My name is Aliona and I am a Fine Art, Fashion, and Portrait Photographer. The main subject of my work is complex emotions.
Nowadays society likes to oversimplify emotions replacing them with a limited set of emojis. In reality what we feel is complex, self-contradictory, sometimes vague. A person can feel sadness that’s pleasurable, happiness on the edge of despair, or jealousy mixed with admiration. This is the kind of emotional cocktail that makes us feel alive.
As a person living with a mood disorder, I always wanted to understand in detail my emotional world to live in peace with it. When I work with a model, I try to establish a strong bond and dive into a common emotional experience to bring real feeling to the picture. To support this feeling, I master a broad range of aesthetics, which I create through light, color, wardrobe, handmade props, location, and post-production of the series.
I started my photography 14 years ago in Moscow as a welcome escape from mundane studies of engineering. I first photographed my friends, but in less than a year I was able to develop my own practice and start working commercially. During the next couple of years, I photographed hundreds of strangers, learning all about faces, light, and connection. As I paid my dues, I moved on to fashion photography, but even now I can’t imagine a truer way to express my admiration towards a person than capturing their candid portrait.
Fashion opened my eyes to a never-ending variety of colors, textures, and movement that I can add to my tool-kit to create given aesthetics. I started working with Slava Zaitsev Model Agency & School in Moscow but very soon I understood that I prefer a European view on fashion. I moved to Lausanne, Switzerland where I had a chance to work with Fotogen, Options, KaiZen, and shoot for Femina, Elle Swiss, Marie Clair, Forbes Romania, Vogue Italia.
Shooting fashion is always about the story for me. Model is my character, my protagonist, and together we explore (visually and emotionally) the topic we both understand deeply. I find it very important to work with brands that are right for me, both for collaborations and commissions, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to put my name on the resulting images.
I moved to the US in 2017, since then I started to work a bit more on my fine-art photography. I did several showcases including two on Manhattan (RAW Artists in Chelsea and Affordable Art Fair) and a few solo shows. In 2020 I was able to secure gallery representation in Bay Area (Gallery House) and become a member of See.Me (featured multiple times). I also published my first photobook called Vague Sensations.
To sum up, I do portrait, fashion, and fine-art photography, but all three genres are infused into each other. Sometimes I do someone’s portrait, but we have a strong narrative and the person almost becomes a character in a metaphorical story. Sometimes I shoot fashion, but I sneak out a couple of fine art shots. Sometimes we shoot something conceptual for the gallery and it gets accepted in PhotoVogue instead. I don’t mind that (nor do my clients and collaborators), for me it’s all the same - genuine connection to another human being and masterful manipulation of elements to support my story.