dmitry markov – awkward age

Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls


Dmitry Markov

Awkward Age



I grew up in a small Russian town in a family of factory workers. The part of the town where I lived was rough: the only available place of work (the factory) had been closed, and as an outcome most of adults drank much and we being left alone lounged away time roaming the streets. We constantly had fights and problems with a school and police. At the age of 16 I wrote an article in a local newspaper about my friends who were doing heroin. The article evoked a wide response and public attention and was rewarded. Thereby I got fascinated with journalism. At the age of 20 my new interest let me leave my native town and helped me to avoid those deplorable consequences which my friends come across with. By that time many of them were not already alive or were put in prison.

In 2005 by chance I visited a boarding school during one of my volunteer trips. In some months’ period I left the job in a newspaper and started working closely as a volunteer with non-commercial organizations and foundations which helped and supported orphans. I was getting on well with the youngsters from the boarding school, most of them had the similar problems I’d experienced when was of the same age.

In summer 2005 I volunteered in a boarding school for disabled children in Pskov region. I was very impressed by the actual state of thing regarding such children, by their hopeless living. Therefore I decided to move to Pskov region to start working with those children. During the next three years we successfully realized several local projects with disabled orphans. Effective 2009 we started a new project “Children’s village” where several elder children from the boarding school are learning to live on their own under the supervision of two tutors.

Looking at my foster children I often recall my own childhood. On the one hand I want to help them to avoid serious mistakes which could ruin or influence their further lives. It is not easy. This is the age when you think you know how to live properly, this is the age when you often ignore advice of the grown-ups. On the other hand I would like to draw the society’s attention to the problems of these children which are sometimes difficult to resolve alone without one’s help and support.



I was born in 1982, in Moscow region. After finishing school I studied at the Faculty of Philology and actively wrote for youth magazines and newspapers on a voluntary and part-time basis. Being a 3rd year student I left the University as I was proposed a position of a full- time reporter in one of the prints. Later on during four years, I worked in a Russian weekly newspaper “Argumenty i Facty” (Arguments and Facts) where most of my articles were devoted to social issues and youth’ problems.

Nowadays, I am a volunteer of several non-commercial organizations: charitable organization “ROSTOK”, education fund “ROOF”, fund “Detskiedomiki”, the Pskov branch of the “Russian Children’s Fund”, Austrian fund “Kleine Herzen” and several informal volunteer unions. The author of several albums, publications and photo exhibitions dedicated to the problem of orphanage in Russia. I am working as a tutor in the Children’s Village and taking part in the other current projects. We’ve been attracting many volunteers and are actively dealing with the region’s mass media and local social welfare authorities.

I hope that my photos have not the small share in drawing the attention of benefactors, volunteers and journalists. I do hope that they help the society to look at the problems of such children in a humane way.


Related links

Dmitry Markov


67 Responses to “dmitry markov – awkward age”

  • When thoughts are pure, beauty reigns. Dmitry, your work on this essay
    is from the heart and very, very well expressed.

  • A great photographic work, which is clearly depicted by an insider. Joined with the other part that you’re acomplishing with these kids, this is just remarkable.
    Thanks for sharing this caring energy and photography.
    PS-Could i make some critics to the work? Of course i would, but i’m sure you’ll have plenty of people eager to make a “porfolio review” of this, talking about exploitation, etc etc. Don’t bother and go ahead!

  • Bufff!!! Im spechless.. this stunning, brilliant and deep photography….

  • Dmitry – thank you for this – a symphony of heart, head and talent.

    A poetic metaphor for the expression “Hindsight is 20/20 vision.”

  • If I walk the noisy streets,
    Or enter a many thronged church,
    Or sit among the wild young generation,
    I give way to my thoughts.

    I say to myself: the years are fleeting,
    And however many there seem to be,
    We must all go under the eternal vault,
    And someone’s hour is already at hand.

    When I look at a solitary oak
    I think: the patriarch of the woods.
    It will outlive my forgotten age
    As it outlived that of my grandfathers’.

    If I caress a young child,
    Immediately I think: farewell!
    I will yield my place to you,
    For I must fade while your flower blooms.

