Igor Leonidovic was born in the USSR and currently lives in Bochum, Germany, where he works freelance as a commercial photographer. His spare time is spent on photographing record collectors and their collections. He has come across so many interesting stories, that he is currently working on his first exhibition, “Random Wax”, which should take place next year. And he’s always looking for more collections to document!
How long have you been photographing?
I started working as a professional photographer four years ago, but now I’m focused on personal projects like Random Wax, and I’m currently working on the artwork for several music releases.
What do you try to capture with your Random Wax project?
First of all I try to capture the private collection. I want to show the life of the people who really love music and invest a lot of money and time in it. And of course the aesthetics of their record rooms. At my exhibition I’ll show rare records, some of them are private press and were never released, or completely unknown. For example: DJ Scientist has an acetate of an LP by Inge Brandenburg which was never released. I think his copy is the only one that exists. Many of my pictures do not only show the records though, they also tell us something about the person. DJ Hype for example has a huge Star Wars collection.
Why did you choose this subject?
I bought my first records when I was 10 years old, 20 years ago. Since then I’ve had a dream to become a DJ. Some dreams came true: I was a DJ for years and I had a lot of gigs in Russia. But while touring I found out that this was not for me. I love to be at home and just listen to my records, more than I love being on the road. While becoming a photographer, I worked hard on finding my own style. When I work for clients I need to adhere to their requests and don’t always have the chance to create something that I personally like. The look books that I create for the fashion industry for example, are not enough for me, because the industry is characterised by constant change. Once a new collection is there, the old collection and their pictures lose their importance. I wanted to create a project that is always up to date for me personally and never loses its significance.
What camera do you use?
Usually I use medium format camera Phase One XF, but in dark rooms I use Leica equipment.
What is the most special Collection you have encountered during the project and what made it so special?
I think it is DJ Scientist’s collection. I never saw so many records in one room and so many rare records. I was born in USSR and I grew up with Melodia records, but this guy has a huge knowledge about this label.
Currently I am focused on Germany, because I don’t have any sponsors for my project and I invest my own money in it. But I want to make it a global project in the future. I know most Collectors on my pictures personally from the past, with some of them we had gigs together or we traded records. And I found a lot of great record collectors on instagram.
How do you envision your first exhibition? Will there be any music for example?
I have a different concepts for the exhibition, In Moscow I will do the exhibition in a museum of modern art, I want show the pictures and tell about all that I found in these huge records rooms. In Saint Petersburg I will do an exhibition during vinyl fair and we will definitely play records there and a lot of DJs will support my project a play their music there.
Are you still looking for collections to photograph? If so, how can interested collectors reach out to you?
Yes, I am always looking for collectors. Just write me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a private message on instagram.com/randomwaxmag.
Check out some of Igor’s photos below:
All photos by Igor Leonidovic
Header image: Paul G, Bochum, Germany. Collects underground hip-hop, jazz, soundtracks and library records.