Kristina Makeeva: making the world more colourful one frame at a time

Moscow based photographer and digital artist Kristina Makeeva has been adding more colour to the world one frame at a time with her extraordinary images that transform well-known locations into magical fairy tale-like scenes.

Kristina’s stunning work first caught our eye on Instagram where her exotic trips, behind the scenes videos and striking imagery have captured the imagination of over half a million followers, eager to get an insight into her travels and a look behind the lens. When we commissioned Kristina to recreate two of her most iconic images in Affinity Photo, we took the opportunity to find out more about her and her work.

What made you decide to embark on a career in photography?

I’ve been shooting since I was 16 and working with graphic editors from the age of 14. I did not set myself the task of earning. Initially this is the wrong position for those who devote themselves to art. Art is self-expression, not career.

What photography equipment do you use?

It can be smartphones, film and digital cameras, drones, tripods, flashes, lights, smoke, cloth, water, swimming pools…there are no restrictions.

Can you tell us a little bit about your process and how you create one of your stunning images?

All of them are created in different ways. Sometimes I have an idea before shooting, sometimes it appears during editing. In the past new ideas inspired me to redo old works.

Recently, my shootings happen as follows: I go somewhere to shoot inspired by the background, then I have an idea and I look for props and models, if necessary. Lastly, I load the images into a graphic editor and here the creativity begins.

Which photographers or artists have inspired you over the years?

I do not create idols for myself. Instead I look at individual frames. A good shot can even come from those who do not normally take pictures. There are those whom I respect however, but they are probably respected by many. They are Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Rodchenko, Tim Walker…even those who are far from photography probably know them.

Have you always been inspired by fashion? Who are you favourite fashion designers?

I think many girls like dresses. Again, there are no particular favourites but there are individual works worthy of admiration. The philosophy of Dior is probably the closest.

You shoot in some amazing locations, where has been your favourite place in the world to shoot and where would be your dream location (where you haven’t already been)?

My favourite place to shoot is Moscow. I have no dream locations, only goals. And they change every five minutes. But all of them, of course, are colourful.

“My favourite place to shoot is Moscow. I have no dream locations, only goals. And they change every five minutes. But all of them, of course, are colourful.”

Where do you get the fabulous dresses that so often feature in your photoshoots?

Sometimes I search for something special, sometimes designers themselves offer dresses, some come from my own wardrobe, or are made to order or are rented. Sometimes it’s just a separate fabric, not a dress.

How have you found working with the iPad version of Affinity Photo?

Quite convenient. Especially as I usually work on a computer—with Affinity it is convenient to work from anywhere, even lying on the couch.

‘Blue Wanderlust’ recreated in Affinity Photo for iPad
‘Octopus fantasy’ recreated in Affinity Photo for iPad
Your cat Kotleta has become quite an Instagram star. Does he enjoy being your model?

His grandfather is an actor and he has inherited his model quality. But it is important that you do not force it—he will do everything himself naturally. He will come to the centre of the composition and lie down, then I must wait a couple of minutes to position caps and glasses etc. He loves sitting on dresses and rugs or to have them draped over him.

What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?

As soon as we achieve something—we go higher. Therefore, we do not always remember and cherish our proudest moments. It is better to always go further. Then look back, look down, admire for a minute—and move on.

“As soon as we achieve something—we go higher. Therefore, we do not always remember and cherish our proudest moments. It is better to always go further. Then look back, look down, admire for a minute—and move on.”

To see more of Kristina’s stunning images check out her website and Instagram.