When Margarita Kareva started taking photographs five years ago she never imagined the response she would get. The Russian photographer started portraying fairy tales from her region as a passion project, using a combination of pure photography and Photoshop to create ethereal, captivating portraits.
Her series Plein Air is particularly mesmerising, showcasing hybrids of real and imagined scenes in striking locations across her hometown of Yekaterinburg – Russia’s fourth largest city.
While these photographs are created from purely artistic sentiment, striking photographs of folklore and traditions can also belie nationalistic sentiment. Last year, a Ukrainian photography duo went viral after recreating traditional portraits featuring beautiful floral crowns – a key component of Ukraine’s traditional dress. Margarita’s highly stylised images encapsulate a range of traditional Russian tropes, using animals and nature alongside unusual models and eye-catching colours to bring a contemporary twist to stories such as Peter and the Wolf and The Speckled Hen. Striking costumes add a dramatic finish to the arrangement of these photographs, a combination that offers a romantic and sentimental reimagining of scenes and tales from Russia’s epic, imaginative and complex history.
Fans of the ethereal can check out more photographs here.