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Everystring.com | Photography by Anna Fishkin
Everystring.com | Photography by Anna Fishkin
Everystring.com | Photography by Anna Fishkin
Everystring.com | Photography by Anna Fishkin
Everystring.com | Photography by Anna Fishkin

Projects Blog

Full Circle in Chiapas

Below are the photos taken recently during my second trip through Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas. My first trip to this stunning destination happened six years ago in 2012 under very different circumstances. Back then I was two years in to my new life in Tulum, still at the beginning of my photography career and struggling (hard!) to not only make the ends meet but to also believe that I was a real photographer. It was my first big adventure experience of traveling solo through Mexico… Still fresh in my memory is the arduous overnight bus ride I took from Tulum to Palenque, where in the middle of the night a clever invisible thief stole ALL my beloved Nikon photography gear and money while I accidentally dosed off somewhere near the shady town of Escarcega.

With my heart completely shattered and not knowing how I would shoot a fashion project I was already booked for one week later in Tulum, I moved around Palenque ruins like a ghost gazing at the ancient city structures through a thick veil of tears and devastation. I remember taking sad blurry photos of the pyramids with my iPhone simply to kill time while I waited for the afternoon bus to San Cristobal de las Casas where a fellow photographer friend Masha was waiting for me. Going down the memory lane, I’m glad to see that my old photos of San Cris in this post from 2012 are somewhat sunnier because I was able to borrow my friend’s camera for a couple of hours and my wounded heart actually began to heal quickly.

By the time my 2012 Chiapas trip ended I experienced what we Russians call ‘the irony of fate’ (a phrase coined by the classic 1975 Soviet-era film of my childhood) because for the first time ever I felt like a real photographer and not an impostor. And even though in that moment I was a real photographer without a camera, the proof of my newly found confidence came immediately via a respected colleague Manu who trusted me to borrow his treasured Canon 5D Mark II camera kit for my upcoming fashion shoot. Anyone who tried to make it as a photographer in Mexico, and Tulum in particular, knows how difficult it is to obtain pro photography gear spontaneously (not to mention short-notice!) without a single rental anywhere in vicinity, and I’m not sure the situation has improved all these years later. Needless to say my gratitude soared sky-high at this miracle and although I never shot with Canon before, within minutes of practice I was able to rock the photo-shoot and never doubted myself again! Long story short, thanks to the generous investment of my gemini soul brother twin Johan as well as my amazing parents, I was able to make a huge upgrade in my Nikon photography gear turning an irreparable loss into a blessing in disguise. Shortly afterwards I ended up in NYC assisting some of the most talented photographers whose work I hitherto only admired from the pages of magazines. So this is the short version of the story about how I became a professional photographer.

Fast forward to now six years later, I was overjoyed to return to Chiapas in order to give its stunning landscapes proper justice with my beautiful Sony a7r camera. Yes, I made the big switch from Nikon to Sony a couple of years ago when a filming challenge in Peruvian Amazon convinced me to go as light and as silent as possible. As I post these images from Chiapas in November 2018 I want to express my deep appreciation to the road-trip spirits of Chiapas for keeping me inspired and safe on its crazy and often treacherous mountain roads while also paving the road to my own success back in what seemed like the end of my world in 2012. I also want to thank my partner in crime Reedo for capturing my happy self frolicking in the spectacular Agua Azul waterfalls and for following me all the way to the summit of Palenque’s Temple of the Cross to witness one truly gorgeous sunset. What a way to complete the circle!

 

Micca Mont: El Camino

Last month my production company Modern Maya produced a music video for electronic musician/producer Micca Mont‘s new single ‘El Camino’. We filmed in three beautiful locations scattered throughout Yucatan peninsula and while shooting in the pink lagoons of Las Coloradas I also ended up snapping a few quick impromptu shots, supporting one very prophetic photo we made together years ago in Tulum during one magical full moon rise which is now the cover art for the same single.

 

Summit Series: Tulum, 2018

I had an incredible time photographing Summit global community gathering in Tulum, Mexico. Here are some of my photo selections from all the high-frequency happenings over the course of three beautiful days in Nômade Tulum, Be Tulum and Casa Malca. To see more published photography – https://tulum.summit.co/photos

 

Tulum Travel Guide for Le Monde Magazine, France

Tearsheet from my assignment in Tulum, Mexico, with L’Agence RÉA for Le Monde magazine.

>> Tulum, le Mexique bohème et sportif – Tulum Guide for Le Monde magazine

 

Yäan Wellness Spa: Tulum, Mexico

Photography for Yäan Wellness Spa in Tulum, Mexico.

“Yäan Wellness was born from the magic of Tulum, Mexico. It is a center of wellness and healing where you will find your inner and outer beauty in the integration of mind, body and soul. From the moment you pass the burning flame, you will be immersed in the elements of fire, air, water, and earth and feel at peace with Yäan’s elegant and organic design, which respects the flow of nature in both space and time.” ~ www.yaanwellness.com

 

Glamrocks Jewelry: Jungle Disco

Happy to team up once more with wonderful Glamrocks Jewelry to photograph their new 2018 collection pieces set against Tulum’s stunning homegrown backdrop of Gitano.

 

Movida Maya: Teaching Photography Workshop

Photography Workshop ‘Images and Identity’

When Tulum’s local NGO Movida Maya invited me to lead the ‘Images and Identity’ photography workshop with Mayan teenagers in Mexico’s indigenous fringe community Chumpón, Quintana Roo, I was humbled because the reality of these kids’ daily life challenges made my own current problems fade in comparison. Yet as soon as we started to spend time together walking around the village and exploring it through photos, I felt incredible connection with the kids because I myself happen to be a time capsule from a culture that no longer exists. I vividly remembered my own struggles with identity and striving to make sense of who I was in the face of globalization despite (and because!) of my roots. I also remembered how my hunger to change careers and become a photographer actually originated from the desire to communicate subtle inner experiences for which I couldn’t find words in any language.


 

Photography exhibition: ‘My community, My identity’

One month later we were delighted to learn that Tulum’s 1st Arts & Culture festival – ART WITH ME – proposed to organize a sponsored exhibition “My Community, My Identity” with my portraits from the workshop in Chumpón. The event was beautiful and we extend enormous gratitude to all who attended and supported from afar. What a way to raise awareness about Movida Maya and their crucial youth-empowerment programs inside local indigenous communities. To learn more and support please follow this link.

 

Faces of Zamas

To say that Zamas Hotel is just a client would be a huge understatement. Over the course of my photographer-in-residence assignment with this legendary boutique hotel in Tulum, Mexico, the family who owns the place has truly become like my own family. Each one of these portraits brings a smile and a special memory and I’m beyond grateful that life brought us all together in our favorite spot on the edge of the Caribbean. Don Daniel, Susan, Chelsea and Sofia – I miss you every day!

 

Zamas Hotel Guest Chef Series: Tulum, Mexico

Certainly one of the best perks during my photographer-in-residence gig at Zamas Hotel was meeting all the wonderful guest chefs and photographing (ahem, tasting!) their food. Can I please return for another season?!

 

Sounds and Yoga: Sanara, Tulum

One gorgeous day, from sunrise until dark, I immersed myself into the world of Tulum’s lovely Milano-born eco-glamorous sound therapist and yoga teacher Alessandra Montana. We spent the day between the beach and Sanara Hotel’s beautiful yoga studio shooting and playing with Ale’s impressive collection of frequency instruments. The moonlit sound healing session at the end left me forever addicted to mind-clearing sounds of gong magic.

 


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