Anastasiia Chorna & David Shama

Photographers – Visiting Israel & Switzerland

 

Anastasiia in Israel

 
 
 

Anastasiia is a photographer who originally aspired to be a model. She met David Shama while on a photo shoot in Houston—they've been together since. Her Eastern European heritage allows her to understand the beauty and pain of the immense region. Anastasiia is expecting a baby and sees herself entering motherhood in a go with the flow approach. 

 

@chorrna

anastasiiachorna.com

 
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You are born in Ukraine, now you are living in New York City, your pictures were taken in Israel, can you tell me about your travels, and the influences all these locations and cultures had on you?

One of my favorite things in the world is to travel, to see something new, I am very excited by any cultural differences our little planet can offer. I didn't find yet my style, I just shoot anything I like in hope to find sooner than later some topic I want to concentrate longer on and dig deeper into. I’m Eastern European and I speak Russian, it gives me a wide spectrum of possibilities to understand the beauty and the pain of being from such a wide territory who can communicate in Russian, the history, the culture and the mentality. I can't visit any of these places yet as often as I’d love to, but in the future I guess I will take a long trip or stay to Ukraine or Russia to find what is so attractive for me in it. New York City and America in general is a completely different world. It’s not native to me but I don't change my eye on looking at things. I try to dig deeper on various nationalities NYC contains, how they live in their little community bubble inside of an American institution. NYC is like a little planet Earth with pretty civilized rules for everyone, not perfect yet but pretty damn good. Israel is my first Middle Eastern country, I was excited about everything: people, desert climate and local architecture, way of living. Israel is very civilized, so many things are not as exotic as I wished them to be.

 

I have discovered you as model, now I follow you as a photographer, how did that transition took place?

I was not skinny enough for modeling so I finally quit after 9 years of trying. The transition was painful, I had high expectations to succeed, but it was the matter of luck as well, so it was much healthier to let this dream go. I studied architecture and I was always attracted to the visual part plus dating a photographer made the choice easier.

 

David. It is almost hard to think or talk about you without mentioning him (and vice versa) how did that love start up?

As I said I was studying architecture and was on & off modeling. A model in Paris suggested me to be photographed by him a year before I actually met David. I added him on facebook and he asked me to come back to Paris and then Switzerland and finally USA (where I had a visa for) to do a shoot for S Magazine. I quit my 5 year studies, my boyfriend at that time and just flew to the unknown photographer, who I didn’t even know how he looked like. I just liked his work and needed a change in my life. We fell in love quickly and here I am pregnant.

 

You are a married woman, a mother to be, can you talk about those important steps in your life happening at the moment?

We are moving to a new apartment and I am looking for more projects to do or at least one but to dig deeper as I wrote earlier. I have no idea what to expect from being a mom, many other moms scare me with their problems and just few say something nice. I’m 25 and I have no expectations, I just go with the flow.

 

We are focusing with disposable on the notion of couple. Not only in a lover vision, also in a duet vision. What is your feeling on that number 2?

Soon to be number 3 haha. David and I, we are in love, and trying to make it in NYC, for now separately as artists. I put my art more as a hobby, his as a work.

 

And what is coming next?

His book, our son and our art project together.

 
 
 
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What do you do if you can’t sleep at night?

Watch Russian talk shows

 

Do you collect?

No

 

Tea or coffee?

Coffee with milk

 

What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

God

 

A color?

Rainbow

 

A city?

NYC

 

What are your plans for this weekend?

Packing, moving

 

A song?

Kendrick Lamar - Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe

 

Right or left handed?

Right

 

What is the best dish you can cook?

Pesto Pasta

 

 
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Your idea of happiness?

Love, work, travel, friends, family.

 

Your idea of misery?

No power, energy

 

If not yourself, who would you be?

A bag packer

 

Your heroes?

Happy people living a family life who can do what they like and laugh sincerely with friends

 

What is your present state of mind?

Scared but at the same time do not care about it

 

Bedside table books?

Essential Judaism hahaha don't ask me

 
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What is your middle name?

In Russian it’s father’s name plus an ending, male of female, Aleksandrovna

 

What do you do in your free time?

Sleep/ editing/ computer games/ talk shows

 

What inspires you?

Rap and letting go

 

What do you do for money?

Nothing yet

 

What do you do for pleasure?

Shoot

 
 

David in Switzerland

 
 
 

David is a photographer who was born in Switzerland but has been living abroad since 2005. He met Anastasiia while on a photo shoot in Houston—they’ve been together since. He is passionate about traveling and his work is heavily influenced by his whereabouts. David often hits the road and drives for days or weeks until he is satisfied or catches a glimpse of inspiration. He is currently working on a book and is about to become a father.

 

@davidshama

davidshama.com

 
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You are born in Switzerland if I am correct, now you are living in New York City, your pictures have been taken all around the world, can you tell me about your travels, and the influences all these locations and cultures had on you?

How did the passion of photography come to you?

Anastasiia. It is almost hard to think or talk about you without mentioning her (and vice versa) how did that love start up?

You are a married man, a father to be, can you talk about those important steps in your life happening at the moment?

We are focusing with disposable on the notion of couple. Not only in a lover vision, also in a duet vision. What is your feeling on that number 2?

And what is coming next?

Yes you are right I am Swiss born and raised, but I left Switzerland in 2005, since then I lived in Argentina, Paris and now New York. I love to travel and my work is heavily influenced by my whereabouts as I am close to documentary photography in my process. I like to set situations for things to happen and then shoot everything. For my personal work I often take the road, I drive for days or weeks until I am satisfied I got a glimpse of something. I met Anastasiia in one of those trips, it was for S magazine, she was living in Ukraine at the time but had a tourist visa for the US so she flew to Houston to take the road with me and we fell in love after a couple days. We are now both photographers but we work separately on our own projects. Of course, we show each other the result and discuss a lot about edits and ideas. I am working now on a book with great editor, it will come out in Spring so I am very excited.

 
 
 
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What are your plans for this weekend?

Moving

 

A song?

Le Chat du Café des Artistes, Charlotte Gainsbourg

 

Right or left handed?

Right

 

What is the best dish you can cook?

BBQ Beef Short Ribs, Texas Style

 

What is your middle name?

Jonathan

 

What do you do in your free time?

Travel

 

What inspires you?

Nature, the road

 

What do you do for money?

Photos

 

What do you do for pleasure?

Photos

 
 

Your idea of happiness?

A coffee early in the morning by the lake

 

Your idea of misery?

No more coffee

 

If not yourself, who would you be?

An Architect

 

Your heroes?

William Eggleston, Stephen Shore…

 

What is your present state of mind?

So many things are happening I really don’t know. I am moving, working on a book, having a baby, …

 

Bedside table books?

I wish, I was reading more, last book I read was “Just Kids”

 

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night?

Laptop

 

Do you collect?

Yes cameras

 

Tea or coffee?

Coffee

 

What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That I could stop time

 

A color?

Blue

 

A city?

Lausanne

 
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