These days, commissioned work is what takes up most of my time and I don’t spend as much time as I used to doing personal shoots which I miss very much. To focus on personal work means you break free of the rules that come with the assigned projects where a client is involved and there are a lot of expectations, there is a team involved and they too have to go by certain rules.
When there is none of the above everyone is free to be a bit risky and creative, think outside the box and pitch in ideas. It brings back free and forward thinking, there is room for surprise and it is extremely satisfying.
When it comes to models on personal shoots I go a lot by instinct. There are models that I have either worked with before and I love working with, like Eugenyia with whom we had worked on Sabyasachi’s campaigns. There are models that I had met in person before and I really wanted to work with, like Anjali and there are models whose photos I had seen and I found them very interesting like Zuzana and Ahran. For me it is not about beauty alone, I need for something more to be present in a model. I want to find the other person interesting enough to photograph and I want to be inspired.
To complete the team on this shoot I asked my friend Maniasha to do hair and make up and she came up with some really cool ideas and some wild 80’s references in a “revisited” way and my friend Allia Al Rufai for the styling. Allia has a very simplistic approach in the items she puts together, even with the busiest pieces. This was also the case on the clothes she gave me on this shoot.
Half of this shoot I went quite dark and I used the small white Profoto umbrella with a diffuser with a single light source and for the second half of the shoot where I wanted a more graphic result I again used a single light source but this time with the XL deep silver umbrella (no diffuser this time).
Editing the photos of this shoot was a challenge because I could not pick just one or two images from what we did so I ended up with A LOT of images to work on, but it was fun!
The Behind-the-Scenes video was shot and edited by Rose Tommy