Russian Photographer Kristina Makeeva Captured Magical and Whimsical Photos Inspired By Balloons, Bubbles, And Lights.
It’s hard for me to imagine my life without balloons, lanterns and bubbles – they give joy, and they are the simple magic things that make our life brighter. Their appearance always makes me delight, so I try to use them often in my works.
Especially when there are a lot of them. Just want to note that these balloons after the events are always recycled, and not released into the sky, so you do not have to worry about the ponds and their purity. And lanterns from rice paper in the rain decompose in 10 days. I want to share this little magic with you, so that your days will become just a little brighter.
Once, at the age of 16, I took the camera in my hands, and since then I have been shooting. I did not study photography at the university, but there were related subjects on graphic design, web design, Adobe programs and so on. At school we did not have such clubs, but I often did my own presentations with pictures in Photoshop for school courses, for example, a course in physics and so on. I’ve been working in Photoshop since I was 14, and shooting since 16.
My first camera was a Panasonic video camera, which took pictures with a resolution of 640×480 pixels in JPG format. It was 14 years ago. I took pictures myself. I got a related education at the university, where I studied as a graphic designer. It strongly influenced my work. Designers always create their worlds out of nothing. As I am now—I always need to embellish reality.
Don’t miss to check previous series from Kristina Makeeva:
- Dancers Around The World
- Girls In Dresses Against Backgrounds Of The Most Beautiful Places
- Moscow During Snowfall
Travel began much later—about five years ago. It is not for rest, but for work and vocation. Traveling opens up a new world for us, expands our consciousness, inspires and teaches tolerance. Therefore, all this greatly influenced my work.
Often the term “magic” is applied to my photos. And there is. I, as a person who grew up in the usual gray and ugly city near Moscow, always tried to get into a fairy tale—in those fairy tales that I read in my childhood about hobbits, Moomin trolls, Alice in Wonderland, The Silmarillion, fairy tales by Russian authors like Max Fry and others in the fantasy genre and so on. With age, the perception of fairy tales and the tales themselves change. With travels to my fairy tales, the national flavor of those countries that I visit or read about has been added.
For example, in a project with flowing fabrics, I most recently spotted an Asian flavor. For example, in many Chinese or Japanese fairy tales, there are girls with fabrics flying in the wind. The simplest example is probably the Japanese anime of our childhood—Sailor Moon. Tales of Miyazaki.
What do I want to show? I want to show the magic in the ordinary. We have a project that is permeated, probably, by all the photos, which are called “Simple Magic Things.” With this project we want to show that everyone is surrounded by the amount of magic that they can see. Among the gray, dank reality, there are little things that make our world magical.
That life is not somewhere over the mountain in the gardens of sakura (which are overflowing in the spring, by the way), but here, in our apple orchards, or in a cup of herbal tea in the rays of the setting sun. That any piece of fabric can turn into a magic train, and that there is nothing impossible in principle.
Photography has tremendous power. Sometimes I receive letters in private messages that my photo has helped to cope with sadness. Sometimes they mention depression, and that it even becomes better for a moment—and I am glad. In fact, we initially began to work in order to carry the light of beauty into the world, however pathetic it may sound. And I see through the responses that light sometimes helps.
In fact, this is what I want to bring with my photos—light and wonder.
Baikal is a stunningly beautiful place. The first time I went for the company, and did not expect anything. What I saw and felt made me not sleep all three days while I was there. Nor was I tired at all. Inspiration so pulled out of me.
I still, having traveled to many countries, consider it one of the most beautiful places on Earth. The religion of those places is shamanism. So, it is felt. In addition to the beauty there you feel the energy. And I really hope that this time my tired mind will be filled with this pure energy. At the same time, we are quite cynical people, but Baikal forced us to reconsider our views on various spiritual processes.
Perhaps it is still pure air, water and natural products that are to blame. Residents of megacities often lack banal oxygen.
And, of course, when the visual component is beautiful, any photographer probably gains +100 strength. You know, like a kangaroo after sugar, all the photographers in this place are starting to burst with emotions and jump. You all probably know this feeling. Like taking a drug. Dopamine is poured into the blood. And all the visuals are simply dopamine addicts.
I think in pictures. I always have a movie in my head. So when I plan to take something off, I plan more than is physically possible. On a journey, it is rarely possible to do anything at all that I thought of at home in advance, but nevertheless, “homework” is necessary to create something unique on the spot. So I’m more immersed in history, landscape, picture.
For a trip to Baikal (and to any place) I prepare special requisites. Now it is easier for me, since I have been there already and I know about what is there. In the new place, I look at photos on Google and at the points of interest, and on the basis of them + of my own knowledge and experience, I prepare props. Nevertheless, in outdoor shooting, everything depends heavily on nature.
We sew dresses, I ordered special clothes suitable for the surrounding landscape, I ordered props, fabric, asked the guys in Irkutsk to buy something that we could not bring with us. I bought models of thermal underwear so that it does not completely freeze with us. I plan to even dress up Timon for some pictures from the drone. And also engage us all for a couple of ideas. But in fact, no matter how I have planned, the result will be different. Therefore, I am preparing, but not planning.
From Moscow to Irkutsk, 5 hours by plane on a direct flight. There we sit in Jeeps and in 2 hours, we are leaving on the ice. By the way, the peculiarity is that you can not have your seatbelt fastened in the car on the ice. I think you’ve already guessed why, but I will explain—if we fail, so that the belts do not prevent us from quickly getting out. But the chance of failing is minimal.
In our photos, the main thing is that everything together creates a feeling of unreal reality. As if we are now on a familiar planet, but as if from the inside. We look at it with different eyes. What will play a leading role is not important. Sometimes the main thing is a glass ball.
Sometimes I shoot one shot without processing. Sometimes I collect the universe in pieces. But I always insure myself with backgrounds, this is another secret—something that does not fit into an ordinary lens will fit in the post-processing.
It is also important to understand that over the years of filming, I have accumulated a huge amount of objects, airplanes, flowers, fabrics, snow, clouds, sunsets, balls, drops, and so on, that I can use in my works. These are my personal stock photos. Of these, I collect my universes.
I can also just finish at home what I lacked on location. Tapes or other items, for example.
There is one more thing—often there are a lot of people at any natural or city sights at the right time—it has to be retouched. Or very cold / hot. Then we shoot as quickly as possible, and remove all the shortcomings in post-production.
And sometimes it happens that we take a model before the trip or after it. Like all the necessary details.
Do you understand how extensive the deception is? But the viewer must believe. How to believe movies. Especially as we believed them in childhood.
But in any case, the photo was originally a hoax. When we remove a beautiful temple, we frame it, and behind us we see rubbish or a road with dusty mopeds. There was even some kind of photo project where the photographer was shooting, standing with his back to world sights. This is certainly interesting, especially when you do not leave the house, but we often already know what is behind us. By the way, it is very beautiful in Moscow if you stand with your back to St. Basil.
I don’t make plans for the future, and in principle I don’t plan much. Spontaneity plays a big role in shaping inspiration.
You can find Kristina Makeeva on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Kristina Makeeva. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.