Project

For Long Lasting Memory: Provincial Photo Studios in Roman Pashkovsky’s Series

Ukrainian photographer Roman Pashkovsky travels to various towns and visits local studio photographers, assuming a different image, from a street boy to a nerd, each time he has his photo taken.


Roman Pashkovsky, 30

Ukrainian photographer. Born in Vinnytsia, lives in Kyiv. Completed a photography course at the Kyiv Institute of Film and Television and Viktor Marushchenko Photography School. Worked for The Village Kyiv and Look At Me. Published in Ukrainian editions of Vogue, Esquire, Forbes, ELLE, Marie Claire, Viva. Currently shoots for advertising agency and works on personal series.

Photo studios were culturally significant in the 90s. For most people going to the photo studio was special, it was not cheap. Every photographer had a number of decorations and furniture: chairs, armchairs, plastic columns and everything else needed to create an original portrait for every client and to help convey their character. As photography developed the demand for photo studios went down and many of them closed. Not all of them though.

The ones that remain usually have a receiving room, a wall where the previous works are displayed and the studio itself where the magic happens. Photographers in these studios still use classic equipment, apply the rules of composition and practice a very traditional approach to their job in general. I felt this myself; no matter how you look and what you wear, their approach doesn’t change.

When I arrived there, I acted like a regular client in need of a portrait. When asked what I do, I gave different answers: a sportsman, a white collar, a student, but I never admit to being a photographer myself.

I started my metamorphosis from choosing a place and clothes. This is how it usually happened: I went to a town and started asking locals and photographers who shoot photos for documents if they knew of any photo studios. I was specific that I needed not just any photo studio, but the classic kind that does portrait art. These places are not on the internet, so they take several days to find. When I arrived there, I acted like a regular client in need of a portrait. When asked what I do, I gave different answers: a sportsman, a white collar, a student, but I never admit to being a photographer myself.

All photographers in the photo studios have the same routine. The have common language. They put me in similar poses. The shoot lasts no longer than 15 minutes and stops whenever the photographer decides he has a good photograph. “Let’s do it one more time just in case” doesn’t happen.


Uman


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Berdychiv


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Makiyivka


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Odesa


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Khmelnytskyi


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Haysyn (Vinnytsia oblast)


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Vinnytsia


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Lviv


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Mukachevo


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