Alexander Kharlamov

Photographer Male Coventry, England, United Kingdom
My Website: Portfolio
My MM URL: http://www.modelmayhem.com/kharlamov
Mayhem # 901892

About Me

I am a fine-art photographer. Not keen on commissioned work unless its very interesting. I shoot who/how I want. I work for free most of the time and I have never depended on photography, I do this for pleasure. I do shoot a few times a year.

Over the last 12 years of painting and photography, I specialised in female portraiture and fine-art nude. However, my work is not about making women look pretty or sexy. I am after depth and meaning in my images. I hate superficial glamour, as it is utterly boring and looks cheap most of the times. Some other no-go mundane styles IMO are boudoir, pin up and lingerie (I do not shoot catalogues). Most of the time I like thoughtful deep expressions, sometimes depressed lost faces like your beloved pet hamster just died after choking on a nut. I also understand little to nothing of clothes, so I simply avoid it in pictures except some plain neutral stuff.

If you are a model and appreciate my work, please do get in touch (even if you do not have a dying hamster). However, please bear in mind that I have never paid a model, never had to. All my projects were/are personal and non-commercial work. This does not mean that I do not value your time, I do, and that is precisely why I invest my own time and effort into working with you and not someone else.

The main aspect of my workflow is that I love having control and directing, I know what I want and focus on achieving it. For the same reason, I love working with inexperienced new models, I like to spot strangers and friends with potential and develop them. It is not my style to aim at the model and ask her to 'move around' improvising random poses on her own while spraying multiple frames in silly hopes of getting 'something' – that ‘something’ is usually crap and I find it idiotic and unproductive.

I love shooting on film, large and medium formats, but it ends up scanned. Hence, I usually take few frames per session out of habit. However, when I am not in a masochistic film mood I shoot digital because it is quick and easy. I do all post-processing myself; I develop and scan my own film. With skin retouch I am very lazy, I keep skin looking like skin as it is beautiful as is. About beauty retouching, fake plastic flawless airbrushed skin looks awful, no clue why it is so popular. I usually achieve softness with optics, light and grain rather than post process, as I do not mind leaving women looking a bit human – they are already beautiful.

I am not a very nice person. One of the problems is being too direct and brutally honest, i.e. if you ask me something, I will tell you my unfiltered opinion if I have one. I love people, in limited doses, I am introverted most of the days. I seem to be productive when someone is relentlessly kicking me to make more art even if I show great resistance in return. Regardless, I do love doing all this, but creative blocks seem to be frequent lately and often solid. Challenges are a must. My best shoots correlate with the quality of the conversation and its depth, I despise small-talk, better not to talk at all. And I have a quite dark sense of humour that shows in the least appropriate moments.

Some key points:

I never charge models and I always work TF (but I do cover expenses if any)
I always ask for a signed models release
I use my real name, the same I use for my main work and publications – I plan to keep my reputation flawless
I will give you almost every image made in probably less than 24 hours except the film scans, developing and scanning takes longer
You will be able to use the images we create in any non-commercial way you wish to promote yourself, no need to credit me
If I print anything, I would like you to have one of the limited series prints (you better like it, too)
I am fluent in Russian, Portuguese and English

Other stuff about myself (most likely the reason behind some of my nihilistic views). I was born in Moscow (1988), grew up in Portugal, now living in the UK. Far far away from creative arts, I have two master degrees and a licentiate (industrial engineering, management and research). After four years, finally, I am finishing a PhD on human behaviour and decision-making in the context of operations management. Its actually a very cool topic (really) – you can tell people that they suck at making some decisions and sort of explain why we are all doomed for the eternity to suck at it… Before I sacrificed the best years of my youth to academia, I did study music in a conservatory (piano) for 7 years and learned to paint in an arts school (I was actually planning to be a real artist).

Now I am more focused on creating a worthy body of work. My work has been published in some books and magazines as well as featured exhibitions, mostly group exhibitions as so far I just had one individual. Got a couple of awards, but nothing special. Hopefully someday I will start to value more self-promotion and invest time (of find someone) to take care of it, but currently it is not a priority.

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