Custom Printing, Scanning, Framing, Restoration & Retouching
by New York Photographer
Aleksandr Karjaka

Aleksandr Karjaka came to New York for the music, but stayed for the visuals. As a classically trained musician, he’s had the honor of performing with some of the greatest musicians, and artistic houses, in the world. He’s currently a substitute bass clarinetist with the American Ballet Theater which, he says, satisfies his ever-present music needs. Actually, he was once quoted as saying that “Through music I learned to listen with my eyes as well as my ears.”

“While other kids played ball with their fathers, I watched Fellini and listened to Faure with mine.” One of the earliest lessons he learned was that art and music are everywhere if you only look for them; from the subtle sounds as the wind blows the falling leaves to the seemingly random-yet-artistic way they land. Sitting in the park, at the ballet, strolling through a museum or watching a Bergman flick, his parents ensured he paid attention to the hidden lessons in every experience. Whether the way a movie scene is lit, the small punctuating movements of a hand or the perfectly timed swell of the orchestra, everyday life offers a Masters Class if you’re receptive to it. “I learned to smell the color 9.”

Although hooked into music appreciation and performance as a child, Aleksandr understood that an intense love for photography / visual observation was also present. As a young adult he realized and accepted that these two loves were forever intertwined. Now when making music, Aleksandr has an endless stream of visuals flowing through his mind. Similarly, when taking his unique photographs, he’s grown accustomed to having orchestral melodies unconsciously playing in his head. “I’d like to think that my photographs capture music in time to be seen. That’s my forever goal, anyway.” After deep-diving into the works of the photographic geniuses Avedon, Newton, Parks, Newman, Elgort, Horst and Scavullo, Aleksandr realized that he’d unexpectedly discovered his true passion. It was while studying the output of Herb Ritts though, that Aleksandr experienced his “Wagnerian thunderbolt” and accepted that photography was his true “Hero’s journey.” The images on this site are but a small glimpse into that journey thus far.

Since discovering his “true” calling, Aleksander never stopped studying his craft. “There’s always room to grow, to understand and to learn; whether from my peers, or from the world around me.” He is also committed to sharing his knowledge with other journeymen and women. To this end, Aleksandr has become an adjunct professor at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. “I’ve increasingly been drawn to the presentation and design of photography as an art form. I feel compelled to help my students discover this as well.”

Not too surprisingly, Aleksandr doesn’t consider the finished photograph as a ‘job complete’. Remember his allusions to continuous study and photographs as art? A few years back, Aleksandr realized that he needed to understand the world of photographic printing in order to fully control the realization of his artistic visions. In his quest to fully appreciate this artistry, Aleksandr studied and apprenticed with Master Printer Chuck Bogana; printer and retoucher to Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Ralph Lauren, and The MET to name a few. “Under Chuck’s tutelage, my eye became acutely focused on the nuances that take an image from great to extraordinary in the printing process itself.” 
In the end, images and art works are nothing if they are presented with distraction, carelessness and poor taste. KARJAKA Imaging’s mission is to present and enshrine both his work and yours as heirlooms for audiences and generations to come!