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Yana Davydova: Profile + Interview

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Yana Davydova: Interview



The first words that comes to your mind when you hear Inspiration, Passion, and Strength


Who are you? (Answer how you interpret this question)

I am stardust

Why do you do what you do?

Because I actually enjoy doing it. I love the process and the result. I get bored really fast when I am not working, and I don’t really like to have a vacation (unless it’s a trip during which I will be able to take photos). I am quite selfish in that sense, and I don’t see it as a negative thing, so this is why I do what I do - because this is what works best for me at this moment in time.

When did you know this is what you wanted to do, and what events led you to choose it?

I didn’t know I would be a photographer until I have actually tried doing it. Before that I was really interested in pursuing degree in Biology or Computer Science, but then I took a film course in our school, and it kind of opened up new world for me, because I felt like it was the medium in which I could express not only artistic and creative potential, but also my technical abilities. Following that, I travelled to New York (2011) and did Film Academy course and it kind of broadened my notion of what the actual industry is, but when I came back home (Kiev at that time) there weren’t such great facilities for film. Eventually I slowly switched to photography because it was more available to practice, and it kind of overtook me so that’s kind of why I do photography -because I couldn’t do moving image.

Toughest thing you had to overcome to do what you do? And what/who helped you?

My life has yet been life of a visitor - I travelled since I was little, and sometimes I stayed for short time, sometimes I stayed for years, but there has always been a notion that I will be leaving. So the most challenging thing that I had to overcome is to ask people that are close to you, to let you go, to trust you, and not feel resent about you. It’s hard not to see your relatives for so long, because they live so far and they are getting older. This year it has started already - my

grandfather died while I was in New York working, and the hardest thing is knowing that when you finally get there, he will never be present anymore. It is hard to comprehend, and I cannot fully wrap it around my head, but this is a terrible price you pay for living the

life you choose. Also the more you travel, the faster you grow and more you see, and when you are coming “back” to places and re-visit people you used to be friends with, it is becoming harder and harder to connect with them on the same level. As if even your perception of space and time feels different to theirs, and you feel like a monster who cannot fit anymore.

My relatives have helped me in a way that they are understanding and supportive of anything I do, especially my mother, she is a fuckin wonder woman, really.

Has anyone/anything ever inspired you to become who you are (to follow your dreams)? Have you ever inspired anyone directly?

Sergei Sarakhanov was the first person to plant appreciation for fine art and portrait photography into my brain ( I was like 15 when we met). Now he has a family, and opened his own Kiev Art College, and I am very happy about his success. Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan team are my dear people. I am really grateful for their support in the beginning and we continue our great professional relationship. For fashion photography I am really thankful to my Sandrine Dulermo and Michael Labica for letting me look at their way of working, and I think they are amazing to learn from. They always use very complex and highly technical lighting, as well as set design which produces amazing artistic outcome. For street style it is definitely Adam Katz Sinding, he is the only street style photographer whose work I really look at and it is

definitely the only one that inspires me. Perhaps I don’t inspire people yet, but somehow I can make them laugh, if that counts…:)

One mistake that you made in your journey? How have you learnt from them?

My music teacher always said “the one who isn’t making mistakes, is the one who isn’t doing anything”, so that’s how I justify myself when I fuck something up…But yeah, a big mistake is not giving 100 percent all the time, and I am learning to change that.

Upcoming projects? Plans/goal? (about anything, if you have any)

I am relocating myself again from Buenos Aires to Moscow and London, so hopefully more of the actual fashion editorials are coming up. I am also looking forward to complete my documentary project for Esquire magazine, and I finally want to start working with Etage, the amazing new magazine from Kazakhstan which really inspires me. I am really excited for new fashion week season as I feel confidence and huge desire to shoot, run and bodycheck cars on streets. :) Goal is to get a proper head shot (Adam Katz Sinding, please?) to submit for press, so far I’ve only had selfies…

What advice would you give to other people? (Just about life in general - It could be about anything)

Try it on, before buying it.

