When photographer Natalie Samoilova reached out to us from Belarus, we were instantly drawn to her work. Particularly with the intimacy and romanticism of the photo essay featuring twin sisters Nina and Anastasia Rybakovs.
AGB: How long have you been a photographer, and do you mind sharing your earthly years?
NS: I’ve been a professional photographer for about 8 years. But I’m also an economist. It took me about 12 years (education and work in this field) to realize that my soul belongs to a creative life. I am 36 years old.
AGB: Where do you live and were you born there?
NS: I was born and live in Belarus that used to be a part of former USSR.
AGB: Is any one else in your family artistic?
NS: No, I am the first and only member of my family who decided to dedicate their life to photography, to become an artist.
AGB: What inspired you to shoot the Twins, and in this location?
NS: I’ve known these girls for quite a long time, and have shot them several times. But all previous projects did not revealed this fragile connection they have between them. Maybe, they needed time to get to know me better and trust me with something quite intimate and delicate, or maybe I needed time to find the right location, theme, clothes and so on.
I shot the girls in the art studio because they are painters and this is one of the classes where they studied. I decided that is great place for this project.
AGB: How is the fashion in Belarus?
NS: It's quite young, but very promising.
AGB: What about a sustainable fashion movement?
NS: No, we don't have such kind of community. But a lot of our designers use natural fabrics: cotton, flax (our country produces it and this fabric is a part of our cultural inheritance), wool (our country also produces it) and others.
AGB: What you think of the crazy political chaos that’s happening in the US, and around the world?
NS: I prefer to keep a distance.
Self portrait of Natalie Samoilova