2018 Photo Contest, People, Stories, 3rd prize

Girls

Photographer

Tatiana Vinogradova

19 May, 2017

A single mother, Vera (45) worked for 20 years as a cook and then in the construction industry. When her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she began looking for work that would bring in more money and applied for a job as a ‘club administrator’. The ‘club’ turned out to be a sauna offering sex services on request. Vera accepted the job offer, and has been working in the industry for two years.

Sex workers pictured in their apartments, in St Petersburg, Russia. Official statistics say that there are one million sex workers in Russia. Silver Rose, a St Petersburg NGO, puts that at closer to three million, with more than 50,000 women working in St Petersburg alone. Prostitution is illegal in Russia, and though fines are not large (about €28) women are vulnerable to extortion because they fear the consequences of having a criminal record.

According to Silver Rose, despite the stereotypical view of sex workers, only a small percentage have taken to prostitution because they are addicts or living in extreme poverty. The decline of the Russian economy has led to a growing number of women—many over the age of 35—who have lost jobs in such fields as business or education becoming sex workers.

About

Tatiana Vinogradova

She studied journalism at St. Petersburg State University. Prior to her career in photography, Tatiana worked as a creative director in advertising. Since 2014 she has been evolv...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/640
Focal length
35.0 mm
F-Stop
1.4
ISO
160

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