Photographer Margarita Kareva brings the beautiful mystery of Russian fairy tales to life through her fantastical portraits. Employing elaborate costumes and surreal props, each image is a peek into a mysterious, magical world. Kareva calls these vignettes Plein Air, as they take place among the gorgeous outdoor landscape with models who exude elegance—even when confronted with wild animals.

If you had told Kareva that five years ago she’d be a photographer, she wouldn’t have believed you. But, she picked up a camera back then and hasn’t stopped since. “I often say thanks to the Universe for giving me a passion for my life,” she wrote. Her path to photography was a natural extension of her interests when she was younger. “I loved to read since childhood,” she explained, “and perhaps my love of reading has made me a dreamer and a person living in their fantasies.” It’s not something she takes for granted. “I’m glad that I had a way to play out my fantasies with the camera. It is very important for every person—to have their own way of expression.”

Margarita Kareva: website / instagram