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Learn From Experience: Kseniya Apresyan

Ksenia Apresian is a russian photographer from Moscow,
currently living in Berlin.

She began to study visual arts in 2011. She is currently working
as a documentary and portrait photographer, interested in such
topics as self-perception, psychology, gender, sexuality
and movement practices. She moved to Berlin in 201 and continues
to explore personalities of the people around with the help
of her camera.

What are the rules of your photographic work?

My only one is – getting to know the person in front of the camera and really listening to their story.

Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes the difference?

I try to use different techniques for each project, since as a documentary photographer I work with different ideas. For example, for the project about difficult childhoods I’ve chosen melancholic, noisy, black and white images that gave a feeling of an archive. For another one about fetishes and night life I was trying to recreate the club atmosphere with coloured lights and the flash. And so on.

Tell us about an experience that definitely changed the way you work and made you grow.

I’ve studied at a russian documentary photography school called Fotografika (http://fotografika.su/) and each teacher influenced me a lot. One of the courses was called “Photography without stereotypes”, where we observed all the non-traditional ways of taking pictures and working on them: from in-game photography to visualizing the sound. And that was really an eye-opener.

Was there ever a difficult situation? How did you react? Tell us.

The most difficult for me is when I can’t find a way to build a connection with the person and to be honest I still haven’t figured out how to fix it. But luckily it happens very rarely.

How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?

I try to see a personality first and see a shooting more like a friends meeting, where we try to create something together, not as something official. Couple of my shootings already turned into good friendships and I’m really happy that it happened.

I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.

I don’t think I have any)

Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?

I have a very basic camera: Ricoh gr II, which is often used for street photography.

Are there any books you would recommend?

Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel

What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?

I’m crazy about cinema. I watch a lot of art house movies from Bergmann to Tsai Ming Liang and collect screenshots from them. It’s a lot of fun and hopefully also helps to develop visual taste a bit.

Kseniya Apresyan

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