The proliferation of social media users has not only supported but instigated careers in recent years by allowing quite literally any individual to establish a presence and cultivate a following online. One photographer whose stunning Instagram journal of his travels across the world has earned him worldwide fame is Murad Osmann. Osmann photographs his wife leading him by the hand across various locations around the globe — from Las Vegas to the Taj Mahal, Bali to Moscow. The resulting images are dazzling, colorful, almost surreal, dreamy and romantic.
A pair of scissors and a piece of sting, cherries, a desk, even tree twigs — Dmitry Malkov photographs what the majority overlook as mundane, commonplace objects. Finding beauty in the unextraordinary, he encourages us to take a moment to ponder upon and appreciate the wonder of everyday life. Minimal and simplistic yet charming and utterly captivating, Malkov’s images are enchantingly beautiful and showcase an artistry rare for his mere 18 years of age.
Ksenia Sazanovich describes herself as a designer, traveler and nature lover — the wonderful combination of which forms the basis of her stunning photography. Sazanovich captures the ethereal, breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of Siberia, including scintillating ice-covered lakes, forests blanketed in blindingly white snow and the dramatic mist-veiled peaks that sprawl across northern Asia. This Russian’s stunning, somewhat mystical images resemble dreamscapes that are guaranteed to fuel your wanderlust.
Natasha Goldenberg is a member of the so-called Russian ‘fash pack’ — a group of (needless to say) rather beautiful, rather stylish socialites. As you might expect, Goldenberg’s somewhat enviable Instagram account brims with photos of her daily life as a designer, stylist and full-time mother to an adorable young girl Mishka who frequently features in her posts and seems to be following in her mother’s fashionable footsteps.
Natalia Vodianova is something of a Russian national treasure. The bright-blue-eyed beauty was born in the poverty-stricken suburbs of Gorky, in what was then the Soviet Union, where she spent her childhood selling fruit on the streets in order to provide for the family her father deserted. Having signed a modeling contract at the age of 15, Vodianova has gone on to become one of the highest-paid supermodels in the world who has graced the pages of almost every sartorial publication in existence and campaigned for the likes of Calvin Klein, Chanel and Hugo Boss to name but a few. She is also a devoted philanthropist and founder of the Naked Heart Foundation.
‘Foodography’ is the latest trend to have flooded the Internet and is quickly becoming a discipline in itself with several Instagram accounts devoted solely to the practice. Artemy Lebedev is a ‘foodographer’ with a difference. The Russian designer and businessman (also known for his candid, outspoken character and crude sense of humor) who founded Art Lebedev Studios takes images of food that is half-consumed or that has been demolished completely. Though supposedly satirical in purpose, Lebedev’s creativity and artistic eye is manifest — his images are certainly interesting and strangely beautiful.
Ballet is an integral element of Russian culture and a prominent feature of the nation’s very profile. Daniil Simkin was born in Novosibirsk to two ballet-dancer parents and was himself taught and trained by his mother from a young age. Now a principal dancer with the American Ballet and considered one of the finest talents of his generation, Simkin’s Instagram is an insight into his wonderful world, featuring mostly candid black and white images of him and his colleagues — both on stage and backstage.
Rural landscapes and urban architecture dominate Shurik Susanin’s Instagram feed. From snow-capped mountainsides to underground escalators, sprawling green meadows to industrial cityscapes, Susanin profiles the diversity of Russia’s terrain and culture, showcasing the country’s natural beauty as well as its impressive urban developments.
Roman Palchenkov is the ingenious founder of Freezelight — a unique photographic art project which utilizes the camera’s long exposure tool in order to capture light as it moves. @freezelight showcases the artist’s stunning results and is another Instagram account most definitely worth following. Palchenkov’s personal feed is full of beautifully simplistic images that document his everyday life — unique in the way that they capture and highlight the relationship between shadow and light.
Ksenia Sobchak is one half wealthy socialite (hence her tabloid-given nickname the ‘Paris Hilton of Russia’), one half significantly influential, highly ambitious political activist. She first made a name for herself as a television show host, an actress and for her various fashion design pursuits. It wasn’t until 2011 that she began making headlines for her courageously public condemnation of President Putin’s re-election. Sobchak joined the protests sparked by various electoral fraud allegations and is a high-profile member of the Russian Opposition Coordination Council.
By Hannah Bergin