In collaboration with Ukrainian womenswear brand BEVZA, New York-based Ukrainian photographer and cinematographer Lena Shkoda has produced a sublime campaign, “GYM”, for the brands fierce Spring/Summer 2013 collection. The beautifully elegant silhouettes of BEVZA look great in this urban gym setting, giving the shoot an undeniable edge which seems to both clash with and compliment the brands aesthetic, fitting in with designer Svetlana Bevza’s young, fearless and adventurous style this season. Never did I think that a collection underlined by luxury through its domineering use of silk would look so great in front of a bold red or yellow background, or in front of a basketball team.
Photography by Lena Shkoda
Images courtesy of Lena Shkoda
In light of me falling completely and utterly in love with the work of London-based photographer Steven James Emberton, I had to interview him…
When did you discover your interest in photography?
When I was a boy I learned with a friend and by trial and error to develop and print black & white. I had the bathroom at my parent’s house blacked out.
What is it about fashion photography that you prefer over other forms?
I like many types of photography. In fact, recently I’ve been shooting street scenes in a Canadian prairie town. It was almost by accident that I found myself involved with fashion.
In 2001 I was shooting for a motorbike magazine in London. Those guys are quite tough and back then never seemed to like my work much at all. It was a struggle. Then one day I got a call from Storm asking me to shoot for them.
What were you doing before you became a photographer?
I was involved with music and also painting. In the late 70s and early 80s I played in various bands as a bass player as well as doing session work at Amazon Studios Liverpool. I did that for about 8 years. I also tried my hand at music production which seemed the natural step and I would still be in music if photography didn’t exist – but at this point I realised that the visual world of light and colour was where I needed to be.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers and fashion photographers in particular?
Fashion is a people business so you are always working in a team, which is basically in conflict with the nature of most photographers; we are loners so being among a lot of people whilst trying to be creative is not that easy. I think it’s vitally important to understand this.
I always identify mostly with the models that are in a quite unique and vulnerable position, they are highly scrutinised and need all the support they can get which is what I try to do.
Being able to motivate people is important although it’s not that easy with some of the people you encounter. It’s a fast and ever changing business so some inner strength is needed. I would say just try to stay real and find something uniquely yours.
What has been the highlight of your fashion career so far?
For me it’s the building of The Camera Room. But on a personal level, the time spent working with Storm was a great fun and meeting all the young models and their families.
What are you doing when you’re not taking pictures?
The usual normal stuff… Spending time with family and so on, and playing the guitar a little while planning the next photography project.
If you could work with any designer or brand, who is it that you would work with?
On the fashion side of things of course I like the big names like Westwood and even Prada but I also like the ‘High Street’. Some of those brands would be interesting to me.
What would you consider to be your ‘signature’ style?
I’m aiming for understated but distinctive.
In your opinion, what camera should beginners be using?
There’s a lot of superstition and chance involved with photographers and their cameras. Probably you start by getting the same camera as your hero? At least that’s what I did, only, my heroes (August Sander, Richard Avedon and Paolo Roversi) all used an 8×10 inch plate camera at times, which is very cumbersome to use and today really hard to get film for. Nevertheless I obtained one in 2004 and I love the results. I met Paolo and he said he hoped I didn’t regret getting it, but not so far. I also use a Leica which is the opposite end of the scale. I like the results of this too but I can’t explain why it works. I mean if you look at it, it shouldn’t work when you compare it to the super technological cameras of today. I do shoot digital at times, but never much liked the results. Yep, it’s complicated!
Photography by Steven James Emberton
Images courtesy of Steven James Emberton
I recently stumbled upon the work of Sydney based fashion photographer, director and cinematographer Bec Lorrimer and, after flicking through her almost endless portfolio, was instantly impressed. Bec has worked with an array of magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Yen, and Tangent Magazine, and with numerous brands including Coca Cola, Ginger & Smart, and Rebecca Vallance, among countless others. Not to mention, her personal portfolio is nothing less than sublime.
Light seems to be a very important aspect of Bec’s work as she creates beautiful shots using both natural and manufactured light, at times creating breathtaking images by using shadows or manipulating the light in a particular way in order to highlight an individual’s best feature or emotion.
You can view more of Bec’s work on her website.
Images courtesy of Bec Lorrimer
“I take photographs of what interest me, what’s around me, photographs of people places and things that really exist. The monumental and minimal both inspire equally. Contemplation and play are both essential to my work. I believe it is possible to achieve the right feeling in a picture by simple means. I like the unpredictable, the accidental and the unknowable in photography, this often results in very interesting things.”
Steven James Emberton is a London based fashion photographer who should definitely be on your creative radar! After flicking through some of Steven’s work I’ve come to know him as a photographer who manages to capture emotion superbly, and his eye for unique imagery, working in both black & white and colour, is
probably definitely something worth observing.
You can view more of Steven’s work on his blog.
