Once upon a time, traditional Armenian costumes, taraz, were only seen in black and white photographs. Nowadays, social media is full of bright pictures of men, women and kids wearing taraz. It has become a trend among many locals and tourists to be photographed in these traditional costumes. Since being established five years ago, Photo Atelier Marashlyan has become very popular among the Armenians and non-Armenians. It is certainly a tourist attraction for anyone visiting Yerevan.
“When the photo atelier was established, I imagined our clients would be mainly Diasporan Armenians, – says founder and photographer Emma Marashlyan. – But just in a couple of years we got really popular among locals as well.” Marashlyan family repatriated to Armenia in 2010. Working as a pharmacist in Moscow, Emma Marashlyan practiced photography only as a hobby. After moving to Armenia, she decided to change her profession, doing what she genuinely loved, and established the photo atelier which not only became the most popular one in the city, but managed to make traditional costumes and family style photographs trendy again.
“It is very important for us to have authentic design and high quality costumes, – notes Emma Marashlyan. – To ensure the quality, we conduct detailed research in the archives and work with highly professional designers and tailors.” Marashlyan says, that people often ask for a costume from a specific region of Eastern or Western Armenia. “It is very symbolic for many of them to be photographed in the taraz from the place of their ancestors.” One of the most memorable and emotional photoshoots took place in Western Armenia in 2017, in Ani, Van, Moush and Karin.
Armenia with Own Face Project
Photo atelier is always looking for new ways of popularizing the Armenian culture. In 2017, together with make-up artist Bella Grigoryants, they created an exhibition depicting works of famous Armenian artists, including Martiros Saryan and Minas Avetisyan, painted on the faces of the models. The exhibition was presented both in Modern Art Museum of Yerevan and in the Armenian Museum of Moscow. The photo atelier also collaborates with the State Tourism Committee of Armenia, Yerevan Municipality, and other international and local organizations, by actively participating in exhibitions, touristic and cultural fairs in Armenia and abroad.
Text : Karine Ghazaryan
Photo : Photo Atelier Marashlyan