    Дима! :))

    Поздравляю вас с этим замечательным и очень мощный историю. Мне понравилось очень много фотографий и первые фотографии великолепна. Это история с сердцем и мужеством и, прежде всего человеку храбрость. Эта история показывает не только фотографические власти (у вас есть красивые фотографии), а также глубины души. Я поздравляю вас, что вы не стали циничны, или разочарованные, но вместо этого вы используете фотографии, чтобы сделать свет на эту историю, и добавить любви и света, и жизнь в жизни этих детей.! :)))

    big congratulations Dima!….

    a story filled with both beauty (in your photographic details) and in your humane and loving heart and approach. Very happy to see this essay here!


  • I find rather interesting the fact that 3 images are shown in image 14 as black and white prints on the wall. Not sure why but I do.

    Loved this essay.

  • textures

  • FANTASTIC! I’m jaded, and am therefore rarely moved by photography, these days. You moved me and how! THANKS!!! Can’t wait to see what else you’ll bering to the photography table. Hard to beat this scrumptious meal!

  • Really wonderful essay. Beautifully photographed. Words are hard to come by some of the images are really stunning. Your subject matter is close to your heart and therefore rings true. It is strange but I find that the forgotten ones and places often remind us most of who we really are,

    Loved it. Congratulations. I hope you have submitted this essay to the Burn Photographer Fund. If not you still have a few hours : )


  • Дима, рада тебя здесь видеть!

    Многие из этих фотографий я уже “знаю наизусть” – и все равно каждый раз с трепетом пересматриваю.
    Заметила много новых снимков, особенно поразил 23-й…

    У тебя настоящее – живое – средце.
    Удачи тебе и вам всем!

  • Brilliant and dedicated work. beautiful and impressive. Many, many outstanding singles, but more than that an outstanding essay that raises the bar once again at BURN… viewing this along with the “Shower Series” is possibly enough to intimidate any emerging photographer about the quality level that BURN demands and delivers.

    It’s very hard to say anything about what could possibly improve this essay, except this very minor quibble… I don’t think the final image, no.25, is as strong as many of the others and I wouldn’t have chosen it to conclude the essay… maybe drop it, or put it in the sequence after no. 16… I think the penultimate image, no. 24, would have been a stronger conclusion.

  • Dmitry, lovely essay. So refreshing to see life with joy and hope in an essay about Russia. Especially love 15, 17, 18 & 23. Like the b&w prints on the wall too.

  • wow…fantastic body of work! like the intimacy and the emotional aspect of the whole series. Well done!

  • The work of a sensitive soul, peeking beneath the hardened shells of other sensitive souls living under hard circumstance.

    Well done.

    It goes without saying that I like the one of the kitten in the hands with the dark storm clouds behind the best.

  • Hi Dmitry, It’s a nice topic. I like the typical photo-journalistic shots, but perhaps there are too many of the same theme…That is, this group of guys just hanging out together. After one or two we get the idea that this is a close knit group of kids despite the hardships that they go through. I prefer the more symbolic photos actually, like 9. We are left to wonder what he is thinking while staring out the car window. I love 10 with the small piece of light just illuminating his face and the symbols painted on the wall. Again #15 we the viewers are left to ponder. 18, 19, and 23 are in the same direction. I think these photos fit together very well, but too many of the reportage images dilute the strength of the whole piece.

    Are you going to keep on this project? Nice job.


    This is another wonderful essay… well done!


  • Dimitri,
    these images are simply cool, cool, cool!

    You certainly photographed from the inside with heart and soul. Keeping light and a strong composition in mind at the same time. Outstanding images!

    Yes, society has to look at the life of these kids, teenagers or young adults! Your work is a great effort to draw the attention to their lives.

    Glad to see your work! A very good inspiration!
    Keep going!

  • Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    BAM. Like a velvet hammer.

  • Great essay Dmitry,
    not wasted life.

  • Nice work Dmitry! All round good!!

  • Dmitry, love your use of light.

  • Impeccable essay. Your use of lighting is inspiring.

