We came across Alexander Shadrin’s portfolio and knew we had to find out more about his work; his images making a vivid and bright impact on us! Highly technical make-up paired with professional dance and gymnastic models make for an interesting, often conceptual and for sure a visionary aesthetic. We spoke to him to find out more!

Can you firstly give a little introduction to yourself, what you do and how you came to start contributing to stock?

I graduated from an art school with an Environment Artist specialty. Five years of studies made me fall in love with naturalism—correct light-and-shade pattern and volume became my ideal means of self-expression! I was inspired by Shishkin, Aivazovsky, Salvador Dali. Then I realized that in order to achieve the natural effect in painting it is necessary to spend several weeks per canvas and decided that photography would be much easier and faster nowadays!

After several years of photography and graphic design experience (that helped me greatly to master graphic applications), I decided to try to work with stock photos. I have spent more than a year on it, and now I can proudly call myself an advertising photographer!

Woman dancing under rain in orange dress. Studio

Where do you draw your inspiration from for what you photograph?

It’s very simple! I draw inspiration from different pics on the web, while trying to find original approach and solutions. Very often interesting ideas come as insight!

Can you explain a little bit about this series? Where the inspiration came from for the shoot and how you created the effect and shot it?

This series of photos was taken on the basis of barter! A friend of mine owns a pole-dance club. She wanted to publish a company calendar, and I agreed to carry out the project in return for commercial rights for the photos. We worked for 2 days to get a magnificent collaborative outcome.

Female pole dancer in neon colours under ultraviolet (UV) light

The model’s make up in some images is extremely intricate and artistic. Is it yourself who does it or do you use a make up artist?

I work a lot on the barter basis—makeup artists get new photos for their portfolios, and I obtain the exclusive right to sell the pictures via online stocks. I am not a makeup artist, but over the years I’ve got a number of specialists I prefer to work with.

How do you go about selecting models for your shoots? Is there a specific ‘look’ you’re after?

By trial and error. Having worked with many models, I found the ones that can provide the best results. Sometimes you can get up to 20 perfect images within half an hour, and sometimes you spend several hour to get a single picture, which is purely pre-directed.

Bald girl with a art make up and steampunk glasses

Do you follow trends in stock and do you notice buying trends change year on year?

The buying trends of my portfolio have recently slightly decreased; I see it as fair competition, as the number of good photographers, working with stocks, is increasing. To tell the truth, it urges me to achieve greater results. I always try to follow the modern trends and photobank tips, but not always successfully! When working with photobanks, I always grab the opportunity to express myself. Over the years, I got a little tired of the customer-executor scheme. I hate working under pressure!

Do you have some favorite images in your portfolio? Can you explain a little bit about them?

tango in the night city

This is an interesting piece of work! We had been looking for an interesting site all day, and were really exhausted when we reached the quay. This was our last staged footage that day, and it was not the best one due to tiredness, nevertheless it has become my portfolio bestseller.

I like to shoot athletes and gymnasts—it’s really interesting to work with them, and the footage is always lush and voluminous. I am even considering to work further in this genre.

Man performing aerial silk dance

I also like pictures with mood that make viewers immerse in the atmosphere of artwork.

Woman in white dress walking in the forest

A big thank you to Alexander for speaking with us. For more of his work, check out his Fotolia portfolio here.