Photo by Grace Olson

Growing up, I wanted to be a spy.

Trust me—as a Russian-American photographer and writer, the irony of that is not lost on me. I abandoned my dream when I found out being a real spy wasn’t as fun as I thought; my spying was always rooted in a desire to understand, rather than take advantage, of others. Eventually, this inborn curiosity in observing other people and the world around me led me to what I do now.

My work is anchored in social documentary and personal narrative. I love photography and writing equally, but I also love to experiment with combining them in ways to create even more compelling narratives, whether that be through photo books, short films, or other multimedia avenues. I aim to weave stories that both offer under-considered perspectives and center on shared experiences.

Based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, I have produced written and visual stories for news outlets, independent magazines, and art, cultural, and educational organizations as well as exhibited my work. When I’m not working, I'm making music, exploring alternative ways to make images, or spending time outside.

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Hire me for freelance photography and writing opportunities, inquire about prints in a variety of sizes, or tell me about your dreams growing up at rita.v.kovtun@gmail.com.