Fashion photographer. Time capturer. Patrick Demarchelier’s protégé. Fearless strategist.
Originally, this project began as a beauty story. I had a general idea of where the shoot was headed – a beauty story with a unique face. Our model Arselajda has a very interesting face and I wanted to focus on how those strange angles in her facial features all blended together to make her, her. Typically, my idea of the final image is quite different from how it actually comes out – those little differences develop the picture into something beautiful and authentic.
Everyone gets inspired by things, but I try not to let it influence me too much – it’s too powerful of a force to copy. I always try to add a little twist, something a little stranger than any expects. In this particular case, there is no deep personal meaning behind the shoot – I just tried to turn my visual idea into reality. If you do the expected, it becomes boring, while the unexpected has a chance of being good.
Initially, I planned on most of the shots being close-ups highlighting the makeup and face, and possibly just a few accessories. However, our stylist, Christopher Quarterman, came up with the garments that were so powerful that they had to be the focus of the shoot. Now I think that without the clothes, it would have probably gotten a bit stale. Our team, which consisted of model Arselajda Buraku, makeup artist Delina Medhin, hair stylist Takashi Ashizawa, fashion stylist Christopher Quarterman, and nail artist Angel Williams, did an amazing job creating these fascinating looks.
THE UNBEARABLE BRIGHTNESS OF BEING
Towards the end of this project, several insights about editing and story flow came to light. Obviously, we all have our own tastes when it comes to photography, so we didn’t quite agree on the first edit. Should we look at the images individually or all together as a story? Should we drop the shots we didn't agree on if it means skipping a look? As I wasn’t a huge fan of our initial choices, we had to find a compromise, so I spent a lot of time with the images on the computer, fixing this and that, playing with the imagery – that’s how you learn to respect the process of editing.
I really try not to appease to the audience. It might sound very selfish, but I don’t take photographs trying to please the audience as it inevitably leads to creating the most boring and forgetful imagery. Then why bother at all?
• Kafka on the Shore: Haruki Murakami
Favorite thing about living in New York ⇢ The rain and neon signs at night
One thing you can't survive in the city without ⇢ Chapstick
Three adjectives describing New York ⇢ Energetic Intense Dangerous
The most inspiring spot in the city ⇢ The walk from Queens to Brooklyn
Current obsession ⇢ Paintings by Egon Schiele // Cooking with Chili oil