Platon - half English, half Greek photographer. Perhaps this helps him maintain a balance between ideal distance and deep interest in people in work. During his career, he photographed almost all leading politicians, actors, musicians and despite the undoubted irony in his style of photography almost no one refused photo session with him.

The photographer's main focus lies not in complex lighting schemes or intricate composition. Most of all, he is interested in the person in front of his lens and what he or she can show in a hundredth of a second. Most of the time, Platon focuses not on putting the light but on the personal contact with a model.

As he himself mentioned in an interview, photographing process takes up only to three percent of the time of his work, while everything else is devoted to taking out the True personality of a person in front of him.

Platon's most famous photographs are close-ups, yet some of the photographs were taken with a wide-angle lens. For example, Bill Clinton's picture.
Platon's images focusing attention on the model's face let us look at the person from a different angle.

Currently Platon is a full-time photographer for "The New Yorker" but the list of media platforms working with him includes Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Time, Vogue, and GQ magazines. By the way, the 7th part of the Netflix project talking about the 8 best designers of our time is dedicated to Platon.

One of Platon's most famous projects is called "Portraits of Power". In September 2009, he opened a temporary photo studio to capture the faces of the most powerful men and women in the world in New York when presidents, prime ministers and other powerful politicians gathered there for the UN assembly's session. Resulting photographs turned out to be as bewitching and ambiguous as the photo session's participants.
Some of these images can be seen on The New Yorker's website followed by comments of Platon himself.
And, of course, we cannot help mentioning Platon's sensational portrait of Putin, that turned out his only studio portrait, as the Russian leader was photographed only in reportages before.

The fragment of Platon's interview on working with Putin for Time magazine's cover in 2007:

"Vladimir Putin hates having his portrait taken. But when Time magazine made him its Man of the Year for 2007 he said he would grant an interview. So then there was this big question: would he pose for a photograph?

I was sent to Moscow for a whole week. It was December last year, and it was bleak and cold. The idea was that on one day - I didn't know which - he would agree to meet for the interview. I couldn't leave my hotel room, in case they gave me the go-ahead with 15 minutes' warning. It was the most strenuous, stressful week I've ever had.

On the fifth day, a black BMW pulled up outside. I was told it would take me to Putin's private dacha, which is in the middle of a dark gothic forest outside Moscow. When I arrived, there were snipers everywhere and three or four feet of snow; it was like a scene from a cold war movie. They made me go through all my equipment in the snow, before ushering me into the building, and made me wait in a room for eight and a half hours. Then they said: "You've got 15 minutes to set up your lights."

I went into his office. This was where they signed the papers to dissolve the Soviet Union, and I had 20 guys watching every move I made. I needed power at one point so I went to pull a plug out of the wall. Instantly the guards screamed at me and pointed to the wire I was about to unplug. It went into a red telephone with a button on it, which sat in a glass case on his desk.

Then Putin came in and did an hour and a half interview. At the end, the director of Time magazine, John Huey, stood up and said: "Mr Putin, I want to thank you for this interview. And unfortunately, with the honour of being Man of the Year also comes an obligation, and that is to have your portrait taken. We've flown in," (and obviously things get inflated in tense situations), "one of the greatest photographers in the world. Platon is standing here, waiting to take your picture." I had had such a stressful week that hearing him say this about me just made me burst into tears. Putin looked at me, saw what a state I was in, and said: "I'll do it." I think he felt sorry for me.
I shook his hand, recovered a bit, and said to him: "I'm a big Beatles fan. Are you?" I wanted to break down the formality of the situation, and suddenly he started speaking perfect English. "I love the Beatles!" he said. I asked him what his favourite song was, and he said Yesterday. So I put my arm around him and shook his hand again - although I later found out that it is illegal to touch Putin past the wrist. He was cool with that, though. He was fine.

He allowed me to get an inch from his face, and then we did this shot of him. I used the chair from behind his desk, which is his favourite. He is obviously a very challenging character, but everyone has human feelings, and at the end he asked if he could have his picture taken with me. So I asked one of his guards to hold my little snappy camera and I put my arm around him again.

Another shot I took, a simple head shot, went on the cover of the magazine and won the World Press Photo 2008 award - but I do know that Putin particularly liked this gangsterish one. The Museum of Modern Art in Moscow wants to put photographs from this shoot in a show next year, and the response from the Russian government was: "We will approve it as long as this picture is in the show." I know someone who met him formally and asked: "Did you like the pictures?" Putin just looked at the person with those icy cold eyes and said: "Very much." Then he walked off. That's good enough for me. Perhaps if I hadn't shed a tear he wouldn't have done it."

Author Anna Laza
Platon's Instagram.
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