Jana Romanova



Young Russian couples, inhabitants of St Petersburg and Moscow are sleeping in their bedrooms early in the morning; it is a time of day when people do not really care about their natural appearance. This project investigates couples who will become parents in a few months. It not only conveys their attitude towards each other during this intimate period, but also explores the way young families live in urban cities of modern Russia twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union--a country that will be known to their children through history textbooks.

The project was conceptualised when most of Romanova's friends became expecting parents. As a result, their quotidian lives began to change: the transition from hanging out together, doing a lot of crazy things, to talks about babies and problems, connected them. In attempting to adapt to this new situation, Romanova began to photograph her friends first,  this later led her to photographing complete strangers whom she discovered through communities for pregnant women on various social networks. She sent hundreds and hundreds of emails to numerous couples asking "Can I photograph you sleeping?",  most replied, "No, you are crazy!" It became a real challenge to locate expecting couples who were willing to allow a stranger into the most intimate space in the entire home: their bedroom. In order to capture such images, Romanova asked couples to host her for one night so that she could wake up around 5-6 a.m. and silently photograph them by standing on the home ladder. It took her almost 3 years to take 40 images of people during the 40 weeks of  pregnancy.