JR: What was the process of shooting this project like?
KS: I did 3-4 shoots during August and September this year. It was mostly last minute arrangements. I’d choose specific clothes in advance from girls wardrobes so it could look ‘regular’ and won’t take that much space and attention from both of them. We would meet in downtown Brooklyn and shoot on the Piers for 1-2 hours each time. It started as an experiment but along the way I saw there I would like to go with it in terms of creating a story. It was very chill and natural overall – we are good friends with Kovich and Helga.
JR: Who are some photographers who’ve inspired this new series of work you’ve been doing?
KS: I really love Carlota Guerrero and Carolyne Loreé, they both embrace women and shoot a lot of body photographs. It’s very sensual, and I wanted to create the same intimate feeling of closeness. I also get a lot of color inspiration from fine art, I love color and the way it affects your mood.
JR:What projects are you working on next, and how do they play a part in the themes you’ve used for this project?
KS: I’m planning to focus a lot on body and mental health, on sensuality and intimacy. For the last 6-8 months I was working on shaping my visual language and understanding what my photography is about. I’m not sure that I have figured it out, but I know that I like beauty, I love showing intimate moments and creating a diverse space. I feel like there is a lot of pressure now to find my voice, and I know that I’m close, but I’m taking it day by day and trying not to force it. I’m figuring out how I can transform my experience living in Russia and seeing all the horrible things that Russian government does to its own people, all that fear, pain and hopelessness that I learned to carry around on the daily basis to something that can help people go through tough moments – the way art always helped me.