My name is Dmitry Polkanov but I usually use my nickname — Shad. I am a photographer, retoucher and body paint artist and I still work as a doctor. My genre is fine art conceptual portraits. All my photographs were taken in my studio near St. Petersburg, Russia with Hasselblad and Sony cameras.
My purpose is to show that dark aesthetics can be beautiful. The images I create don’t tell stories. They are silent. The viewer should feel them.
I was born in Russia, in St. Petersburg (still called Leningrad at that time). I graduated medical academy and have been practicing medicine since then. During my studies I got excited about playing the electric guitar, therefore, later I started a band and devoted most of my leisure time to music. Concurrently, exotic animals were another passion of mine so I kept crocodiles, snakes, a variety of spiders, scorpions, scolopendrae and decorative cockroaches as pets.
At some point, I decided to purchase my first camera to take photographs of my pets — it was yet nothing but amateur photo shooting on a cheap camera. Meanwhile, my band broke up and I was less and less involved in playing the guitar but began to photograph more. It was still irregular photographing without any training, sometimes taking decent intervals. I took pictures of everything that I could think of — portraits, still life, nature. This period lasted for quite a while, as I took up motor racing as a new hobby. However, once I was seriously injured on a racetrack and spent a ton of time on recovering my leg, which led me to a decision to give up racing. That was when my passion for photography came to the fore.
In autumn 2018 I subscribed for various training video courses by different authors and was carefully going through the materials for about 9 months applying newly gained knowledge in practice. Afterwards I bought a good camera, constructed a small photo studio in my apartment and proceeded to serious photography. Already then, I knew which photography style I wanted to follow, so I didn’t have to spend a lot of time on the search of my path.
Photography is not a profession for me. It’s a way of self-expression. It’s a way to better understand myself through art and opportunity to share the images I can see.