“Where people are together, but actually on their own.” Vladimir Stepanov captures people’s emotions in the Moscow subway.
Vladimir, please introduce yourself.
I am a documentary and street photographer from Moscow. My interest in photography began about 5 years ago. At that time I lived in Central Asia, in Kyrgyzstan. I have a wonderful wife and an amazing son. He is 5 years old and a very funny boy. They always support me in my creative work.
How did you get into Street Photography?
Street photography is the search of beauty around us and harmony inside yourself. This is the easiest opportunity to express yourself. Anybody can take their smartphone and shoot pictures. We can see harmony in the beautiful diversity of the world that surrounds us. So I have chosen this way for me.
Street photography was the most accessible type of creativity for me when I lived there. Then I started to shoot all around. And I realized the opportunity to express myself through photography.
What do you look for when shooting on the streets?
First of all I look for elements of composition and people’s emotions and try to combine both in a photo. It seems to me, street photography and photography in general, is an ability to see the world like a picture. It is important for each photographer to study works of art, attend museums and exhibitions to develop the way of seeing the things around us.
How did your subway series come about?
My series in the subway is about expression of people’s emotions. The face reflects our feelings from inside. While travelling home from work I see different faces. Some people are tired, others are just sad. In the subway, people are together, but actually, everyone is on their own. People look lonesome and don’t recognize anybody around them. At this moment, their faces reflect true feelings.
Any tips for Street Photography in Moscow?
I can just give one piece of advice, be confident and friendly. If you feel danger, walk away. Moscow is a very big city, so every photographer is treated differently. Of course you can use the method of invisible shooting, sometimes this is the best decision. You can call me as well and we could go out to shoot the streets of Moscow together!
What are your future plans or projects in photography?
My future plans are related to documentary photography, a project about labor migrants from Central Asia. I have just started working on this project and I think results will appear soon.