Living Lights of the Ocean


These decorations are totally made of black paper. 
Costumes are real and made of cloth.
For me as a photographer this shoot was a unique opportunity to make a complex, carefully crafted project, that hardly anyone will ever order from you, but which can grow into an exhibition. There was also an inner desire to create something new in collaboration with other talented artists and to have enough time and space for that. 

The shooting took place in the studio of the designer Roman Ermakov famous for his avant-garde costumes, which became the central objects in our images. We have been discussing for a long time who are this creatures and where they can live? We understood that most of all they resemble strange deep-water animals living in their dark space of the ocean and illuminating all around. Designer Venera Kazarova helped us to create this world and built some stunning paper decorations.

Preparation for the project took about 3 months, shooting was non-stop for 4 days – it was not easy and very laborious. The most difficult thing in creative collaboration is that each of the authors is constantly looking for something of their own ideal. This may be lighting that will illuminate the scenery the best way possible, the composition, the arrangement of the details, the poses of models. This process of creative search was repeated 9 times for 9 images. 

Then the postproduction took about a year, in a free time. It was thorough work with layers and color correction. Somewhere we added algae, fish, somewhere glow effects, glare – I wanted to add volume and picturesque in images, so that the viewer will wonder: “But how is this done?". As a result, we managed to create a unique underwater world with interesting volumes, textures and heroes. Looking at the result now you do not understand that the scenery is made of plain black paper, and the creatures are people dressed in costumes. Definitely our team experiment ended very well.

costumes/ live sculptures
Roman Ermakov

set design
Venera Kazarova

Dasha Yastrebova

Alex Tikhonov

Katya Yastrebova
Vanya Ageev
Daniil Stameskin
Maria Rastamaha

Evgeny Krutakov
Lana Rodionova
Pavel Levchuk
Evgeny Khovaev

Svetlana Makarova

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