Artist Of The Week: Constantin Mashinskiy

An interview! Constantin Mashinskiy is a fantastic portrait photographer, and what’s even more fantastic is his 365 Parisiens portrait series. He actually manages to capture and upload 1 picture a day and all his subjects are strangers he meets on the street. 365 Parisiens manages to beautifully and honestly showcase the variety and diversity of one of the biggest metropolis in Europe.


KALTBLUT: Why Paris? What makes Paris different to other big cities?

Constantin: In my opinion, Paris is one of the best cities to have long walks and I’m excluding the tourist spots like Eiffel Tower or Champs-Élysées. Each neighborhood is completely different from another with it’s own vibe and resident’s personalities. At the same time I see Paris like an amazing melting pot of culture and art. And one another good reason is because Paris is widely accepted as the birthplace of street photography.


KALTBLUT: How is it shooting strangers?

Constantin: Basically, it’s a great way to meet people and discover the city. I like photography, especially the street genre for being quite ephemeral and not always predictable. You cannot choose the people you cross on the street, you don’t know their mood and you’re never sure about what exactly they are doing at that moment. You can only guess about who they are and how they’re going to react.

I only have one chance to ask for the portrait and just a minute to take the picture and I try hard to not screw any of these. I’m only sure about one thing — strangers show their real personality and emotions when posing for a camera of another stranger who asked them for a picture few seconds ago.

At the end of the day, talking to complete strangers can make the world a better place.


KALTBLUT: What was the best and worst incident while shooting?

Constantin: The most curious incident was when I crossed a stranger that I had already met, with a friend a month later, so I decided to take another picture of them both. Or when somebody recognizes a stranger in a photo. And the cases when strangers stay in touch with me after the first meeting.

The common bad incidents are when people say no. Once, a businessman replied “I don’t have money” after I’ve just said “Bonjour”.


KALTBLUT: What are your future plans? Working on something else?

Constantin: “365 Parisiens” is one of my side projects done in the spare time. The rest of the day I work as an Art Director and Designer. Once I’ll reach the 365 pictures goal, I’ll start another personal project. I’ve got a queue of ideas about what I want to do after that, but the chances are high that it will be something more related to motion and interactivity.

Interview by Amanda M. Jansson