Ekaterina Smuraga

Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Kate, could you tell us something funny about yourself?

I grimace and mumble like Mr. Bean.

Is photography a hobby or occupation for you?

Photography for me is something bigger than “a hobby” and something less than “an occupation”. Photography is my permanent headache as well. (Ha-ha-ha)

What is “photography”?

If say simply photography is a way to get a picture. Though if we spread this definition we will find out that photography also shows things behind the scene, it talks about invisible, fantastical and conceptual things. I think the most interesting is interpretation field that photography can create.

Could you tell us about this photograph?

That was a common day in Saint Petersburg, the grey one. That was off-season, the time without any identification: neither spring, neither winter, nor autumn. Nevertheless you need to live further, you need to do something. So Zhenya and me awakened and went to make a visit to our friend Danila, who had a haircutter and we had Zhenya’s long blond coloured hairs cut. And it found to be very beautiful! Then we spontaneously went to a free concert to Vasilyevsky Island. And I was very proud of walking beside with such a beautiful Zhenya along Tuchkov most street blowed through with all the possible winds. That was an amazing day. Thank you for reminding me!

What photograph do you like most of all? And why?

This one, made in Vitebsk, my native town. Soon after I had made this picture the fence was demolished and deconstructed, and probably even burnt down. Perhaps that is the reason why I like this photograph so much, though it is very simple.

What music do you associate your photographs with?

It is hard to say, different soundtracks correspond different periods in life. But for a very long time Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla has been kept his influence on me, but he is rather about me and what is important for me in general than my photographs.

Are there any examples that inspire you and subconsciously affect your style?

Speaking about subconscious affection I won’t try to answer, I will need a couch and a good psychotherapist (looking for recommendations) to do this. However the inspirers are out of number. Most of all I like the early Christian and Medieval Art. I like the Northern Renaissance. In modern photography I am inspired with a number of photographers: from Paolo Ventura, Alec Soth, and Wolfgang Tillmans – to “dear” ones: Nikita Litvinenko, Nikita Pirogov, Alena Zhandarova, Aleksandr Veledimovich, Natasha Krymskaya, and Masha Svyatogor. I can continue without end!


In your photographs I feel some warm and comfort. To photograph people you should love them, and I think a lot about it. It concerns not only outer shell but everything that is inside. What qualities should photographer have in your opinion?  

I think the most valuable trait for photographer is honesty against him or herself.

How do you think if any person can be photographed deeply, with revealing of his/her nature or any exceptions are?

I deeply believe that anyone can be photographed. You just should find way to him or her.

What do you like most of all in photography?

The matter is the time runs so fast as someone crazy is striving for it. So most of all in photography I like the ability to freeze time, to find something in reality (for example, something beautiful), to photograph it (i.e. stop and steal it from time), and then to watch and admire it forever (to save).

What do you admire?

I admire people and natural phenomena.

What do you can’t do and want to learn?

I’d like to learn tap-dancing and Polish.  {/interview_answer} 

What are your plans for future?

{interview_answer}I would like to walk and travel more.