If fashion photography is one of your passions then you must place the talented duo of photographer Andrey Yakovlev and art director Lili Aleeva on your radar. The Russian creative team, based in Moscow is standing out among a crowded field of artist. This is due in part to their sophisticated art nouveau yet realistic style. Their reference to classical painting eras and artist such as the pre-Raphaelites, Bougureau, Ingres, and Klimt makes for a nostalgic blending of influences and cements their unique approach. Andrey and Lili succeed in combining photography, art and advertising with such a fresh perspective I fell in love with their work. I know you will enjoy our interview with them and their stunning photography series.
What is your background and how did you become involved with photography?
My passion for photography started with my 10th birthday when I received a Smena 8M camera. After graduation I enrolled in college and also worked preparing a photographer’s studio. I graduated in 1981 and immediately began working in the studio. In Russia in those years there was a tradition to be photographed in the studio, filmed by families and individuals. Although it was hard work, I learned a lot and was able to use the skills I learned in school. I have been working as a photographer since then, not counting military service.
How did you start working together and what are your roles?
I have been working with Lili since 1997. She was working as a make-up artist and hair stylist while also studying at university with a focus on graphic design and advertising. After graduation, she began working as an Art Director. We discuss the concept, shooting plan, select models and do a lot together. We are a husband and wife.
What are the main themes in your photography?
We mainly work in advertising and fashion.
Who and what inspires you the most in your photography?
We are inspired by art, fashion and cinema. Among our favorite artists are Raphael, Michelangelo, and Picasso. When we travel around the world we spend a lot of time visiting galleries and museums, seeking inspiration.
How would you describe your work and style to someone who has never seen it?
Our style is narrative photography. In advertising we invent a story that allows the product to seamlessly blend into reality.
What are the emotions you try to convey with your photography?
Each emotion is so different. The main thing we are trying to capture is whatever the emotion, no matter what, we are human.
What has been your favourite photography project so far? Could you tell us more about it?
My favorite project is always the one we’re working on.
What makes a great fashion photographer?
What projects are you working on now?
We have a variety of projects. Everything from shooting lookbooks, to an advertising campaign, to an album cover for a pop star. All of that is just this past month. Luckily we get a chance to use our expertise in a number of different mediums. It is exciting and we are fortunate.