Images courtesy of Steven James Emberton
I’ve recently taken on a writing position at HUF Magazine; a creative magazine for the creative mind. To begin with I will be contributing towards the magazine’s web-blog but, in time, I hope to advance onto print. My first post is a post that introduces ‘White Noise’, an unpublished editorial by photographer Lena Shkoda that features pieces from Ksenia Schnaider‘s Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
I have recently come to admire the work of London based film and photo duo meandbe Pictures, and it was only after seeing their work with Irish womenswear designer Stephanie Grace Foy that I knew we had something rather spectacular on our hands. The duo do not only have a lovely personality, but are also incredibly talented when it comes to manipulating both manufactured and natural light in order to get the best image possible, which they did ever so well when shooting Stephanie Grace Foy’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
As I do with all individuals and duo’s I admire, I had to bug them for an interview and, to my delight, they replied promptly and agreed to the interview, adding “we are quite fresh to the industry any publicity is welcomed” followed by, “pop through the questions and we’ll get working on them tonight.”
What is meandbe Pictures?
MeAndBe are a friendly collaboration born from a love of pictures. We have come from a background of film & photo and have naturally found ourselves bridging the gap between the two disciplines, specialising in fashion film.
What were you doing before you founded meandbe Pictures?
After studying cinematography together Me toured as a photographer on the U2 360 Tour and Be worked as a photographer’s assistant, then began shooting her own fashion stories.
What has been the highlight of your photographic career so far?
Turning around a fashion film in less than 36 hours for jewelry designer Merle O’Grady. We conceived, produced, shot and cut it together on a whim and it turned out pretty good. We were very happy with the finished piece; it proved to us that working under tight time constraints is something we can do and that pressure is something we work well under.
Is there a designer or brand you would like to work with if you got the chance?
We shot behind the scenes at London Fashion Week last season and found ourselves enthralled by Mary Katrantzou‘s pieces. We love the playful approach to her design, like her literal version of the pencil skirt and the clever visual trickery with her prints as seen in the typewriter dress. All of this while indulging and adoring the lines and curves of the female form. We salute her!
What is your idea of an ideal weekend?
One that never ends…
Why do you think designers and brands choose meandbe Pictures?
Because of our unique ideas to how designers and their brand should be presented. We strive towards a true representation of the designer and their work by capturing the emotion or initial idea that surrounds their collection. For example, the intention behind our most recent fashion film for Stephanie Grace Foy (coming soon) was for it to act as a visual business card rather than a seasonal exclusive piece. Here we concentrated on the roots of her design process by using a lot of projection to convey her use of digital draping and her talent as a pattern cutter.
Do you have a ‘signature’ technique?
We like to move, to track within the picture. We feel motion carries the onlooker through the story and builds a sense of emotion.
Who is your favourite designer or brand?
We’re not partial to favourites but we do appreciate great design. Brands such as Muji for their stationary or designers like Comme des Garcons for their T’s, both Japanese in origin, both very efficient but stay true stylish design.
Where in London do you like to hang out? Do you have a favourite coffee spot or restaurant?
If you could collaborate with another photographer, who would you like to collaborate with?
For Me it would be Paolo Roversi and Be has a soft spot for Tim Walker‘s work but we both adore Gregory Crewdson‘s cinematic images. The way he paints with light and his ability to conjure up a whole narrative in one image is breathtaking.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up in the near future for meandbe Pictures?
We recently met a man with a bag of birds on an old route master bus. We’re very excited but that’s all we can give away right now.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
When starting out say yes as you’ll always learn something. Discovering what you don’t like is the best way to reveal your own style.
Images courtesy of Stephanie Grace Foy
My fifth post for We Are Selecters is a post that introduces incredibly talented, London based fashion photographer Bella Howard.
I wanted to take a minute or two to introduce you all to a wonderful aspiring photographer, who most definitely fits the bill when it comes to the style of photography that I personally admire. Charlotte King resides in South Gloucestershire, United Kingdom and is currently a photography student at the Bristol School Of Art. With her being just 19-years-old, I’m somewhat surprised to see the sheer amount of passion she has for photography, and I’m almost positive that you will agree with me when I say that her passion for the subject spills into her work, and the outcome is truly inspiring.
After chatting to Charlotte, I can safely say that in addition to being handy with a camera, she also has a wonderful personality, and is possibly one of the sharpest dressed aspiring photographers I’ve ever come across.
Charlotte currently posts regularly on her blog, which is titled Charlotte’s Web. Not only does she post her work, the work of various photographers that inspire her and music she admires, but also outfit posts and fashion-orientated posts – which prove that she is a dab hand when it comes to looking fly. Believe me; this girl knows a thing or two about vintage clothing and vintage shopping!
Lastly, I would really appreciate it if you would take a second or two to head on over to the Charlotte King Photography Facebook page and hit the ‘Like’ button, and trust me when I say that this is the start of something phenomenal!
Images courtesy of Charlotte King