Photo Gallery The Children of the Russian Rich

They dance ballet and collect real Kalashnikovs: The children of the Russian elite have known nothing but excess. The photographer Anna Skladmann photographed them in their environment.
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Vadim on His Roof Terrace, Moscow 2009: "When we came up to the rooftop, it was a beautiful sunny and crisp midday. Vadim asked me how many photos I was planning to shoot, and I answered ‘maximum ten.’ As the flash lit up, he slowly counted to ten in his head. After the ten frames of my first roll were finished, he went back inside, put on his pajamas and asked for a cup of tea so he could sit in front of his television in peace. Naturally, I had wanted to shoot ten rolls of film not just ten frames."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Roman at the Tattoo Parlor, Moscow, 2009: "Roman follows the footsteps of his mother who loves beautiful tattoos. At the photo shoot, he told me he prefers older girls like Natasha, a 26-year-old stylist. Girls at his age, he says, only cry and are too busy squealing all the time."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Jacob Shooting at Ballerinas, Moscow 2009: "Originally, I had planned to shoot Jacob’s sister, but at 13 she was already too mature for this project. When I came to Jacob’s room, he was sitting on the bed. There was a collection of weapons, mostly Kalashnikovs, real ones, next to him. He picked up an old machine pistol that had been used during the Second World War and pretended to shoot at the ballerinas twirling on the TV screen. His grandmother had come into the room earlier and put on a cultural channel perhaps to balance the guns."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Nikita and Alina at the Italian Embassy, Moscow 2009: "During the photo shoot Nikita told me that I should visit a logopaed. When I asked him what a logopaed was, he blushed and turned away."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Antoshka as a Hussar, Moscow 2010: "Antoshka only agreed to do the shoot if we could do it with the girl he had a crush on. They met in school and acted in the same school play. For the shoot, he put on the costume he wore during the play. It was uncomfortably small, and even he didn’t like it too much himself … No matter how old or young you are, there are things you do for love."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Ilona and Ella on a Rowing Boat, Moscow 2009: "The twins were very nervous when we were out on the water in our little boat. From the dock, their mother was yelling at them, “Just be brave and pose.” Finally, they realized that they would have only each other for support, and so they held hands and stuck together until the shoot was over."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Vova Standing in His Grandfather’s Theatre, Moscow 2010: "The first time I asked Vova what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said he wanted to be an archaeologist. A week later he had changed his mind and said that he wanted to be Spider-Man. Finally, we photographed him on stage at the Theatre Operetta that belongs to his grandfather."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Arina in Her Garage, Moscow 2009: "Arina is standing in front of her father’s vintage car collection. She told me beforehand she wanted to look like Catherine Deneuve. As the photo shoot progressed, we got to talking about Isadora Duncan, and I found myself amazed at how much this generation knows about the all the famous movie stars of the past."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Lisa Sitting on Her Dining Table, Moscow 2010: "Lisa’s favorite activities are to skateboard through the white crystal rooms of her house and to play football. You could hear her practically counting the minutes in her head until the shoot was over and she could get out of the dress her mother had put her in for our session."

Foto: Anna Skladmann
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Anna Skladmann was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1986. She is a freelance photographer who lives and works between New York and Moscow. She graduated with a BFA in photography from Parsons The New School for Design in 2008 where she studied in New York and in Paris. Her book "Little Adults" hits bookstore shelves in July.