Photo of Alexei Afonin is by Tad Wooton.
The road to photography was not a direct one. Born in the former Soviet Union, Alexei Afonin started his career as an actor at age 12. He held a number of leading roles in films and TV shows on Moscow Central Television for several years. At the age of 16 he immigrated with his family to the United States.
Shortly after he traveled through Canada, Europe, Mexico and most of the US for several years, at some point he had to come back to New York City do to family problems. He tried a few careers (including back to acting, directing stage perfomances etc.), all of them representing some form of artistic expression. He then studied Figurative Painting at the Art Students League in New York City, and Ecole Des Beaux Art in Paris, then back to NYC at New York Studio School of Sculpture and Painting. After his studies, he practiced his craft at a small beach bungalow in Long Island, NY and exhibited his extraordinary work at various art galleries and colleges. Alexei had a gift of making a painting come alive. His style of painting was so realistic in capturing a person's essence that he decided to go into photography. He started by photographing his own paintings and friends, then his work was starting to be recognized, so naturally, jobs started pouring in.
The more he shot, the more he loved it, shooting everything from beautiful landscapes to people, to art to products. His explorations led him to shooting stills for a motion picture, that lead to become a staff photographer for a Fashion Trade Magazine, name "Fashion Market Magazine". This set off afashion photography carrier. He worked with the magazine for seven years during which time he nearly perfected his skills in brilliant/outstanding lighting and composition.
After, Alexei owned a successful studio in midtown Manhattan, where he shoots Advertisements, Magazine Editorial Spreads, Catalogues, Lookbooks, Actor's Headshots, Model's Portfolios for Agencies, Independent models and Stills. Alexei also has developed a specific talent for capturing the beauty in Hair Photography. Some of his clients include Hype Hair, Braids & Beauty, Ultimate Weaves & Extensions Magazine, Shake'n'Go, Beauty Plus, Kaneka, Sensual Hair, Roma Lee, to name a few hair companies.
Now Alexei lives in South Beach, Miami, Florida for almost 6 years and shoots out of a small studio there. He also rides a motorcycle and sails his 30’ sailboat to the neighboring Florida Keys and the Islands of the Bahamas to keep his life experiences on going. He just got his Captain License and attending acting classes at the University Center for the Performing Arts in Davie, Florida.
Alexei Afonin's biggest strength is his versatile life experience. He applies those lessons when photographing a subject to produce the optimal image.
Alexei's Art philosophy is, "Even though physically picture is silent, visually it can sing a thousand songs."