Irina Chernikova, San Francisco, California


How and when  did you get into photography?
I got into film photography less than 2 years ago when I came across a free analog camera. Ever since then, I’m on a mission to try every film out there and experiment with all kinds of analog techniques. 

What cameras do you use preferably for analog and digital?
I shoot mostly with k-mount Pentax cameras and on occasion instant film on Polaroid 600.  
What or who influenced you style?
I think my photography style is mostly influenced by architecture and cinematography. I am also inspired by many photographers, but I wouldn't be able to pick a specific style that I like the most. I like too many styles and too many artists. But if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Fan Ho.
Your double exposure images are true masterworks, do you compose them in your head before you shoot them or are you also playing with is there a lot left to chance?
Thank you. Most of the time I have specific ideas in my head, things I want to try with composition or another technique. However, I also improvise and experiment just to get something completely random and new, a surprise. It was very interesting to try Kono Rotwild film, this film pushed me to think of new double exposure ideas. I definitely had to compose ahead of time, think about what would look good on that film and at the same time I had no idea what to expect. For example, I had an idea of one specific double exposure for a long time, but couldn’t make it work the way I wanted on any film I tried. Kono Rotwild worked like magic. These things can be achieved in post processing with a digital image, but I’m a purist, I don’t allow myself to edit in post, so I try different film stock and different settings. This is what I love about film the most. There is always a balance of controlling your composition and leaving a little room to chance.
How do you find all the amazing places, do you have a secret map?
I look at art/photography from other people, I pay attention to locations in movies and I ask a lot of people for recommendations.
Is there anything, anybody or anyplace on your bucket list you have to take a picture from?
Too many places on my bucket list, places I haven’t seen and also places I have seen already that I want to go back and take more pictures. Also I wish I could photograph some places that don’t exist anymore (e.g. Kowloon Walled City or even some cities from ancient civilizations).  
And last but not least, is there anything you want the world to know?
I believe everyone needs to be unwavering and relentless in their pursuits, but selfless and open minded in their beliefs.
Where can we see more of your photographs?
You can see my selected work on my website or follow me on instagram or flickr.

Irina´s works: