the people.

One of my largest regrets of my time spent abroad in Russia and my travels to other post-Soviet countries, was that I did not take more photographs of the people. I don’t know if it’s that I don’t want to intrude on anyone’s privacy, or if I feel people might be intimidated by my 200mm lens, but….. either way, I hope I will gain more courage to photograph people as I travel in the coming years. For the time being, here are some photos of the people I encountered during my time abroad in Russia. I love observing people and these are some of my favorite candid “portraits” from my travels.

On that note, I’m happy to announce that my husband and I have rescheduled our trip to Russia and the Ukraine and if all goes according to plan (and I do not need another surgery!), I will be flying to Saint Petersburg at the end of May (just in time for White Nights!), and when my husband comes over, we will be visiting Chernobyl in June! This should give me some new material to post on my blog, and hopefully there will be much more to come in the future.

I could write more about these images and my thoughts, but I prefer to let these faces tell you their story……

two young females playing the violin on the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania.

two young females playing the violin on the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Russian Veteran gives a man in the crowd a hug during the Victory Day Parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A babushka marching in the Victory Day Parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A decorated babushka marching in the Victory Day Parade in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Little girl with her father, waiting for the Victory Day Parade to begin in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A little girl with her father, waiting for the Victory Day Parade to begin in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Casting Shadows: three young Estonian females play with their shadows at an abandoned Soviet youth center in Tallinn, Estonia.

Casting Shadows: three young Estonian females play with their shadows at an abandoned Soviet youth center in Tallinn, Estonia.

A babushka dancing on a summer afternoon in a park; Yelagin Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A babushka dancing on a summer afternoon in a park; Yelagin Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

So glad I got this photo before he passed away the following year.

MC Vspyshkin – a survivor of the Leningrad siege – marching in the Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A Russian veteran and his "wife" marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A Russian veteran and his “wife” marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Two babushkas walking in Tavricheskiy Sad in autumn; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Two babushkas walking in Tavricheskiy Sad in autumn; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A candid shot of veterans posing for the media on Victory Day; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A candid shot of veterans posing for the media on Victory Day; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Two Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Two Russian women marching in the Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Bohemian Kitty relaxing on a vehicle in Uzupio; Vilnius, Lithuania.

Bohemian Kitty relaxing on a vehicle in Uzupio; Vilnius, Lithuania.

Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A decorated Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Ukrainian man posing in front of the Timoshenko camp in Kiev, Ukraine.

A man posing in front of the Timoshenko camp in Kiev, Ukraine.

Юююююррррррааааа! Young woman waving to the crowd in the Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Юююююррррррааааа! Young woman waving to the crowd in the Victory Day Parade; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A well-decorated veteran marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A well-decorated veteran marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A Russian woman marching in the Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Women sitting on a bench in the park at Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Women sitting on a bench in the park at Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A Lithuanian woman preparing her flowers for sale on the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania.

A Lithuanian woman preparing her flowers for sale on the streets of Vilnius, Lithuania.

Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Victory Day Parade, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Vanya - our young train companion on the way to Murmansk, Russia.

Vanya – our young train companion on the way to Murmansk, Russia.

A man waiting with his son for the arrival of the train; Lithuania.

A man waiting with his son for the arrival of the train; Lithuania.

Walking in Tavricheskiy in autumn, wearing leaf crowns; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Walking in Tavricheskiy in autumn, wearing leaf crowns; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The dancing babushka joyfully laughing after she finishes her dance; Yelagin Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The dancing babushka joyfully laughing after she finishes her dance; Yelagin Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A little Russian girl trying to feed candy to a squirrel in the park at Pavlovsk; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A little Russian girl trying to feed candy to a squirrel in the park at Pavlovsk; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Having girl-talk; summer months, Zayachiy Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Having girl-talk; summer months, Zayachiy Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Painting in the park at Saint Catherine's palace; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

A young woman painting in the park at Saint Catherine’s palace; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Newlyweds sitting by the river on Zayachiy Ostrov; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Newlyweds sitting by the river on Zayachiy Ostrov; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Karaoke night in Riga, Latvia.

Karaoke night in Riga, Latvia.

Portrait wall art in Uzupio, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Portrait wall art in Uzupio, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Young people enjoying the white nights in Tallinn, Estonia.

Young people sitting out by the Baltic Sea during the white nights in Tallinn, Estonia.

Newlyweds; the modern Russian family; Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Newlyweds; the modern Russian family; Peterhof, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Swimming in the river in summer, by Zayachiy Ostrov; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Swimming in the river in summer, by Zayachiy Ostrov; Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Vanya enjoying a nap on the long train ride to Murmansk, Russia.

Vanya enjoying a nap on the long train ride to Murmansk, Russia.

32 thoughts on “the people.

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I’ve always wanted to visit Russia, but I didn’t realize what I wanted to see were the people and their lifestyles, rather than the monuments and landmarks. Russia looks lovely, but it was your photos of people during the parade, of the violinists, of the “babushka dancing on a summer afternoon in a park”, that spellbound me. I love this post so much, and thank you for sharing. I’ll definitely be looking around more!

  2. beautiful photos! every one.. I especially liked the squirrel photos, your portraits of Vanya and the dancing babushka! 🙂

  3. You are so right about taking pics of people. It so radiates the nature of the country. And that`s settled. I`m springing for the new camera so I can get decent shots of people.

  4. Reblogged this on The Traveling Compass and commented:
    Incredible pictures, amazing captured moments, what beautiful people!

    When I went to Hungary (my first trip to an ex-iron curtain country) I was shocked that you could still feel the oppression and fear in the air… but, what fascinated me most was that, despite this, people had a glow of hope and an “iron” strength. It’s like they were just waking up to life, with the collective knowledge of years past.

  5. Thank you :’)
    I’ve been visiting your blog for over a month and I was so happy to see there was a new post when I came today.
    My parents studied and met in Ukraine *back in end of the Soviet era- beginning of the Perestroika *. They call it *Russia* ’cause it was all Russia back then 😉 I have so many warm memories of them telling me stories of things lived and seen in Lvov’, Kiev, St. Petersburg and Moscow. I’m learning Russian and I hope that I get to study there when I graduate from highschool.

    I have so many questions to ask about practical life there NOW, in this decade. Stuff like, ease of procuring items (books in other languages, clothes, foreign cuisine, new tech devices, people’s spirit and how they treat strangers, Internet speeds 😀 ) all these stuff. But I feel they just don’t belong in this blog.:)

    Looking forward for more and more and more posts. This blog is a true jewel for us. And it’s become one of the *warm* *cyber places* I come to now and then when I need a doze of this *Russian-feel* ^^

    *babushka dancing on a summer afternoon in a park* is just, charming :’)

  6. Yes, I know Georgia 🙂 I ate Georgian food all the time in Russia! I think I would love it there – maybe I can go and do an Agro-tour there in the future 🙂

  7. These are amazing pictures of Russia. I want to travel all around the world, and now after seeing these beautiful pictures, Russia will definitely be a place I will have to see!

  8. I love your pictures. The decorated woman marching in the Victory Day parade is particulary appealing to me because she reminds me of my own grandma-“Baba”. What can you tell me about Peterhof? I have an entry in a diary, which was written in 1931 when my father’s family relocated from the US to Leningrad. The first entry in the Soviet Union was “went to Peterhof”.

    • Thank you for your comments 🙂 So glad you like my photos! Regarding your question about Peterhof, it’s a beautiful park with a historical palace on the premise – it’s famous for the many fountains in the park. I have many photos from the park, as I visited it last summer, but I have not posted them yet to my blog. Stay tuned! This week should finally afford me more time to make another post and include some photos from Peterhof – it is such a gorgeous park and right on the Baltic Sea!

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