show your work to professionals and amateurs and always ask for opinions and suggestions, be humble, don’t brag at all, be patient, be always eager to find new inspirations.