Meeting the Man Behind Champagne Facials [Interview]

Awhile back, I wrote a post on the fast growing, very popular Tumblr, Champagne Facials, and got a lot of responses from that, some extremely negative, filled with comments from people who were offended or appalled by the content, and others defending the site and what it stands for!  There’s no right or wrong answer, but more interesting than the actual photos on the Tumblr, in my humble opinion, is the man who takes them, 28 year old Kirill Bichutsky.
What goes through his mind while he snaps these shots?  What do they mean to him? Where’d this controversial idea even come from? Well, I got the chance to sit down and talk with him about Champagne Facials, these questions and more.
Even for those of you who do not necessary like the concept of Champagne Facials, you have to admit it’s an extremely creative idea.  Of course I was curious as to how he even came up with something so unique and actually made it into something so huge.  The concept originally came when he was shooting some of NYC’s infamous brunch parties.  “They were a little tame,” Bichutsky says, “I mean they were fun but like I would get drunk and try to instigate shit because I needed this to look good because there’s a difference between a party being good and a party being good on camera.”  So what did he do to amp the quality of his pictures?  “I knew what I needed visually to make a good gallery, so I was like ‘I need like these hot chicks. Like they need some shit on their face, just make it look fun’.”  That being said, he changed the name of the game, adding something interesting and something different.  The pictures are all in good fun, but to Kirill they mean two things specifically, “it’s like sexually funny and then at the same time, it’s visually cool because I can capture that splash, and it just looks good.”
So while he has the eye of an artist and photographer, we’ve seen many women with strong reactions to the pictures he’s taking for his Tumblr.  Because of his big name and following, he’s got many fans who disagree with the naysayers, as he puts it, “My fans are very protective over the sh*t I do. Someone made one of my favorite points about it, they were like, ‘these people are so like up in arms over champagne facials, I would love to see the letters they’re writing about real facials’, I was like wow that’s true, that’s true.”
Now, I don’t know about all of you but I was very curious as to how he actually chooses which girls to photograph and which girls make the cut.  Unsurprisingly, he admits, “Obviously you look for the best looking girls, because then the clubs are like so supportive, they give you bottles, and all the staff and bartenders love that stuff.”  That might drive forward the point of some that this is offensive, which in turn, might be shocking, how do clubs put up with this, yet as he states, “Anyone that will hire me knows that Champagne Facials is helping the brand… it’s just like making it bigger, and it creates more energy, like people are like what the fuck’s going on, like it’s just, it’s different”.
But Kirill is more than just champagne facials and pretty girls, and so is his site.  While he recognizes that in order to get onto the site, you “either gotta be good looking or having a lot of fun, or looking different”, he does include guys occasionally, as long as you’re not two dudes just bro-ing out in the corner.
His job includes a lot more than just taking pictures of people partying.  In order to have interesting, captivating shots, he needs to vibe with the crowd, he needs to seem as though getting your photo taken by him is something to try for.  “I can’t do this sober,” Bichutsky confesses.  He needs to be able to be social and fun and stand out, and of course, when looking back at photos in the morning, he says, “There are times when you don’t remember them, and you’re like wait a minute, that happened…” But yet, isn’t that part of the fun of the night?  Doing crazy things, having the time of your life.  He literally becomes that drunk girl with the camera at all the parties, and don’t lie, we all love having our picture taken and posted on Facebook the next day.  If that girl was following you around all night but not partaking in any activities, wouldn’t it just seem… creepy?  The same goes for Kirill.  “The clubs want me to be fun, like if they see me sober, they’re like this kid is boring, its boring, so they’re like get him drunk and it’ll be fun,” he says.  I know you all feel the same, CC readers!!
But just like that drunk girl (and we all know girls in general can’t be alone for more than two minutes), he gets by with a little help from his friends!  By frequently attending clubs, Kirill knows a majority of the people out there as well.  “Having those friends in like the club is good because you can still be meeting new people and it’s good ’cause they know to instigate sh*t, so they’re like, ‘Yeah you should show your boobs, just trust me, you should do it’.”  See, they totally have his back!
When you’ve got a job like this though, its easy to get wrapped up in the hoopla of nightlife and big names. Kirill claims he doesn’t let this affect him though, saying “I’m so oblivious to famous people which is why I think it works for me too because I don’t follow celebs so I’ll meet someone and not know they’re famous and so you don’t have that awkwardness.”  Oh yeah, like that one time, “I went out with a bunch of people, we went around the city and I was shooting this blonde chick and she was like my publicist has to approve these photos and I was like yea, yeah whatever, and the next day I’m looking through them, and I’m like sh*t, that’s Hayden Panettiere, and I had no idea.”
So yes, he lives the life, parties, and take pictures of celebrities, but the bottom line is: everyone knows what it’s about.  Girls at parties and girls featured in his shots may look seductive, but that’s the way they choose to look. And to top it all off, he only chooses photos that look visually appealing, he operates as an artist.
Kirill was very open about his work and the way he operates, he even invited me to come and watch him in action sometime!  I’ll keep you posted if I go or meet any celebs though, and I’ll be sure (try, attempt, fail) at being as calm and collected as he is!

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