I was born in 1949 in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia); in 1983 I emigrated to the United States, leaving behind a twenty-year career in photography and journalism. Given my first camera at the age of seven, I have thought of myself as a photographer since I was eight. My first national recognition came in 1964, when my photographs were published in Sovietskoye Photo, the only Soviet photography magazine, followed the next year by an article about me featuring my photographs.
I attended Leningrad University, 1967-1973, and received a M.A. in journalism and photojournalism. While at the university, I worked as a photographer for university departments and for the university newspaper. After receiving my degree, I worked as a free-lancer, as well as a staff journalist and photographer for various Leningrad newspapers and publications. I also worked as an advertising photographer for the Graphics Arts Agency (an agency of the Union of Soviet Artists), for which I produced more than 20 books.
I began making portraits of cultural figures when I was in my teens. I have made hundreds of portraits of Russian and Western cultural figures: poets, artists, film makers, dissident political figures, journalists, including Andrey Sakharov, Vaclav Havel, Andrey Tarkovsky, Derek Walcott, Czeslaw Milosz, Randy Newman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Susan Sontag, Allen Ginsberg, Israel Lopez, Joseph Mankiewicz, Eduardo Galeano, Seamus Heaney, David Mamet, Dizzy Gillespie, Joseph Brodsky and many others.
My photographs have appeared in American and European periodicals including Nikon News, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Moscow News, Literaturnaya Gazeta, Nezavisimaia Gazeta, Ogoniok, Kommersant in Russia, The Times Literary Supplement (UK), Photographos Magazine in Athens, Greece, NRC/Handelsblad in Amsterdam, The Nederlands, Svenska Dagbladet in Stockholm, Sweden, and others.
Throughout my career I participated in more than 50 photo exhibitions, including 31 personal exhibitions. My photography has been the subject of more than a hundred articles published in the USA and in Europe.
My photographs are held in the collections of Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation (Paris, France), The State Russian Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia), Anna Akhmatova Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia), University of California at Berkeley (Pacific Film Archive), of San Francisco Film Society, of San Jose State University (School of Humanities and the Arts); a big collection of my photographs has been purchased by Stanford University (Green Library).
My photographs are also being held in the private collections of Michelangelo Antonioni (Rome, Italy), Vaclav Havel (Prague, Czech Republic), Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney (Dublin, Ireland, Maria Brodsky (New York), Nobel Laureate Derek Walkott (Trinidad), Olga and Henry Carlisle (San Francisco), Carl Djerassi (San Francisco), Sean Penn (San Francisco), Dusan Makavejev (Paris, France), Elliott and Rhoda Levinthal (Palo Alto), Manoel de Oliveira (Porto, Portugal), Otar Iosseliany (Paris, France), Vasiliy Livanov (Moscow, Russia), Maria Sinyavsky (Paris, France), Rose and Philip Kaufman (San Francisco), George Krevsky (San Francisco), Mikhail Piotrovsky (St. Petersburg, Russia), Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman (San Francisco), Wim Wenders (Berlin, Germany), Jonathan Linn (Washington), Yasushi Kojima (Tokyo, Japan), Joaquin Lens (La Coruna, Spain), Gidon Kremer (Paris, France) and others.
I am also the author of several hundred articles, a dozen short stories, and a novella, all of which appeared in Russian, European, and American periodicals.
I am a member of The International P.E.N. Club, of The Federation Internationale de L' Art Photographique, of The National Press Photographers Association, and a member of The International Association of Art Critics.
In April 1995 Hermitage Publishers released my book Missing Frames (foreword by Olga Andreyev Carlisel), a photo album of portraits of Russian, European, and American cultural figures.
In April 1998 Farrar, Straus and Giroux released my second book, Joseph Brodsky, Leningrad; Fragments (foreword by Czeslaw Milosz, afterword by Susan Sontag).
I am married and have two children. I have lived in San Francisco since my arrival in America, and became a US citizen in 1990.