Moscow-based photographer Darya Kondratyeva normally takes family, maternity or child photos. However, when she breaks from her usual subject, she produces magical photos that look absolutely enchanting. Her work hearkens to olden fairytales, legends and myths.
The beautiful models in her photos are convincingly directed and dressed in full costume as what could be witches, princesses or other mythical figures. Kondratyeva also uses wild animals as part of her creative compositions, and her lovely models intimately interact with these creatures.
One might be led to wonder if these animals are real, photoshopped, or well made props. The animals featured in Kondratyeva’s photos are actually all real, and are trained to be docile enough to interact with people. Kondratyeva reinterprets timeless tales of enchantment in her beautiful portraits, inspired by the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Gretel, and Brave’s Merida, transporting the viewer to faraway, mythical places through her stunning shots.
The trained animals like bears, foxes, and owls mingle playfully with the models, lending credibility to a conjured fairytale world wherein animals and humans could possibly speak, play, and live together.
Her use of intense vivid color adds a special dimension to the photos, making them look more dramatic. The lovely outdoor settings, whether depicted in winter or springtime also all the more adds to the fairytale look that is so difficult to convincingly pull-of, but which Kondratyeva does so exceedingly well.
Her work is being likened by some critics to that of two other fellow Russians, Katerina Plotnikova and Margarita Kareva, who likewise have a keen sense for creating folkloric images. One could also find similarity in Kondratyeva work to some recent cinematic productions, such as The Chronicles of Narnia series.
See her collective works here.