In a recent post mainly on Natasha Lishtvan, this model – nine-year-old Saint Petersburg resident Polina Bogdanova – did manage to get an equal billing in the title, but little in terms of visuals – tho’ I did mention in passing how experienced she is (even shooting in Italy). This set by Ira Bachinskaya is one of her best – dramatic and impressive – making me realise that being nearly-albino (she is very blonde, with almost whited-out eyebrows) gives photographers, stylists and MUH artists the opportunity to use her almost as a blank canvas (tho’ her colouring responds particularly well to dark outfits and sets – this being almost counter-intuitive).
Ira is interesting – she is crazily productive – having masses of children’s portraits – plus galleries of stock images (completely different subjects) using the name Ingret . Meanwhile she also posts her real passion – cats – on DeviantArt (using the same name):
“I [‘ve been] photograph[ing] since 2002. [I] work with people, but my true love is animal photography.” (Ira Bachinskaya on DeviantArt)
Anyway, the unequivocal positioning of Polina on the block in her studio made me think about other sessions using the same trope – Ira using it herself on other occasions:
…….albeit with a different backdrop (the last model being five-year-old Aurika Stepanenko). Other examples that come to mind are obvious ones like the recent set with Gaia Iafrate, where the photographer (Francesco Chiappetta) had large blocks as constant elements for the models to pose with:
……not visually distracting, yet still giving the model a reference to stand in front of, lean on, sit on, etc. In this next shot from a post on “No Added Sugar” the blocks become (pointless) “stairs” – useful to sit on if you’re a young model holding a hefty baby….
Here are some more:
……as well as Aroa Renau (and friend), the last shot features one of Nick 11‘s favourite models – probably grown up and making her own children sit on blocks by now – have a look at his post here: the best are very good…. There must be hundreds more I just haven’t thought of – I’m sure big blocks are props a well-equipped photographic studio can’t do without. Here’s the rest of the shoot with Polina (and other models):
…….you get the feeling that Ira went for the stark, abstract blocks as the main prop because of the sculptural – yet soft – asymmetric quality of the outfits (apart from the rather flowing, flowery dress in the second image) – rather like the admirably extravagant Airfish confections:
……with the photographer/stylist having rather the same idea of placing the model in front of rigid, heavy marble steps to contrast with the equally soft, yet similarly dramatic, asymmetric shape of this dress.
Polina has naturally got a lot of normal, catalogue-standard work in her giant portfolio, but there are also some stand-out single images and sets:
……the set featuring the oversized gingerbread-man and doughnut is one of a number that Ira has done with the stylist from the previous post – Nadia Tsvetkova – and in fact in a comment to that post I said that I rather regretted not putting her name first. She is clearly very well connected in terms of commissions from brands and editorial sources, and is equally inventive with the ensuing sessions – and likes using Polina: here’s her contribution to the “Fiore” project with Maxim Vostrikov:
……Nadia also using Polina for a project (Aire) with another photographer – Denis Evseev:
…….these are relatively recent, and you can see the maturing of her beauty – also as stylists learn how to use the blondeness without just washing out her features: she really is superb in black and white – and see the header for what a touch of lipstick and foundation can do to bring out her eyes……
……..and a final gallery featuring diverse photographers:
………and as a reward for everyone who managed to scroll down right to the bottom – here’s a short video of Polina in a photo session modelling a tutu that’s pretty well the same as the one in the last portrait above (from about 2:20) – the photographer for the shoot being Barbara Shuravina, and the video photographer obviously Anastasia Nefedova:
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