Lonely Planet Writer

Russian photographer documents the unique character of St. Petersburg like never before

A photographer has shared a series of stunning images that highlight the unique beauty, charisma and charm of St. Petersburg like never before.

St. Petersburg
Alexander captures the beauty of St. Petersburg from a range of unique angles. Image by Alexander Petrosyan
St. Petersburg
The moon seen over the rooftops of St. Petersburg. Image by Alexander Petrosyan
Alexander's work includes architecture, as well as the people of the city.
Alexander’s work includes architecture, as well as the people of the city. Image by Alexander Petrosyan

The images were taken by Alexander Petrosyan, a professional photographer native to the city. Alexander began shooting in 2000, experimenting with a range of dynamic ways of portraying his subjects, paying close attention to the range of different sites, characters, and aspects of life around the city. The series showcases the beautiful, the absurd, the humorous, the shabby and the decadent, as well as featuring a range of iconic buildings and locations.

St. Petersburg
Alexander often contrasts the beautiful with the run-down. Image by Alexander Petrosyan
St. Petersburg
His work portrays the city throughout the year in different weather conditions. Image by Alexander Petrosyan

Alexander’s familiarity with the city is what allows him to document it in such a unique and personal way, creating an all-encompassing account that he feels may be difficult for tourists to capture in a shorter period of time. “It is hard for someone who spends only a few days in an unfamiliar city to create something deeper than a quick acquaintance with the sights. Exceptions are possible if you’re lucky though, and you can always get to the epicentre of events or find unique light and weather conditions. The main thing is to try to get away from stereotypes and clichés. I try not to shoot just beautiful views, because they have been captured by millions of other people,” Alexander told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Alexander says that it is difficult for tourists to become truly familiar with a city in a short space of time.
Alexander says that it is difficult for tourists to become truly familiar with a city in a short space of time. Image by Alexander Petrosyan
St. Petersburg
Alexander said that he enjoys visiting other cities to see what they have to offer a photographer. Image by Alexander Petrosyan

Alexander’s work has won multiple awards, including the St. Petersburg Award for Photographer of the Year for two consecutive years, as well as the Grand Prix prize fund of photojournalism in the daily life category. While St. Petersburg holds a special place in his heart, Alexander loves the opportunity to document other places also. “I’m interested in everywhere, wherever fate brings me. Generally speaking, it’s not important where, but how. The most important thing it to take pictures sincerely,” Alexander said. More of Alexander’s work is available on his website and Instagram.

Get the top travel news stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday by signing up to our newsletter.