Kuzik Yan: Russian girls
"Bronica SQ-A, that is my love"
Tell us about yourself.
I'm only 19 years old, I'm living in Sevastopol, now it is Russia, you know. So I'm a student and I don't have some kind of "serious" job, all I do - I'm selling cameras, selling film, develop and scan it. That's my "job", but I get no money directly from photos, I shot what I want, an any time, any place. I'm free from "commercial jail" :)
When and how did the film journey begin for you?
My "film journey" began with a Kiev-19M about 2 years ago. I had a lot of Nikon digital cameras, first D40, than D3000, D7000, D700 and I wanted to try Nikon lenses on film. The cheapest way - soviet Kiev 19M camera. It was awful, but the photos were pretty nice, I know, true BW, it is not digital monochrome. So I went on with film, Nikkormat FTn, Nikon FM2...
In that moment I understood, that 35-format was just not enough for me. I can't represent persons truly, I need something more, more volume, more place for work. So I bought an ARAX medium format camera and it was awful. Awful soviet Kiev-88 with new name, but the photos were pretty good :) After 2-3 month of usage I sold it and bought a Bronica SQ-A, that is my love. After a year I moved to SQ-Ai, bought last prism viewfinder, motor-grip, all the lenses that I needed. At the same time I bought a Nikon F100 - I think it is the best 135-type film camera. It is perfect. But I sold it too, it is really expensive to feed two or more cameras in my country, so now I'm shooting only medium format on my Bronica. Sometimes I think about Pentax 67II :)
What Could we always find in your gear bag?
In my gear bag you can always find my Bronica SQ-Ai, lenses and accessories (depends on situation, 50mm lens or 150mm, you know), flashlight, some AA batteries for motor-grip, Xiaomi power bank for my iPhone, two backs with different film, shutter release cable, some rolls of film and sometimes something to drink :)
Who are your models? How do you interact with them before shooting?
My models - simple girls. No model agencies or something, just girls from the street. Sometimes I find girls in social network, chat with them, tea-meeting, a lot of talk. We must be friends and know well each other - it is the main thing in my photography, I don't like to shot strangers. Comfort can't be reached without understanding.
I press the shutter button when I see that my model is relaxed, when my model in a comfortable pose, condition, when we have understanding between us, when I love the light, the scene, the atmosphere.
What inspires you most?
If we're talking about persons: Jan Scholz, Sergei Sarakhanov, Andre Mueller, Hannes Caspar. If we're talking about "things": I love natural beauty, I love to work with a model, to talk with her, to see her emotions. Anyway I love to be with girls 😂
Do you have any advice for film photographers out there?
Just do what you like to do. Don't stay in one place, always move forward. Take a lot of photos, practice - the main thing. Find a source for good photos, look at many photos - it is a nice way to self-perfection. And if you shot film - try to develop it by yourself, it is much better to take full control, from talking with model to publication.