Alexander Shchemlyaev, born Dubrovin, was born in 1956 in the Nanai camp of Verkhnyaya Econ, in the Komsomolsky District of the Khabarovsk Region, Russia. Since 1988 he is based in Moscow.
The first 10 years he spent in the orphanage. From his native Komsomolsk-on-Amur left to serve in Anadyr (Chukotka).
In 1976-81 he studied at the Far-Eastern Technological Institute. He worked as a photographer at the university in Vladivostok.
In 1981-83 he studied at the Kalinin State University. He worked as a photographer at the university in the city of Kalinin (Tver).
In 1983 he moved to Novokuznetsk and got a full-time photographer at the Kuznetsk Iron and Steel Works, replacing his friend Vladimir Sokolayev.
In 1985-88 a freelancer photographer in the city of Torzhok.
In 1988, after a meeting with Vladimir Semin, he moved to Moscow. He works as a photographer in the capital's magazines and collaborates with various editions: "Voyennyye Znaniya" (Military Knowledge), Literaturnaya gazeta, Megapolis-Express, Russkiy Focus, etc. On the recommendation of Vsevolod Tarasevich, the Novosti Press Agency photo editor, on "editorial assignments", implements his own projects and chooses where to go to the shooting – to Baikal or to Dagestan, to Veliky Ustyug or to Chukotka, to Armenia or to the Yamal Peninsula. Everywhere he is interested in people, and the further they live from the capital, the better.
1984 – "Printed by friends", photo store "Jupiter", Novokuznetsk, Russia.
2012 – "Yamal. Non-Soviet photo", The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography, Moscow, Russia.