Award-winning Russian photographer Alexander Petrosyan has spent many years documenting the world around him in St. Petersburg. His shots show the reality of life in the expansive city. “If the picture is taken with a certain energy, the viewer will feel it, regardless of geography and culture,” he says. Let’s check out his intimate and often surprising shots of Mother Russia!
A Hazy Stairwell
Pigeon Costume—Da, Why Not?
Normal Wedding Photos
Petrosyan has won numerous awards, including the St. Petersburg Award for Photographer of the Year. Well-deserved accolades indeed, because he’s done a great job of documenting things that might never be seen otherwise.
“I have two subjects: the city and the people. Saint Petersburg is my favorite stage. But I’m also lucky to be able to travel a lot with my work.”
It’s Party Time
“More striking, perhaps, is Petrosyan’s knack for especially human street shooting in that his shots are neither impersonal nor simply depict people going about their daily business,” wrote one website of his work.
Through The Window
“Time passes, and through photographs, memories of their inception are as bright as if they were yesterday,” Petrosyan writes, “Looking at the pictures, I live those moments again and again.”
Taking A Stroll
Russia is a fascinating and foreign land to much of the rest of the world. Old meets new, livestock roams the city streets, and subzero temperatures scare nobody.
“There is something extraordinary about even the most seemingly ordinary aspects of life,” he says. He’s done a terrific job of documenting the nation’s unique citizens and their ways of life.
Over The Shoulder
“I have given to all my pictures a title on the sensation that I felt while shooting them. They’re completely personal titles, even though I think that a beautiful photo doesn’t need any name at all.”
Spooky Public Transit
“It just has to hit the heart of who observes it, and there’s no single name or title that can express such a subjective emotional language.”
Fighting A Blaze
He titled his first photography book Kunstkamera, or “Curiosity.” The pages contain 120 of his best photos that show the strengths and weaknesses of his city.
A Military Parade
It doesn’t look like much can spook Alexander—not patients in the hospital, not the military, and certainly not abandoned houses or dangerous fires.
Saint Petersburg is among the most visually exciting cities in the world, but the truth is that many of its inhabitants aren’t doing well.
Millions In Poverty
Three million more Russian citizens fell below the poverty line in 2015, meaning they earned less than $180 each month. That pushes the total to over 19 million.
The Russian economy has always relied heavily on oil. The lowering oil prices around the world have very much contributed to economic instability within the country.
Facing Serious Challenges
“Our country faces serious economic challenges,” said President Vladimir Putin in 2016. “Investments have decreased, the demand for your production has reduced. I can understand well your anxiety for the future.”
As economic challenges have put more and more Russian citizens out of work in recent years, the streets have filled with more and more homeless people.
Russian citizens still stand by their president, though, and the country’s inhabitants have become notably more tolerant of its homeless population in recent years.
A Normal Day On The Train
You won’t see these photos on postcards or tourism websites. Petrosyan has done a great job documenting the humor, happiness, sadness, and truth of his home country.
Not Your Average Catwalk