Anyone who grew up near the countryside will agree that the landscapes of home have a special meaning – there’s magic in the fields and forests they roamed as a child, spending countless hours getting lost. This is especially true for Russian-born photographer Turkina Faso and her sister Alice, who grew up in a small town in the foothills of the North Caucasus, surrounded by vast expanses of rugged natural beauty and wilderness in the shadow of dramatic mountain peaks.
Faso is significantly older than her sister, so much so that she was already away studying by the time Alice was 2 years old, and so they found themselves having grown up in the same place – a place that fundamentally connected them – but nearly a whole childhood apart. "Both of our childhoods were full of love, surrounded by nature and with lots of freedom in this place," Faso says, "and we had both been instilled with this sense that you could find magic in the simplest of things, but our relationship was developing at a distance, which made it difficult."
Wondering how to bridge that emotional gap between them, Faso turned to photography, and began taking pictures of Alice as a way to connect with her. "Immediately, this made us closer in everyday life, we bonded over it, and it gave us a reason to spend time in this place that was important to each of us, playing with ideas for pictures and having fun."
Faso has now been photographing Alice regularly for over 10 years. Some of her images look like snapshots, as if she’s caught her sister in the middle of doing something; others are more in tune with glossy fashion editorials, no doubt inspired by Faso’s recent training as a fashion photographer at London College of Fashion. Now based in London full time, Faso has gone on to work as a photographer for brands and magazines including Bvlgari, Dazed and Vogue. Here, she talks to Refinery29 about capturing sisterhood, the beauty and tension of female adolescence, and the collaboration that made her.