  • Hi Dmitry! Great images. Great composition, use of light and scenery. perfect timing. virtually no noise in your message. Some images seem a bit less consistent on the set. Great work with the “cast”.

    Perfect – 15, 17, 04, 05.

    There´s also a “cinematographic” quality to your pictures. Especially on these (15, 17, 04, 05) Check out Wenders Zeiss Calendar… I’m not sure why. check it…

  • Дима :))…я хотел сказать еще одну вещь. Я смотрел на все ваши фотографии и рассказы в LiveJournal. Работы очень и очень красиво. Некоторые фотографии и рассказы напоминают мне о моем друге C. Максимишин. Знаете ли вы свою работу? История (в черно-белый) детей великолепна, как и все семейные истории. Это эссе на Burn, я не могу перестать думать о первом фотографию и фотографию мальчик выглядывал голову из отверстия погреба с картошкой. В самом деле, великолепные работы. Будут пользоваться встречи с вами, когда Марина и я приехать в Москву. :))

    Боба ))

  • Dmitry


    This is just simply spectacular work. I’m so pleased to see this here. Amazing work, amazing project. I can’t believe you were born in 1982. I’m blown away.

  • Hi Dmitry.

    I am most attracted by the intimacy of these images. Yes, the lighting is wonderful and you obviously have a good eye for composition as well. But what I most appreciate is the intimacy you recieve..

    Very interesting for me. Like to see more, so I’ll visit your web site.

    Take care.


  • panos skoulidas
    April 6, 2010 at 10:53 am
    MY FAVORITE ESSAY ,comes of course from an “amateur” DMITRY MARKOV..

    he he…i loved this essay and talk about it 9 days ago…when i watched the Photophilantropy competition..
    he a Prophet

  • Compelling, beautiful work.

  • What an exceptional body of work. The photos alone are remarkable, the light especially. But all of it is here: an artistic eye, a sense of authorship, compelling story, obviously deep connection with the subjects. This is the kind of work that makes a difference in the world. I hope Dmitry has submitted it to the EPF. I’d give him the $15,000 in a heartbeat!


  • Beautiful work. I do wish there were captions though.

    Best of luck in all your endeavors.



    i rarely comment here, but i can’t help myself…my favorite essay as well….


    your wish has been granted…

  • Strong, strong essay.

    What I love is that each image stands alone.
    There is no wasted space here. It’s ALL good.

  • first shot is harvey like… about colors. I love this essay. well done.

  • nice work dmitry!
    great pp and wery well use of light !
    good choise david
    un saludo

  • Hello!

    I am glad that this essay was published in “BURN”. Thank you for your kind words.

    Yes, I’m going to continue shooting

  • panos/patricia/david(ah): gotta say ditto….one of the finest documentary essays i’ve seen in a long time, cinematic and heart feld and profound….it’s a raise high the roofbeams level! :)))))))….

  • Dear Dmitry, thank you for making, and sharing, this work. It is exceptional. I feel richer for having seen it, and for having been allowed a small glimpse into the way you see the world.

  • Very impressive, I love your use of light.

  • I wanted to again thank everyone and apologize that I can not reply personally.
    I have problems with english :-)

    This link has some text about the photos:

  • why use napkins or biz cards? get an iPad!
    steve Jobs 2010bc

  • totally blown away! very inspiring dimitry!

  • The beauty and innocence of this essay made me go back and have another look and then another. Dmitry has emerged and we are all more enriched for that. Give this man a prize and a leg up.

  • Dmitry, my sincere compliments for this moving essay.
    Keep on doing as much voluntary work as you can, since this is definitely your magic key
    to photograph these beautiful stories!

  • Dmitry, this is exceptional. I was very moved. I’ve watched and digested it multiple times. And that opening shot; spectacular.

  • Dimka! I always liked this story!
    You doing great job with this kids.

  • Not much I can say that has not been said already……joder Dmitry, que bueno!!!

  • This is the first time I post a comment here.

    Dmitry Markov, this is an absolutely inspiring essay. I love many of the images, beautiful lighting. I have also bookmarked your site as well. Thanks for sharing this amazing body of work.

    Thanks very much for this wonderful inspiring and meaningful site!

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.