YURI KOZYREV – ONE OF THE BEST MILITARY PHOTO JOURNALISTS IN THE WORLD
“When I look at the photographs of Yuri, I see the beauty, covered with darkness, the shadows of the unknown, the human condition in its most raw form, it is the soul and heart of who we really are.”
Yuri Kozyrev is a multifaceted personality, as evidenced by his work. Most of the time he, as a military photojournalist, removes someone else’s grief. However, the peculiarity of his shots is a sense of proportion, which is observed in every work, despite the piquancy of the situations being filmed. He is a poet at heart, and even the years spent in the war could not change this.
Yuri spent a lot of time in Iraq, and for photographs taken during this period, he subsequently received prizes at various domestic and international competitions. The works not only reflect real events, but also convey the viewer emotions that occur in the soul of the people depicted in the pictures.
Kozyrev covered the collapse of the USSR and international events. After September 11, 2001, he went to Afghanistan. And, starting in 2011, Yuri visited Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Tunisia. Becoming a photographer, let alone a military photographer, was not Kozyrev’s childhood dream. He picked up the camera only at 23 years old.
Acquaintance of Yuri Kozyrev with the world of photography
A talented photojournalist was born in one of the Moscow maternity hospitals on October 20, in 1963. In the capital of Russia, he received a journalist diploma, graduating from Moscow State University. At that time he was not going to connect his life with journalism, and, especially, photography. At first he worked as a watchman, and he was quite happy with the state of affairs. However, his brother had his own opinion on this matter, to which Yuri listened.
A significant event in the life of Yuri was a meeting with Yevgeny Chaldey, who at that time was already known in the field of documentary photography. He covered the events of World War II. Valiko Arutyunov is another important acquaintance in the life of Kozyrev, his first mentor. Yuri also gets acquainted with other photographers who, with their stories, subconsciously arouse interest in this branch of art.
Kozyrev clearly adopted one thing from the friends who appeared: a real photographer should have a story. A simple (or even difficult) pursuit of a good shot will not bring success in this matter. At first, Yuri did not plan to cover the news, he tried himself in different genres, doing freelance work. One of the first major projects was the coverage of the lives of people in orphanages, hospitals and prisons. This work was not easy for Kozyrev. He also traveled extensively in his native country in search of his style. At some point, the photographer realized that he was trying to cover important events in the world and changing the course of history.
Creative path of Yuri Kozyrev
Officially, Kozyrev came into the world of photography in 1986. A few years later, perestroika began, during which Yuri removed major conflicts, going either to Chukotka or to the White Sea.
In 1994, a young photographer went to Chechnya. After that, he covers the events during the military conflict in Afghanistan, and in 2001 goes to Iraq. Here, Yuri stayed for a long 8 years, only periodically returning to his homeland, Kozyrev did a great job, traveling around many cities. The peculiarity of the talented photojournalist is the desire to fully disclose the story that he is shooting, to study all sides of the conflict, so he does not have short-term projects. Yuri does not leave work until he reaches the logical end.
In addition to Time, Yuri Kozyrev throughout his career collaborated with the Los Angeles Times, Noor, Het Parool, Katz pictures, The Times, Katz pictures, Elseiver, Time magazine. From domestic publications he sold his work to the editors of Ogonyok, Itogi and Weekly Magazine.
Photojournalist’s view of the art of photography
The works of Yuri Kozyrev, which are exhibited today at both domestic and international exhibitions, differ in that they look natural. And this impression is not deceptive. Photojournalist is an opponent of staged photography. His task is not to show the event from any particular side, but to capture the moment as it is.
Photographer Yuri Kozyrev
Kozyrev never sought to find a story that would bring him earnings. He documented those events that were primarily interesting to him. At the same time, it was important for Yuri to see the situation from the inside. He tried to live a little in the place where he worked. Kozyrev never tried to figure out in advance whether the time spent on history would be rewarded. He just wanted to feel the situation and wait for the development of the event.
The photojournalist continues to work today. However, he is trying to try himself in other genres. Yuri Kozyrev does not want to remain in the memory of people only as a military photographer. This desire is supported by his friends. They periodically ask to shoot some stories that have nothing to do with the war. And each of his stories inspires confidence in the viewer, which makes any photographer in demand.