Photography as an art form is incredibly powerful. Those who master it have the unique capacity of telling a whole story in a single image. However, different branches of photography have different purposes, and as such, the photographer’s mission can shift when entering the waters of all the different kinds of photography. Fashion photography is very particular in that it’s an amalgamation of the designer’s view, as well as the photographer’s. All of it coalesces with the motif of the photo shoot and the medium via which the photographs will be consumed by the audience.
A lot of elements come into play during a fashion photo shoot. From the garment to the model’s body and personality as well as the environment, they all add their hues to the colour palette that makes up the final product, interpreted by the photographer’s inherent subjectivity.
Moreover, the uprise of photography and fashion-related content in social media is also having quite an impact on fashion photography and storytelling. But to what degree? Well, who better to enlighten us in all these matters than professional minds who delve into fashion photography first-hand?
For this month’s edition of TNC Talks, we chatted with some extremely talented photographers who have put their lenses at the service of the fashion industry and explored the waters of this textile art form.
The stories depicted in my photography are a direct reflection of my influences. I’ve always been drawn to otherworldly subjects such as mythology, anime, and surrealism. In which they offer an escape from the mundane. Themes featured in my work include metamorphosis, redemption, rebirth and female empowerment. They are often represented by a strong female lead taking place in an abstract/dystopian world where I explore the relationship between the beauty of the natural world and the future of technology.
Most importantly, I persistently nurture and cultivate an alliance with my inner child. Her boundless imagination has a significant impact on the work that I do.
For me, telling a fashion story begins with developing a character through a wardrobe.
For me, telling a fashion story begins with developing a character through a wardrobe. Once the character is established, I’ll construct a world in which they exist through set design and most importantly casting a suitable talent to bring it all to life. Otherwise, you just have a beautiful girl standing in a world they don’t belong in. I find that a major difference between artistic and commercial photoshoots is limitations. Artistic shoots are often niche and experimental with the intention of pushing boundaries and expressing yourself whereas commercial shoots tend to be more straightforward, approachable and appeal to a larger audience.
Social media has provided a powerful platform for creatives. However, it has become an oversaturated environment where marketing often takes precedence over the art of storytelling. Captivating an audience with short attention spans and pesky algorithms has become a formulaic process that distracts from the art. That said, I find it even more imperative to stay true to your vision and honour your originality. Passion projects are a great way to express originality and are necessary for refining your visual style.
I gravitate towards innovative, deconstructed and experimental fashion which pairs well with my photographic style. I view fashion as wearable art. The themes and stories are often represented through the architecture of the garments by abstractly examining the shapes, colours, silhouettes and textures. The environments are crafted through a combination of prop building and digital manipulation. My editing techniques arise from my background in graphic design and oil painting.
I often lean towards an overarching theme rather than an in-depth narrative. I want my work to serve as a vehicle for others to connect with and use their imagination. Inviting my audience to channel their own interpretations of the worlds I create.
Everything can become an influence, from a talk to a live experience. My main inspirations come from other photographers I follow and admire. Also from movies. Cinema and everything that is inside of it, from characters to shots to light… All have a strong influence on my work.
For me, the important thing when telling a fashion story is finding a concept, idea or feeling to communicate inside of this fashion piece. Ideally, both a commercial and an artistic project have a strong artistic weight. Of course, when we talk about commercial work you have to have the product always in mind but I think that it should be integrated into the artistic concept.
I like to think that my “style” is always evolving and the more techniques and visual resources I have in my power, the freer I will be to create.
Instagram and social media have affected everything in our lives. They definitely affected a world that is based on images. I try to use it in my favour and I use it to promote my work and for daily access to everyone I love and the way they work making things.
For sure I have my preferences, I like working in analogue and my photos star queer people and people that I admire mainly. But I like to think that my “style” is always evolving and the more techniques and visual resources I have in my power, the freer I will be to create.
I feel through my eyes. My worldview was formed by childhood and youth impressions, travels, and short sayings that became important for the development of my creative personality. There are many interesting stories that influenced the taste and vision of the final result and shaped the influence.
In kindergarten, one girl drew a thin line of a small house and huge clouds above it. I was impressed by the laconic composition and the space. The picture was already good, but it became fantastic when she tore off the corner of the paper with the cloud and put it next to it. As if nothing special, this opportunity to go beyond the limits impressed me. I realized then that I wanted to do not just something beautiful, but something that would cause admiration for its uniqueness and originality.
I am influenced by the desire to create original works that impress, and that have aesthetic value. The search for something special – is the main thing that drives me in photography.
I need to see all the pieces of the puzzle first to understand the harmony in the frame.
I need to see all the pieces of the puzzle first to understand the harmony in the frame. Before the photo session, I look at the clothes and start there. I understand which model I want to see, the team, what mood permeates the frame, the light, every detail gives an understanding of what the final result will be. Intuition helps me a lot.
Advertising shooting should give the viewer a dream, style, character, desire – A goal to try and achieve. Artistic photography seeks to evoke emotions. I strive to combine desire and feeling in my work.
Social media platforms have created healthy competition, and artists have opened up to bold decisions and self-expression. Thanks to Instagram, many people have formed their visual taste and had the opportunity to speak to a wide audience through fashion. It affects the speed of development and diversity in the fashion industry, and encourages the trend of boldness and integration, as well as the release of creative energy. At the moment, Instagram is interested in short promo videos, stories, and reels, I am interested in this trend. I am also trying my hand at creating original short videos for Instagram, and you can see them on my page.
My visual taste is driven by the future. I am interested in experiments, new forms, and modern possibilities. I want to work with what influences the present. I want the future to come, I like to intertwine incompatible elements, I want to give life to new connections, to build aesthetic harmony where it is impossible to predict itMy style is in the spirit of this time. I am from Ukraine, where many talented creative people strive to form their visual individuality, free self-perception, and courage of self-expression. This is very close to me, so first I have to impress my inner critic, and only then show the result to the public. In fact, being a photographer is a great responsibility, as it shapes the images and desires of the present, which influences the future.
As a fashion photographer as well as an illustrative art director, I believe my art is a way of expressing myself so each photo I shoot has a piece of me in it. That is where I build my inspiration from. It has always been beautiful because every time I go out to shoot content I feel a great relief, I feel I have expressed myself to diverse people of different cultures and they understand it. That alone is a beautiful reward.
Fashion tells different stories, from colours to culture to human behaviour in certain environments fusing to create a story that genuinely means something.
Fashion tells different stories, from colours to culture to human behaviour in certain environments fusing to create a story that genuinely means something. Not just to society at large, but to the creator him/herself. To me, this is how to tell the best fashion story.
To me, originality is important in a commercial shoot. A creative must know that you have to genuinely be true to your craft though sometimes clients have a choice. But if they didn’t like my work they wouldn’t reach out. Artists have to stay true to their craft.
Social media is another place on its own where everyone has their own ideas and opinions. So I will say social media can’t and should not affect the theme style and content of an artist instead the artist should be able to convince and attract the right audience for his or her craft for them not to go astray from their original purpose because “why we start is the most important part of our journey”.
I can’t pick a name for my style specifically because I explore a lot of different styles. That’s why my page is named a ‘gallery’ because I have different vibes and series. I will just say: All things Art, which includes fashion, illustrations, editorials, and lifestyle. I combine most things we all can relate with as well as culture and even emotions. How we feel – I just work with everything possible around me.
To my community, I will say I love them all. They’ve understood me well enough to know the category of each piece of my content and they appreciate all of it equally. That’s why I say artists should be true to their Art’s originality, it matters.