“I really wanted to transform my family into the monsters that they really are inside,” says Fedor Diakonov on the supernatural shoot which saw him turns the lens on his grandmother and other family members to spooky effect.
Drawing inspiration from the colours and atmosphere of Andrea Giacobbe’s photographs as well as the Russian urban fantasy thriller Night Watch by Timur Bekmambetov, Diakonov transformed his family members by riffing on the film’s supernatural vision of Moscow (Fedor’s hometown). “I was particularly highly inspired by the side character, the Witch Darya Shultz,” he says. “She reminds of my grandmother a lot, very bold, eccentric and a bit crazy.”
As creative director and stylist for the shoot, Diakonov used surrealism, body part layering and still motions of static vibration as the key tools to create his transformative and almost monstrous portraiture. Friend and photographer Anton Reva then helped bring Fedor’s linear portrait ideas and dynamics to life.
As for the message of the shoot, Diakonov ultimately wants viewers to take away that you can be cool at any age. “Don’t let the numbers define who you really are,” he says.