Monday, December 1, 2008

meaning of beauty (ROUGE magazine, december 2008)

[The idea of the project is to show the Beauty seen through the eyes
of fashion photographers from different parts of the world.]

How would you define beauty?
Beauty is a state of mind, body, and soul, that reflects as a calm self-confidence and a mysterious half-smile in one’s eyes; It’s a harmony of internal and external.

Why did you choose to present yourself with this photograph?
This photograph is very special to me for several reasons: It was my very first beauty shoot (that time I was still working as a corporate lawyer during the day while taking photography classes at night and doing test shoots on the weekends) but even couple years later this picture still makes me feel proud and content; Also, it was an amazing experience shooting it and witnessing how the look as if created itself from scratch - out of our common team energy, ideas on-the-go, things that surrounded us in the studio (for example, we bought roses in a Deli downstairs to go with the veil, and then we used curtains’ tassels to compliment the braids). The model is my good old friend Marina, and it was her first modeling experience as well. I think all these mixed up together gave this picture such an innocent and sincere feel of a natural beauty.

Where in the world live the most beautiful women?
I guess I can’t be objective coming from Russia – country that is famous for its beautiful women. As a fashion photographer I prefer working with Eastern European models, especially girls from Poland, Croatia, Slovakia. Slavic features have this unique pedigree and serene elegancy I personally find very attractive. You won’t call these girls just pretty – they are beautiful, with their long slender bodies, pensive eyes, and faces that can tell you a story.

Do you believe in phrase “The beauty will save the world”? Why?
I do. For me beauty is the opposite of self-destruction, yet it’s just another side of the same coin. It’s like good and bad. Our striving for beauty is opposed and balanced in a strange way by our propensity to ruin what we have. But striving for beauty is a stronger feeling because it’s genuine and it’s firstborn. And even if the world collapses beauty will prevail (and thus save the world) because there is beauty even in ugly things.

Monday, October 20, 2008

cover story with holly weston

on october 14th i received the following email from chantal de paris []:

"Let me introduce you to Holly Weston . Holly just star in Madonna directorial debut movie(Filth and Widsom); the premiere was last night at the sunshine cinema. She is in New York for one night only; Please let me know if you'd like to shoot with her."

of course, i do! my team (dina yassin, aldys minaya, sato taeko) put the shoot together within half a day. call time - october 15th, 6pm. it was also the first cold day in new york - and our shoot was taking place in the rough urban area of long island city at night.

holly was courageous and patient - we were keeping her warm with a blanket in between the looks, but in front of the camera she was relaxed and sexy despite of the autumn chill.

the story was a success and got picked up to accompany holly's exclusive interview to ROUGE magazine.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

theFashionSpot: julia pogodina, featured photographer | from law to fashion... [excerpt]

Q: What's your perspective on women in fashion photography since it sometimes seems to be a male-dominated industry?

A: Alas, that is what it looks like. There are some big female photographers – like Ellen Von Unwerth, Bettina Rheims, Annie Leibovitz, and Sarah Moon – but they are very few. I always wondered why that is. Maybe because fashion is mostly about women and there is a perception that there is no one better than a men to show the best side of the feminine?

That's why it flatters me so much when people say that my photography is very masculine. By just looking at my pictures you wouldn't guess that they were photographed by a woman. My female models usually have strong personalities and apparent sex appeal, while the men may look softer and sometimes even feminine. I don't really think about it when I shoot, it just comes naturally.

Q: Do you feel any advantages in being a woman in fashion photography?

A: Absolutely! I think many guys, while being good photographers, totally forget about the fashion part. They either don't know it really well or just don't care, leaving everything to their stylist or art director.

In my case I am not sure which part I like more – fashion or photography. And thank god I don’t need to choose! I love fashion and I know it well. On my own shoots I am always taking part in the process of styling, and sometimes even totally take over. It definitely helps because you need to know (and love!) the clothes to photograph them right. And let's not forget that an ultimate goal of any fashion photograph is to sell that dress!

Also, being a female photographer definitely helps you to establish level of trust and intimacy with a model who later on will bring out the most she can give during the shoot. This is especially true when it comes to nude and lingerie shoots.

Full version of the interview read at: