We all feel the same way, think the same way, cry and rejoice the same way.
Daria Sahatskaya is a photographer and Art Director from Moscow, Russia. Daria’s photographs were featured in NASTY magazine, SICKY Magazine, and ZERO-SAVAGE. A philosophical approach to reality and human kind echoes in the emotions that are expressed in the frame.
The subjects in the photographs find themselves in a dream-like atmosphere while pondering on seemingly existential questions. The mastery of creating a colorful world filled with deep emotions and thought processes is a noticeable theme in Daria’s works.
Strong facial expressions and looks that refer to different cultures in your photography - can you please describe what matters to you in choosing a model and then in working with the model on the set?
"Didn’t you know? Half of our class are - Jews" - this fact became known to me a year before graduation, the rest of the time I tried to understand how everyone is so well-versed in this matter. I still can hardly distinguish the nationality of people. The concept of nationality and racial identity were, apparently, missed (or purposefully omitted) by parents in my upbringing. But for National Geographic coverages, studies of folklore, and travel there was plenty of time. Therefore, humanity, as a result, has developed into the features of one "common" face in my mind. We all feel the same way, think the same way, cry and rejoice the same way - with small external differences due to the factors "from the outside".
In models, I seek this "commonality" - and that is why there is a unity in the "face" of humanity. Expression of their consciousness, a unity in their emotions, which they are ready to show me - I cannot select forcibly. Although everyone has their own methods - from wine to hypnosis. But I do not want to break a person for shooting and to decant a picture of him. In this framework, I am for creating a comfortable environment on the set: we usually make a lot of jokes, we do not pick expressions, and we clown around. As a result, even in the most lenten portrait, it is not difficult to see the selfness of each model.
What is the main challenge in your profession?
"You always want to get to the bottom of what is inside everyone. I want to show people what is buried under their conscious actions, thoughts, and desires. In the end, it seems to me that this "something" is the same for all of us. Experience (and not only personal one) shows that this tendency is rarely superimposed on momentary "trends" and social patterns".
Who is Daria Sahatskaya?
Your favorite color?
How does social media influence your creative process?
Of course, I primarily view these platforms as a source of replenishment of the lack of knowledge and images. I do not need to go out of the house to libraries and exhibitions, for example, to solve this task. Moreover, I'm practically not limited to someone else's choice of what they want to show me, and that's a good thing. I, myself, am looking for, within the framework of social media, what interests me, while bumping into things in the process of this search.
Your style creates an atmosphere of romanticism, dreaming. A person in the photograph seems to be in the deep of his mind. Would you agree and have this element connected to your own personality?
Yes, probably. It will be easier to define for people who know me close enough and can appreciate it from the side.
Name 2 last books you have read.
A textbook on forensic psychology and "Sex and Character" by Otto Weininger.
Can you describe a process of shooting for an online magazine? How do you start the creative process of art direction?
So far, I didn’t have a practice of shooting for a client. All those shoots that were taken to the editorials afterwards, we organized ourselves with my friend Thea, sharing equally all the duties on the set. Usually, I handled the art direction and photography, and Thea - production and all the communications; we collaborated on styling. One way or another, a photographer must be an art director - after all, he is responsible for the vision, and therefore for the atmosphere and the story, even if those are the simplest model testing. Everything comes from the vision: composition, color, mood, and story; so this is a holistic resource from which you can draw anything, depending on the task you have.
How was it working for the Kurága brand? What was the most important for you to capture in the photograph?
The designer of the brand and I have quickly found a common language in understanding the brand’s role model. Liza (the Designer and Founder of Kurága) studied and practiced in Europe, where the image of a modern woman - a natural, open, active, not suppressed by social cliché - has long been the norm; while the experience working in the Stella McCartney’s franchise boutique had greatly influenced me. To propagandize and introduce this type of consciousness into the Russian public consciousness was our main task - in the clothes, in the visual content, and, of course, in the heart of every like-minded person. In fact, it turned out to be quite difficult, especially when you don’t have all the resources - there was not enough time or finance against the background of low quantitative growth of the target audience.