Out of shot
Special thanks to Maksim Pearnberg, Boris Shminke, Bruce Tanner, Lyttah and all the participants of the project.
The project “Out of shot” is dedicated to recollections. I chose this topic because for me photography was always connected with such a mental function as a memory. Personally, I remember well the old photo albums with black and white photos, which I looked through with my parents and grandparents, and it seems to me that it is very important to have something material from the past because it gives some support in the present. Although, sometimes it happens that the support for memories in the form of photography or any other objects is missing, and this makes memories more fragile and at the same time more precious. These fragile and precious recollections are exactly what I wanted to save in this project.
I was surprised how willingly the participants of the project shared their past with me – an almost unfamiliar person. These were people I met once or several times in my life and with whom I had never talked about such personal things before. I think that this willingness of people to talk about their past indicates the need to share their memories and experiences with another person.
This project made me think about how much the photography can reflect really important things in our lives. All people involved in my project mostly talked about their emotions (even if these emotions were not named directly) and not about the events that they failed to embody. But photography now often embodies the events, leaving at times something extremely important out of shot.
It’s about photography. It happened in 2013 in autumn. The weather was pretty cold. I decided to take photos with my «Zenit» on film. I had no plans in my mind and the ideas came spontaneously. I went to the stadium of Kalev. There is a park near it and I decided to go there. It was cold, windy but there was no snow anywhere. I was listening to music… Music is really important in my life. I had been listening to music since I was 5 or 6 years old… I made some shots of trees. The sun was shining so beautifully… it was fading and going down, there was such a warm yellow light. I like this light… So I shot pictures of the park, the trees, the sun, leaves of the trees… And then I had no idea what to shoot next… so I wanted to find something that I can shoot… some object or maybe a person, I don’t know. And then I found one seed and it flew around like a feather. Like a feather from the «Forrest Gump» movie, you know, in the beginning. So I saw it and I caught it in my hand. And I was looking for a beautiful background to shoot it on and I was listening to music. It was rather cold. And the name of the song that I was listening at the moment was «Ice age». And when I was ready to let the seed go and take a picture with «Zenit», I had all my settings ready, then I heard some words of the song. There was a sentence in the song… It went like… «Catch me when I let myself go from your hand». Those words... At the same moment, I let the seed go from my hand and took a picture. I felt like somebody left me the message, telling me that I was doing the right thing.
My husband and I just were sitting at home in the evening and at one point our child began to laugh. I thought: “Did it seem to me or not?” And my husband said: “Listen, she’s laughing!” And she was laughing indeed... And at this time I was delighted! I was overwhelmed by emotions. We immediately ran after the camera... It is possible to catch a smile, of course, but laughter cannot be caught by photography. And with the video a very interesting thing happened. As soon as we started to shoot the video, she stopped laughing. She looked at the camera and kept silence. And when we turned off the video, my husband started to play with her and she started laughing again... We we trying to capture the moment, which continually slipped away.
We were in Riga. Llamas walked there and they were not in a cage. My parents didn’t take a picture of me when I was feeding a llama. I was even dreaming, that my parents would buy her for me. She was black, very fluffy, soft and small.
I had a cat that I bought in a pet shop. I went in the pet store and looked at the cats. This cat was with a lot of kittens and she was older than the others. She didn’t like being with the kittens, cause they all were too young and were playing and she just didn’t like them, they kept disturbing her. She was a very lovely cat, so I bought it. When I got her home, I was a bit nervous. I opened the box and she walked straight down out of the box and started purring. Immediately. She immediately felt happy with the immediate home and it was a great memory. Because I didn’t expect that. I was thinking that I have to do kinds of things to make her happy. But it was just being away from the other cats and being in a house. She was very happy. And that was… that was great. Eventually, she got cancer when she was very old and I had to take her to the vet. To euthanize… Because she really couldn’t survive it. The saddest thing to me, that I had to do it. She was very good. She followed me everywhere. When I came home, she followed me around from room to room. And when I said «Right, ok I’m going to bed» she would go straight upstairs, jump on the bed and wait for me. She was very friendly, warm cat. So it was terrible to see her go.
There could have been a photo from a certain period of my childhood in this empty frame. When I was five, I moved from Estonia to Russia with my parents. Unfortunately, I don’t have any memories of my first year of life in Russia. Probably because of the language barrier and a drastic change of life circumstances this experience was quite traumatic and that’s why, I guess, no memories of this part of life have survived. The absence of memories from these times causes anxiety in me. A presence of some physical medium or information about this time could have revived some memories in me and, maybe, would have comforted this feeling of uneasiness about my childhood.
When my husband and I arrived at maternity clinic I didn’t want any video or photos because I thought that it would be scary and ugly, but then I realized that a woman is beautiful when she is happy. And this is one of the moments when a woman and a man become happy. For me it would be great to have such a photo, where I looked maybe not so good, without make-up, with wild hair, but happy.
I spent my childhood in Kadriorg. There I had no friends, except one Estonian guy, with whom broadly speaking I spent all my childhood. He was 10 years older than me and lived with his grandmother. His parents lived separately, so he had not so easy childhood. We talked Russian. Though he was an Estonian he started speaking Russian more or less, because I didn’t know Estonian at that time. We understood each other somehow. After high school he didn’t do anything, he had some kind of disability, but it was not a hindrance for me. I could talk to him easily. At that time that was very important to me.
It was after high school. I had to work and I was asked to carry mail. 12 kilometers from our village to the station «Glukhovskaya». Maybe you know? It’s in Bashkortostan. I drove there to receive mail and money... I was trusted. They gave me a horse... such a horse! She did not need to be bridled... I’ve never used a bridle-bit. I just can’t stand this! What for? It hurts! And the horse was obedient already. I came for her to the stable, and when I went out she followed me like a dog. She slept even in our yard. I cut the hay up or my father did it and we put a whole cart of hay for her, and she stood, ate and drank. And when I drove to the post office I asked the stableman for oats, and he poured a half sack of oats. We came to the station, I let her go, opened a sack of oats, she stood and ate, and I just sat and waited. I’ve never ridden her hard. She walked as she wanted. If there was a hill, she stopped to let me get off. When I jumped off, she started walking again. When she climbed the hill, she stopped as if she was saying: «Sit down!” Then I sat down and we drove further… Before I took her she was a «nag» as they say, blown and tortured, but then she recovered... And then women started talking: «Listen, Galya, can she have a foal? You should ask the doctor, you see what she is». I came to the stable, there was a doctor and I said to him: «They say the horse can have a foal» He laughed and said: «At this time there won’t be a foal in any way. You just should feed her less!» I said «No, I won’t feed her less. Let her eat as much as she wants». She loved me so much ... Well, how can I forget it? Of course, I love her and loved her all my life. Karyushka. She was brown and small, not huge, like these healthy stallions, no… She was beautiful.