Interview: Alina Kolot talks Paris

Friday, April 8

In February, I published an interview in which the super radiant Lily Buevich spoke about studying at Institut Français de la Mode, why Frenchmen choose to seem rude and which Parisian bar made it to the Top 50 Best Bars in the World. This month's heroine is Alina Kolot - a photographer living in Paris who fills my Instagram feed with dreamy pics on a daily basis and makes me save nearly all of the streetstyle shots she does for Buro 24/7. Keep reading to find out about the difficulties of taking a perfect streetstyle photo, accounts worth following on Instagram and cafes worth visiting in Paris!

Moving to Paris is the ultimate dream for many girls around the world. Why did you personally move here?
In fact, I didn't move to France - I'm just living here at the moment. I've never had a goal of moving precisely to Paris. When I was in my final year at university of engineering and construction, I realized that what I want to do in life is... Photography! And so I started looking for an institute where I could study it in English. Eventually, the program that I liked the most was at a university in Paris.
What was it like - starting from the scratch in a foreign country? Which difficulties did you face?
There weren't any major difficulties - more like certain complications. For example, the very first week in Paris a pipe burst in my apartment which led to a full-on flood in my bathroom! Just imagine - early Sunday morning, no Wi-Fi, no French phone number, no friends whatsoever... I had to run around asking my neighbors and the employees of the nearby hotels for help. Thankfully, it all ended well.
What do you love Paris for the most and what you dislike about the city?
What I love the most in Paris is the beauty of its streets, parks and architecture. Almost every corner here looks like a work of art. As for what I dislike, it's such obvious things as garbage and dirt.
As a photographer, you often shoot streetstyle. What's it like - to shoot street fashion in 2016, when there's often a crowd around the editors and digital influencers? How to make a perfect photo?
Shooting streetstyle reminds me of racing. There's no time to think - you only have a couple of minutes to take a good shot, very often even less than that. Speaking of my approach, I usually follow my instincts - it applies to choosing the location, the angle, the composition, the color combinations, etc. During fashion week I'm trying my best to be on top of things; however there's something I will never do for the sake of a photo, and it is pushing other photographers and admirers apart!
Speaking of photography: in the past few years Instagram has been taken over by thousands of astonishingly beautiful profiles that, sadly, look alike. Which accounts still bring you joy?
At the moment I'm mostly following various magazines and profiles that gather selections of photos by different authors. And of course, those who I've been subscribed to for years. My favorites include @Mimi_Brune [Alya Galinovskaya, founder of "Cake Atelier" studio], @CupOfHerbalTea [Sonya Khegay, photographer based in Montenegro], @Vi_Delight [Victoria Gladchenko from Odessa, co-founder of the confectionary store "Make My Cake", coffee shop "San Michele" and cultural project "Forest"].
Could you please name your three favorite cafes in the city?
Le Peloton Cafe - it's a rather new place, but it has already become one of my favorites. Here they use the incredibly good Belleville beans, and they also make chai tea latte, etc. As for the dessert, one can order a pecan pie, some multigrain cookies or homemade waffles; 
Fragments - very photogenic place with a wonderful atmosphere! On the menu - coffee, desserts and a nice selection of breakfasts; 
La Caféothèque - a place where you can get a number of various types of coffee beans from all corners of the world; moreover, you can not only drink a cup, but also purchase beans and attend a barista class.
Finally, tell me about your personal style. Which garments you can't imagine your life without? Where do you prefer to shop in Paris?
The most important things in my wardrobe are the most basic ones - sneakers and black jeans. As for shopping, I'm not really a big fan of it, that's why I try to get everything I need in the nearby stores - not such a difficult task since I live in the Marais district!)

Photos: @AlinaKolot

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