With a penchant for portraiture and a fascination with freckles, photographer Alexandra Bochkareva is artistically attracted to redheads. Since she first dabbled in photography four years ago, the St. Petersburg-based artist has captured the unique beauty of crimson locks through dreamy and bewitching photographs. While the vast majority of her scarlet-centric shots feature women, Bochkareva’s fondness for redheads is not strictly limited to humans. She has also incorporated a fiery red fox into her fairytale-inspired portraits.
Bochkareva’s picture-perfect photography career began in 2012 with the birth of her daughter. With little formal training, she relied on books and experimentation to hone her craft. While, at first, she used her friends and family as models, she eventually found her distinctive niche in portraits of redheads. Bochkareva typically captures her ruby-haired subjects in the outdoors—opting to shoot in forests or meadows, where their striking tresses stand out among the greenery. Her photos draw a parallel between the natural surroundings and the figures’ natural beauty, simultaneously creating an enchanting scene straight from a storybook.
To further enhance her fairytale focus, Bochkareva boldly opted to introduce her subjects to Alice, a trained fox and color-coordinated forest friend. The friendly fox appears in two series: Autumn and Winter. In Autumn, she and Olga—a model who Bochkareva routinely features—“share secrets” on the forest floor. Meanwhile, in Winter, she and Polly—another regular—solemnly embrace in the snow. In both beautiful series, the subject and her matching critter calmly interact with each other. Neither the models nor Alice appear afraid; with their like locks and comfortable demeanors, they quietly co-exist in a dreamlike sense of harmony. “Alice is a wonderful animal,” Bochkareva told us in an email. “Sometimes she is friendly, sometimes not. All the photographs are spontaneous – I tried to catch the moments of their unity.”
Every fox-y photo is captured with a manual lens (Helios 77m-4) and natural lighting, making the spellbinding pictures even more impressive.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Alexandra Bochkareva.