PQs 5 o'clock tea
5 o'clock tea
photography Yana Uvarova
model Anna Drozdoa
wardrobe stylist Natalia Voronkova
words Sherry Johnson
So where are you from? And where do you reside?
I’m from Russia, but actually hanging out all over the world. Spent couple of years in Europe and now based in the USA, Miami.
There are so many possible narratives for each of your photographs, how important is it to you that your models share the same narrative for the moment that you do? In the photo shoot 5 o'clock tea what type of instructions did you give to let them get lost in the mood?
It is very important how the model follows you, I love working with crazy models. The model for me on the shoot is not a human - is an object which needs to do a particular stuff, so if not following the instructions I feel very frustrated and losing control (I want to finish the shoot). That’s why I always take time for the first look - because that’s the critical time to collaborate with the model, you need to instill the certain mood and also to relax the model if is not the professional one. In the 5 o’clock tea I feel like we didn’t fully explore the subject because we were very afraid of the expensive clothes the model was wearing for each look.
How did you come up with this concept?
On this project we worked together with my friend and partner Julia Yanovsky from Neponyatno production - the brand for photography and Art direction which we started and still develop in Russia. The best projects we create are usually born when we talk by phone because if we meet - the whole creative process stacks somewhere in the cafe because we like to eat too much lol. So we both were obsessed with the old pictures we found in internet - people used to take photos of their relatives who was actually already dead to leave them in the memories. So we started from there and then was reading more about the time of the reign of Queen Victoria where that time women were not supposed
to be satisfied in sex - it was supposed as a sin. Our story is about suppression - the more you suppress inside - the stronger the consequences after.
When did you start photography? And what got you started in photography?
Actually all of my work on my website is just one year of photography. I started early 2016 and didn’t let myself stop because I always compare myself to the best ones in industry. This helps always to develop the skills. I actually started with videos - I needed a commercial for my business, so I ordered one from a guy and when I received a product I told to my boyfriend “hey I can do this by myself next time” - he told “no Yana that’s not that easy”. And actually that was not THAT easy as I expected. So I started with the thought that making photos and videos is very easy but the more I shoot the more I understood how wrong I was in the beginning.
What are some of your favorite concepts to shoot? How do they support your passion for capturing photos?
As known lots of artists are driven by passion or some kind of perversion - it took me a while to discover myself. And to be honest I didn’t think about that too much - first person who paid attention to that was my friend and also an artist - painter. He asked me if I shoot on purpose like that or not. I definitely love to put men in women clothes and have some addiction with mouth and different objects in it. Even if I start to shoot ordinary stuff and don’t plan anything of that - it pops up during the shoot anyway in a couple of pictures.
What do you do with the photos you take? How are they used?
Usually I do commercial work for designers, shops or model tests. Before I was really concentrated on making only editorials - though I always put an idea inside every shoot it seems to me now not enough - doesn’t give me satisfaction of exploration the world through fashion. So now I feel more like shooting reportage photos or doing my own different kinds of art projects including films.
To date, what has been your favorite photo shoot you have dome and why?
My favorite shoot changes from time to time - when I do a shoot, can’t wait to come home and look what I have on my memory card, but sometimes after time and also if I retouch the photos I’m getting tired of them and already not so in love with them as I was in the beginning. Two of my favorites definitely are Fish Blood and My private geisha. But I made very cool nudes from the latest art and undressed show in Miami where we were creating the concept live without any preparations. That’s was a very interesting experience and I moved over there in the direction I want to work now- more art stuff.
What's next for you?
My next goal is to shoot my first film and make my own exhibition of visual arts I create. To take part in art basil will be nice too.
Where can our readers follow your great work?
I have two websites - one has all the kinds of my works https://uvarovayana.photography, but I don’t like it to be honest as far as I have to showcase there also some glamour type of photography for my clients and that’s definitely not the thing I love to do. But as how people like to say in America... everyone has to pay the bills. The second website https://www.uvarovayana.com is my pride and my child (though my bf says it’s shit and I should kill it and do a wedding one instead - would be interesting to receive some feedback). That’s the direction I want to move. My online art gallery is full of surprises and nasty stuff but that’s how I see the world and every page was created in a certain period of time, so traveling through this website - be sure you are right inside of my head. - PQ