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Grand International Festival 2015

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Zorz Studios was honored and delighted to be one of Grand International Festival 2015 info partners, providing photography coverage of the annual business expo, fashion show, and concert.

The event, organized by Red Square Media, is a two-day extravaganza which includes a spectacular exhibition of businesses, trade show, fashion show, a gala concert featuring notable pop stars, raffle prizes, gifts, etc. Businesses are mostly represented by Russian-speaking American companies which in fact span an incredibly wide range of ethnic backgrounds stemming from the former Soviet Union. The same applies to the artists and pop stars who graced the stage, from Brooklyn’s Vocal Art StudioOlympic Ballroom Dance Studio, and Azeri My Way Development Center, to traditional Russian dance ensemble Kalinka of Baltimore, to Belarusian singer Felix Lutskiy, to Ukrainian singers Irchyk and Lena Stefan, to Russian popular bands Propaganda and Artik & Asti, and to Uzbek singer Alisher and pop star Sogdiana. This list is far from comprehensive: full details are available on the event’s official website.

Among these multi-cultural groups, of a particular importance and timeliness were calls for peace and reasoning by the Ukrainian MC Konstantin Slovetsky and an Azeri singer Bella Khanuka.

Zorz Studios was also an exhibiting vendor with a booth featuring some of work which I could easily take off the studio walls (see the booth photo at the very end). For those of our booth visitors who entered the studio’s raffle, I will conduct the drawing, hopefully live, later this week. UPDATE: Check at the end for the raffle information.

Below are just some of my favorite moments spanning both days and all activities of the Grand International Festival. The full gallery is available for viewing in the gallery, where you can also purchase high resolution downloads or order prints directly from the gallery. Please note that a registration will be required.

I would like to bring your separate attention to a few points.

First, I was intrigued by a fashion show of Evgenia Luzhina, a Russian high fashion designer who had worked for theaters in Russia and Unites States creating costumes for more than 50 plays. During the past six years, she has produced her own Fashion show called “Passion Runway”. Her most recent accolade was being nominated as a High Fashion Designer at the Fashion Awards Maryland.

Next, my heart skipped a few beats when listening to Z-Exit and their lead singer Sergey Kuzmenko who is a famous impersonator of the late legendary Russian-Korean rock star Viktor Tsoi from Kino. The resemblance in appearance, voice, and performance are notable. See for yourself by comparing with one of Tsoi’s old clips.

I have time for another shoutout to Alisher, Uzbekistan-born singer who is being introduced to the Russian-American audience now. This was a pleasant discovery for me as I value modesty in people who get in the spotlight.

And finally, possibly my favorite artist of the event, Sogdiana. I have to admit that I have not known her name until past weekend although heard her songs… Her entrance mesmerized and produced audible sighs in the audience. Her eastern grace and humble demeanour on the stage are disarming. Her softly spoken and polite interaction with the crowd, followed by a magical vocal is hard to forget.

I would like to thank Red Square Media team and their leader, sweet lady, and Zorz Studios client, Rachel Tagiev, for putting together this unforgettable, both business and family-friendly Grand International Festival. I had fun going around, meeting people and businesses, chatting with colleagues (seen below are Inna Fay and Maria Gordova), showcasing some of my work, adoring the talents of all ages, and of course, working the event, all 26 hours! A special thanks goes to Yana who attended to the booth!

UPDATE 05/01/15: To make a very independent and random choice in the raffle for a free photo session, I will try to use a cool and geeky way of selecting the winner—I will draw the lucky name via an online live stream. The drawing will take place today, 05/01/15 at 1:30 PM on Zorz Studios Live channel. Good luck and see (hear) you there!

UPDATE 05/01/15 – 2: Congratulations to Mariya Shlionsky for winning in the free photo shoot raffle! I will be in touch with you soon. 🙂

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.