Calexico is dipping our toe into the world of editorial fashion. That’s right Vogue. Two can play this game. And who better to spotlight and walk us through the creative process of an editorial shoot and all things inspo, aesthetics, shutter, flash and other photography words, than our very own resident photographer, Evelina Fietisova.
Her most recent project, MERCI, (which also by the way, features our incredible part-time Calexico stylist and full-time bombshell, Greta Hampson) saw her draw inspiration from the elusive French-girl persona that Calexico has established, borrowing from the allure of international style. And frankly, we couldn’t be more obsessed.
Describe your personal aesthetic as a photographer in three words.
Raw, minimalistic with a strong appreciation of the female beauty.
(We’d also like to add “rebellious” to this list – we asked for three words and she gave us 10. *)
How did you start out in photography?
I have been fascinated by the art of photography and retouching since I was 10. I’d spend hours on Photoshop, concealing photo elements using the hard-edges brush and adding stars around every photo as my signature. When I was studying at university, I realised that photography is something that really brings the joy into my life, so that became my main hobby. Now, four years later, here I am. Determined to make it happen for myself, because who doesn’t want to do what they love every single day right?
Suit by Transit – Available in store
How does your love of fashion feed into your photography?
My mother is a seamstress, so as a child I have always been floating around, wearing her unique designs. It has taught me that in fashion – the sky is your limit. I love the freedom I get when I shoot fashion. There’s me, my model, my location, my vision and no boundaries or restrictions.
Growing up in Europe, how do you find that your background has influenced you now looking back?
Moving here from Ukraine in 2010, I’ve heard it first-hand that I am a very direct person.
I just believe that as a photographer, you should never compromise your aesthetic for someone’s convenience. It’s your signature. I am fair, but pride myself on being a tough b***h.
(She really is.)
Is there more to your work beyond photography that you find passion in?
I find passion in playing the piano, drawing and painting. But I LOVE retouching!
Beyond that, one of my favourite things to do is design clothing and beg my mum to make it for me.
(She also tried her hand at a 9 hour stint of veganism. Like most millennials, it ended with a bowl of creamy Fettuccine.)
Jewellery by Arabella Rocha, Top by Rag & Bone – Available in store
How do you put together your inspiration for your projects and shoots?
I put together mood boards. Pinterest is a huge tool for me, I’ll pin everything I can, starting from textures, to colours, make up and backgrounds, anything that inspires me.
(Expert tip: If you download the Pinterest plug-in on google chrome, you can pin anything you come across!)
Are there artists, labels and photographers that you look to for direction?
I love the work of Brydie Mack, Anya Holdstock, Ben Sasso, Ming Nomchong and Cecilie Lindegaard. There is never a shortage of people and designs to be inspired by.
If you could photograph anyone from the history, who would it be?
And Maya Stepper.
(Had to google her too.)
On this particular shoot, what was your inspiration and what were you wanting to achieve?
It always starts with the model. As soon as I met Greta, I had a set aesthetic for our shoot. When I have such a cool, natural, effortless beauty on board, I have no trouble visualising the concept. We were going for a soft look that really captured a delicate femininity and vulnerability that played with a juxtaposition that offered a tiny kick of sex appeal.
(And they nailed it if we don’t say so ourselves…)
Pants by Avant Toi, Jewellery by Arabella Rocha – Available in store
Do you find you are influenced by other forms of art (film, music, etc.) within your photography?
Definitely! As a person with a musical background I find music as one of the most inspirational forms of art, alongside with film, architecture, fashion design and visual art.
(More specifically… Check out her Calexico playlist)
What is your secret to taking a really incredible photo?
The secret to capturing a really incredible photo really comes down to timing. A great photo stems from a candid and authentic moment. Avoid all artificial lighting wherever possible and enjoy the natural light! My favourite time of day to shoot is either first thing in the morning or in the golden hour, as the sun is setting.
Name the Calexico item at the top of your wishlist?
This bag from Laura B… it is next level. I am obsessed.
(Get in line.)
Make Up: jdhillon_makeup_artistry