FHM magazine interview by Roge
1. You say in your blog that you like to explain your photos with a litlle bit of text. Isn’t enough the image itself?
The matter not in the fact that photo itself is not sufficient to me. I just do not like to limit myself. Some works cause the storm of emotions, the flow of some thoughts, and I don’t want to control my feelings. This does not mean that spectator should pay much attention to the words I write. The spectator has his connection with a work, and my words are only expression of my own state at the moment I work on a photo.
Sometimes I write poems, sometimes it is simple address to spectator, but it shouldn’t be taken as direction for spectator thought. I don’t want invade in to the world, which was build by spectator himself. His connection with the photo is the invisible, intimate and personal thread.
I use such comments only on my Web site. They will possibly be in the future book. In general, reading such comments helps me to understand myself.
2. What does a girl have to have to inspire you?
This is complicate question. Perhaps, it is some combination of rich and diverse inward life and beauty. It would be possible to name this combination “breed”. In this case I don’t know how to determine beauty for myself. Anyway I think the main point is in the right combination. This combination gives birth to special look, special mimicry and even to special forms.
I can drive my car, accidentally catch the look of girl and break into a run to her. Only because she looked at me in special manner. This look is very valuable, it is necessary to run through this look, it is necessary to understood something in this life.
3. How do you choose the girls you work with?
This is not predicted. I find models on the streets, in the restaurants, in the Internet. My models are usual people around us. At first I catch the look, the gestures. Then I speak with girl, as much as possible, on the abstract themes. From this contact form our connection and my relation to her. I begin to see what I want to capture in the future photo. New ideas born in my mind or I see how to realize old ideas with this model.
4. Do you find pregnant women sexy?
If you ask me as men, then I will answer yes. If you ask, do I like to work with pregnant woman as photographer, I will answer no. In my opinion, the subject of pregnancy is much particular, than simple portrait, and so, much more complicated.
Do not take me wrong, the beauty of pregnant woman is stunning! But in same time, it is not easy to abstract from this beauty for photographer and to create something, which shows more than outer forms. Ii is much more interesting to show the changes which happen with woman during this time and changes of her connections with the surrounding world. Her relation to herself and to the child. It is hard to convey such things in simple portrait, and when we deal with the pregnant woman, when the beauty of her forms goes to the foreground, then work is twice complicated.
5. Which international celebrity would you love to work with?
I will try to answer without too much thinking. I will not list men, I will only say that I would want to work with some painters.
The woman’s names immediately come to the mind are: Carole Bouquet, Sophia Loren, Scarlett Johanssen, Alisa Freundlich, Maya Plisetskaya and so on… Too many interesting stars.
If we speak about Spain celebrities, then I will say Penelope Cruz and Almudena Fernandez. They both have staggering strong look. Almudena Fernandez is often represented as the vamp woman, I don’t like such style, but I’m sure it depends also on photographer. But she has some photos I simply want to speak with. Well and Penelope is seemed to me very congenial soul. She is very well known in Russia because of her roles and talent of actress.
6. Your Pseudonym is your name turned backwards. Why?
No special story. When I was 5 years old my brother presented to me puppet with the ropes, which was made by his hands and was named Roge. When I began to show my photos on public I consider that my first and last name (Egor Abramov) is too complex for the majority of foreigners. It was necessary to select pseudonym and I recalled about the puppet and inverted name.
7. Which would you say is the sexiest body part of a woman?
This depends on concrete woman. On the street I most frequently focus attention on her look, and that case her eyes will be most sexual part. I think that I not to cheat to myself, when I sweep aside the concrete parts of the body. We do not fall in love with the part of the body. We even do not sleep with the parts of body. Finally, this all goes away to the second plan. The most sexual part is not visible, it is located inside. The expression “love at first sight” means for me that I can fall in love with her look at me.
8. What’s your secret to make your models feel comfortable to get naked?
No special secrets. It is simple, when I work on the studio, I think about completely different things. I look at the nude girl and see something my own, I think about another beauty. Models see this and trust to me. I’m different person in the studio. I live in my internal world.
I even do not note, at what precisely moment the model completely undressed or again dressed. Seriously, I work 6 hours on the studio with the nude girl, we chat, drink tea, smoke, but precisely during the photo session her nudity looks completely naturally and causes no feelings, except the sense of beauty.
Girls, who work with me, know my photos and know that I never will shoot something vulgar. Be open, be yourself, this is the way to easy communication. Same rules work on studio.
9. How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?
The best way to describe this condition is to visit a Russian bath (sauna). When the broom will overflow steam on you, approximately 90-110 degrees on Celsius, you will receive absolutely identical effect not only physically but also spiritually and intellectually.
Physically, your body will be pleasantly groan, and the only thing you will dream about is a cold beer and a sofa. All ideas on the further work will cause panic in your mind.
Spiritually, you will be completely satisfied. In Russian bath people discuss many questions of a world scale, and there you find many answers on different questions . After shooting you feel, that you are on a way to realization of old idea.
Intellectually you will be temporarily devastated. Your brain works on shooting so strongly, that after shooting it temporarily refuses to think at all. It is possible to reach the same effect in a bath, well… you will need a bottle of vodka (I do not advise readers this way, it badly influence to heart )
10. Would you do pornographic photography for a good amount of money?
I think yes. It’s quite another matter that I would make this in my own manner, but I’m not prejudiced against porno industry. Anyway, the subject itself is in no way interesting for me as photographer.
11. Why do you use that old-fashioned look in your pics?
I like many painters starting from 17 of century. I’m lucky, I live in the city, in which Hermitage is based, and I can enjoy their work any time. Perhaps, Rembrandt, Rubens, some earlier like Velasquez dramatically effect on my light in my photos. I only hope that some day I will approach this staggering game of shadows.
Now all this can be seen in the Internet. If it is possible to find picture in a good quality, then I examine it in detail. I frequently copy the specific moments, imaging photo flash instead of the candles or windows. Sometimes I make pencil sketches.
I frequently use dark studio backgrounds. With them it is easy to me to emphasize model itself. Finally, I love the muted colors. Not black and white photos, because colors are very important for me. Muted colors can give dramatic nature to work and they are closer to the real life.
12. Did it took you long to start using digital photography?
Approximately 3 minutes. Exactly time to unpack my first digital camera. And I immediately began to shoot. This was on the streets of Prague. Beautiful city, it is impossible not to shoot there.
Well and seriously, I am young as photographer. I work only 6 years. I have used film camera only when I was child. I already forgot how to print from the film, although the equipment steel somewhere in my apartment.
I am not the adherent of the disputes between the photographers about what is better, the film or digital. It seems to me that these conversations are far away from photography itself and from the art. I’m not techno-fetishist. If there would be no digital cameras technology, I would shoot to the film. But in case we have it, then why not to use the gifts of the civilization. This is simply useful.
13. Can you remember the first picture you ever took (not just professionally but in your entire life)
I do not think that I can recall. I was very young, when I got my first camera, I even do not remember, which model it was.
If we recall the first session on the studio, then the beginning was sufficiently quickly. I.e. I did not invite familiar girls, to help me to learn and do test sessions. I immediately invited girl from outside and was aimed to shoot something serious. I remember that I had 15 minutes talk with her, come to my colleague and told him, that I do not see what to shoot in this girl. I.e. I saw nothing interesting for myself. He looked to her, and said: “You search for depth, intellect and subtlety of mind, there, where it cannot be. Do you see that she is young? Do you see that she is beautiful? So what the hell, shoot what you see. That will be your first step.”
Perhaps, this was my only simple erotic session. I.e. when I was working only with body. Later I learned to understand what kind of models I need.
14. Have you ever worked with spanish women? What do you think about them?
No, unfortunately I didn’t. I think you know the answer to your question about the Spanish girls. Of course I am delighted with them.
Even in modern world Spanish woman keep depth in her eyes. It is very seldom ability today. This is possible only if she lives a full live, nothing average, nothing half. Such people always delight me. Well and certainly no one can take away the natural beauty of Spanish woman forms.
I hope soon to take a trip into Spain and visit the studio of my friend. And then it will be chance to test, If I can handle the temperament of Spanish model, and If I can understand her soul.