Published by Junsuke Yamasaki we present a series of spreads from the Russian youth vanguard's acclaimed book
February 27, 2012
A local spotlight on the Russian documentary photographer trying to broaden people's horizons
- Text by Kristina Voytovich
Max Avdeev is a young Russian photographer who is interested in capturing reality in sharp images. He likes exploring the world around him that can be both beautiful and ill-favoured. Max is challenging his audience to see a different angle, pushing their boundaries to perceive the world beyond their closest environment.
Satellite Voices: What brought you into photography?
Max Avdeev: I studied economics but at some point I understood, that I didn't want to work in an office. The world is so big, I want to absorb, see and understand it. Photography was more of a hobby but quickly turned into a profession. Photography suits me because I like exploring the world around me, focusing on this one specific moment. I got interested in documentary photography and photojournalism because of it's unpredictability and preciseness of capturing this very moment of time.
SV: What does documentary photography mean to you?
Max Avdeev: Photography does not change the world. It is already a well-known truth. But telling different stories of different people is important. When a person's visual range shrinks to the size of the close environment, it is crucial to show that the world is actually immense and other people's problems affect us all.
I believe that photography can help individual persons. Sometimes it can even solve a specific problem. It is also important to record the things that may not exist in the very near future. Documentary photography is a memory instrument. You have to be honest with yourself, be curious, love what you do and respect your heroes. Documentary photography seems to be all about events, processes, changes, problems and troubles. Real people stand behind everything. In fact it is all about the people behind it.
SV: Do you have favourite photoshoots?
Max Avdeev: Yes, but it is always very personal, the emotions that you had while shooting, the people, their faces and words you remember. Favorite shootings are not about the result but about the process.
SV: What Russian photographer do you recommend on checking out?
Max Avdeev: Denis Sinyakov, Olga Ivanova, Sergey Ponomarev, Alexey Myakishev, Tatiana Plotnikova, Konstantin Salomatin,Fyodor Savintsev, Aleksey Maishev and many many others. I'm always a little bit sad that a lot of my friends do not know these names. There are a lot of good photographers in Russia but their names are not well-known. I would like to change that.
SV: Where do you like to work the most?
Max Avdeev: Definitely Russia and the former USSR countries. A lot of things happen here, a lot of topics to shoot. I am personally very interested in the Middle East. I like being there and I hope to return in Syria this spring again.
SV: What wouldn't you want to miss in life?
Max Avdeev: I am always ready to give up some habits if there is a reason for that. I can live without my phone for several weeks and I am talking about the Internet... It's hard to be without friends and honestly also without the Internet and wine.
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