Eva Sapogova‘s online presence is weirdly split into two parts: first as a cute toddler (more or less) promoting fashion and other items – and then like this: suddenly dramatic, and a seriously impressive art-portrait model.
The key seems to be that her mother, Olga – a talented photographer of arty/glamour shots of adult female models – started to snap her: the first two above intriguingly entitled “Model Test” on the Fashion Kids site. Being used to photographer-mothers like Alex Kruk and Kara May snapping their daughters compulsively since they first started burbling bubbles, it seems unusual to have left Eva’s sessions even in the capable hands of Vika Pobeda and Yana Chuvalova. It’s perfectly possible that she now feels that her own particular skills can be used to embellish Eva’s reputation as a model – perhaps moving away from strictly fashion. Trying to tease out what other sessions she’s done with Eva is difficult: on Eva’s Facebook photostream (image link below) acknowledgements are rare – you have to look for a watermark. These are definitely by Olga:
….but she’s again a little unusual in that she is a rare photographer that uses Tumblr (see image-link below – neither of the girls is Eva, however) – another children’s photographer being Ryan Mills. One VK.com page features just a few adult models, while another is private – and she doesn’t seem to be on Facebook, or have a dedicated home site. They do however have separate Instagram accounts: but logically with a lot of the images being shared between the two (in fact Eva has two: one with her name in “English” and one in Cyrillic).
It’s possible that the new turn in Eva’s image is even a product of the Instagram era: we’ve seen before how the universal nature of the platform can take photographers out of their comfort zone in portraiture – that and Eva’s increasing age (tho’ on Facebook she’s mysteriously still five – while on Fashion Kids she’s nine…). Here are some examples:
….and without watermarks I’m obviously not saying they’re all definitely by Olga: tho’ clearly most are.
Ok, so this is the new Eva: what was the old one like? Cute, but nothing special, is the answer – even with the top Russian children’s photographers, although there is one session where she looks like a very young Taylor Swift:
….as you can see, cute as a button (why are buttons cute?) – with a very recognisable heart – shaped face (and logically these are by three or four different photographers: in particular Vika, Yana, Julia Voronova and Julia Nera – not Olga). Some of the development is down to Eva just getting older: but there is also a clear determination in Olga’s sessions to make the portraiture more mature in style as well – the world audience is far less sentimental and sugary when it comes to younger girls’ images than the Russian one, and Olga has a good grounding in edgier, more dynamic photography with her adult studies – imagine Eva in shots like this in a few years’ time: