Hello, my name is Kaloyan and i'm 21 years old. Got my first camera 4 years ago and since than i'm mostly interested in Portrait / Fashion photography.Two years ago met with one of my mentors - Krasimir, he's a cinema operator, though, and was the first to show me the magic of the "Dark room" and how the films are being developed and than enlarged into pieces of art.Thanks to him i started to realise that i have no need of 64gb memory card full with hundreds, even thousand of pointless photos. At the same moment i could have roll of film with 36 exposures which required to be more concentrated before pressing the button, it wasn't that hard actually and i got used to it. My first film camera was a point&shoot Nikon from the 80's which i used mostly when going on parties. Than i got Canon AE-1 with a nifty fifty prime lens and than the things started to change! After a couple of beautiful photo stories and no more than 10 exposed films i came to the conclusion that all i need to hold in my hands is a simple SLR camera loaded with a roll of Portra 400 or Tri-x 400.Currently i'm more interested in medium format cameras such as Mamiya 645 or RZ67 and developing my B&W film on my own.
We met only once with Raya Kudasheva before we arranged the shooting. Nophotographer had ever photographed her before so as she says “it was a totally newexperience to stop observing myself but be observed through the lens" . She’s thatkind of person who doesn’t hide behind walls and both of us were feeling satisfied ofthe photo story we did together. I was amazed by her art works and the way sheintroduces us to her soul through the paintings she creates.
Let me introduce you Raya - ‘Sinful violet’ :
As a painter, I became interested in the structure and allure of the female body at16, when I started going to life drawing classes.As my body began to change physically and I slowly began turning into a womanmyself, painting helped me stay comfortable in my skin, since the transition frombeing a girl to a young woman can be quite challenging.Life drawing classes have given me the foundation for my art practice but also animmense sense of admiration for the female body. I truly believe women are themost beautiful beings ever created. When completing a series of paintings inspiredby Courbet on the theme of seduction, I became intrigued by the darkness of the sexindustry and had the desire to see the guts of it not through the skewed lens of filmand photography. Who works there? What makes them work there? Is it asdangerous, and taboo, and “dirty”as the media paints it? So once in Moscow I set outfor a challenge to get a real experience of what a strip club career would look like. Iwent through an audition getting naked and dancing in 1980s 5cm heels in front ofwhat seemed like 20 men I instantly hated. (Quite a comical scene if viewed fromaside) I got accepted but never came for the actual work, however I had a chance totalk to the manager and a few women working there. One was a young photographerjust trying to earn money for a new lens and lighting equipment... I still can’t imaginemyself working as a stripper but the industry stopped being alien to me. What’s morealien, is the men who have the pleasure of going to strip clubs. I am still not sure ifstrip clubs are the «thrusters” of patriarchy or are against it. Strippers earn a lot(even in Russia) and are mostly independent from male patronage but then thewhole strip club culture is about the male gaze and male domination. What’s more,there are still a lot of “hard” clubs with illegal prostitution behind closed doors and noone ever asked me for my passport. I could be 15 or 16 years old and they wouldn’tknow. An artist has to experience its subject; mine being the seduction and exposure to themale gaze I wanted to go through the process of being «on film».