Anatoly Cherkasov was born in 1935 in the village of Denezhnikovo in Lugansk region. He went to school in Donbass, served the army in the Leningrad Military District. After the army he worked as a miner. In 1963 Cherkasov graduated from the Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy and was sent to work in the Moscow region. He has a Ph.D.in Economics and has been granted title of Honored Worker of Agriculture of Russia.
Cherkasov made his first photographs in early 1950s. His works were then published in the local newspaper Novye Rubezhi and in the corporative newspaper. After retiring, he dedicated himself fully to his hobby: attended exhibitions, studied the history and theory of photography. This eventually brought him to a faschination with platinum printing process.