Say anything you want, about anything (Last words)

Take more shots then you feel like you need, sometimes most unexpected things work out better, and in digital age extra megabytes are really cheap, but missing that shot is priceless.



Yana Davydova: Profile


Full name

Yana Davydova



Place of Birth? (city, country)

Kostanay, Kazakhstan

Where you live now? (city, country)

It’s hard to say, I live between Moscow, St.Petersburg, Buenos-

Aires, Almaty and fashion weeks…

Origins (where parents are from)? (city, country)

They are Russians, from USSR

First Language?


What do you do? (Profession/Occupation)


How long have you been doing it?

I have got first DSLR camera at age of 16, but have been switching between genres. I have started with portrait photography and video, and also have been doing fashion editorial for two years, and street style for almost a year.

Fav Song

Oh Land - Frostbite, Sia - Breathe Me, Bjork - Joga, Radiohead - Carma Police. I don’t really have one in particular, but I love soundtracks from video games and films, because they are always very ambient and atmospheric and help to concentrate without distracting. Dear Esther soundtrack by Jessica Curry is great. Interstellar, Matrix… anything by Clint Mansell or Hans Zimmer really…Massive Attack, Moby, Balmorhea, Dead Man’s Bones, Biggi Hilmars and this type of lower-key music. I also like listening to alternative versions of songs, like piano or cello cover, live, acoustic and choir versions, I think it brings new dimension to music.

Fav Musician/Vocal artist/Rapper/Singer

Eminem is my all time favourite. Die Antwoord are amazing. In general I love artists with strong charisma, humour and energy. Hurts have very stylish music, Muse, Florence and the Machine (living in London for 2 years has it’s consequences).

Fav Movie

Stalker (A.Tarkovsky), Children of Men (A. Cuaron), Constantine (F. Lawrence), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (J. Schnabel), War Photographer (C. Frei), 8 Mile (C. Hanson) The Wind Rises (H. Miyazaki)

Fav Actor/Actress

Keanu Reeves, Christopher Walken, Christoph Waltz, Mathieu Amalric, Mads Mikkelsen, Jessica Chastain and Julianne Moore

Fav Clothing brand

I love aesthetics of The Row, Ellery, Celine and J.W.Anderson. I really admire Gosha Rubchinskiy and his concept of 90s suburban post-Soviet generation. Styling of Proenza Schouler, Loewe and Vetements is also interesting. I have noticed that I like clothes that

are photogenic and have shape, idea and character to them, I mean I’m a photographer, that’s correct for me to be attracted to “architectural” looks. Although myself I try to wear clothes that are least distracting and most comfortable. Boring black stuff.

Fav Artist (in any art form)

Russian futurist movement and people who were involved in it is always a huge inspiration. I also enjoy reading diaries of Soviet film and theatre directors, because they always have very strong, sophisticated, complex and interesting method of practice and thinking. Sergei Eisenstein has volumes of texts. Also Mikhail Romm, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lev Kuleshov, and Konstantin Stanislavsky are great thinkers. There are a lot more once you start getting into this movement, but it is just amazing the amount of theoretical material that they’ve left for us. Mikhail Baryshnikov is my beloved persona, he is a ballet dancer and I dream of photographing him. I wish I could know more about contemporary theatre and ballet to share, but for now I am more focused on fashion, film and photography. Cinematography of Georgi Rerberg, Sven Nykvist and Emmanuel Lubezki makes my jaw drop every time. From the fashion industry I can highlight photographers Pierre Debusschere and Julia Hetta, Stylist Jacob K, besides all the masters like Lindbergh, Walker, Leibovitz and Meisel… Josef Koudelka is my inspiration for composition, Gueorgui Pinkhassov is amazing in a way he sees the light and is able to actually capture it.

Fav Sport to watch

I don’t really watch sport, but hockey is the most interesting livesport to watch for me

Fav Sport to play







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