In 1978 Pinkhassov joined the Moscow Union of Graphic Arts and obtained the status of an independent artist. His work was noticed by the prominent Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, who invited Pinkhassov to the set of his film Stalker (1979) to create a piece of reportage.
Being awarded independent artist status by the Moscow Union of Graphic Arts in 1978 allowed Pinkhassov far more freedom to travel, allowing him to exhibit his work internationally. Pinkhassov moved permanently to Paris in 1985. This led to more features outside of Russia and in 1988 he was accepted by Magnum Photos.
He works regularly for the international press, particularly for Geo, Actuel and the New York Times Magazine. His book, Sightwalk, explores individual details, through reflections or particular kinds of light, often approaching abstraction.