‘Paris, Miami, Milan, Moscow- Backstage photos from world fashion weeks

A book that has been in the making for more than two years is finally published. I am beyond blessed and proud to be a part of this creative journey. I owe my sincere gratitude to a dear friend and an amazing fashion photographer Alexander Kozhin for believing in my and my work and for letting me inside his magical world of photography. Specialized texts about four capitals— Paris, Miami, Milan and Moscow, tell a story about their fashion history, unique perspective and aesthetic. They are accompanied by more than 300 photos that Alexander took behind the scenes of some of the most important fashion shows. Here, I will just share the introduction I wrote with jitters and restlessness, because what is harder for a writer than write about a friend. To purchase a copy of the book, please contact: sashurako@gmail.com

“It is hard to write about photographers, artists in general, especially the ones who fell in love with the magical world of capturing the world’s moments back in the day when the process of developing a photograph was even more magical than the creation process itself. Alexander gave me this difficult task, knowing that I will struggle for words while trying to describe everything he ever told me about himself, everything I have ever seen and everything I have ever experienced while looking at his work. This unique artisan is not merely capturing moments, but aiming to create a more personal, evocative, atmospheric impression of what he experiences inside his mind. It is truly fascinating how he turns backstage into a main stage, skilfully directing models to play a lead role in his own, personal photographic play. The backstage becomes his hunting ground, the quest for emotions and new experiences start to unwind; different people, cultures and situations collide and so he begins creating magic behind the camera. Alexander does what he does, and as long as his photos make you happy- he is happy! The first photo of his I have ever seen was the one of gorgeous Cindy Bruna in Zuhair Murad’s backstage. Her posture and poise, the focus of her face while the rest of the models gasp through the room tell a story of the raw power she possesses. It is the poetry of being perfect and imperfect at the same time. It was created in Paris, the city Alexander adores. It is ageless, like his work. It begins to tell a story about his life. However, it did not start in Paris. It was in Minsk where Alexander was born, grew up, made a couple of different choices before realizing that photography is his life’s true calling.

What you surely did not know about Alexander is the fact he fell in love with photography alongside his father who owned an old Soviet camera, the one who worked manually and created a loud sound due to the rubber shutter. Today, everything seems so easy. But, creating the perfect family photo at that time included a lot of work and time spent in the darkroom, carefully working with the chemicals and making the image permanent. As the word photography itself would imply, they were writing with light (photos- light, graphos- writing). Though his father perceived photography as a hobby, for Alexander it was much more. From his first job at a local newspaper photographing football matches, through the first Belarusian fashion week, he evolved into a young professional who now travels the world in order to capture the beauty of Roberto Cavalli’s design, chaotic artistic vision of Vivienne Westwood, Zuhair Murad’s luxurious gowns, fashion’s l’enfant terrible John Galliano and many more.

In pursuance of his dream, he equipped himself with a digital Canon camera and started searching for inspiration, the fascinating relation between human beings and their desire to be seen. Oftentimes, he found what he was looking for in an unexpected situations, capturing the models surprisingly well in the imperfect settings of dim makeup corners and fitting rooms.  What does not cease to amaze me is his chameleonesque ability to change, evolve, grow, adapt and develop. From his artistic point of view, this world is beautiful. However, I am not sure if he is aware of the fact that he contributes to its beauty. The imperfect situations, details and even flaws seem so perfectly arranged in the composition of his photographs. It’s picture perfect! This first photobook of his work is dedicated to all fashion capitals he visited. He jumps over the bar raised by many brilliant photographers and offers a fresh perspective of fashion, its backstage stories and fashion photography in general.

I can only wish him success, as it is my personal belief that he much deserves it. To all the lucky ones who will have the chance to browse through these pages: ‘Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.’

Let this be the first out of many, dear Alexander, and may you never use the ability to make this world feel beautiful.”