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Life of Alumni: BA Fashion Photography alumna Marina Adam on exploring identity through photography

Female model posing wearing sunglasses
Female model posing wearing sunglasses

Written by
Jennifer Igiri
Published date
15 August 2019

Marina Adam graduated from BA (Hons) Fashion Photography in 2018, and has continued expanding her artistic horizons as a photographer ever since. Currently based in Stockholm, where she’s working on a photography project for young promising musicians, she chatted with us about her plans to become an internationally known photographer whilst exploring themes around diversity and identity in her work.

Hi Marina, what have you been up to since graduating from LCF?

After finishing my BA in Fashion Photography, I moved back to Moscow and spent most of my time working on personal projects to improve my portfolio. I’m now also doing commissioned work for private clients and still trying to figure out how to stand out in this super-competitive industry and become an internationally recognisable photographer.

How did your time at LCF impact the first steps of your career? 

LCF pushed me to create work, question things and gave me the freedom to explore myself as an artist. While studying, I experimented and made mistakes fearlessly. I realised that I needed to make something outstanding, something extraordinary, something that will make me different from others.

What was the highlight of your degree?

The opportunity to do my internship in British Vogue – a dream come true! But there were several other highlights: my work was selected for Xhibit 2017 Best Emerging Talent of UAL, and I completed an assistant job with a well-known photography studio in London, where I had the great opportunity to see the work process of legendary fashion photographers such as Peter Lindbergh and David LaChapelle.

What themes are you interested in exploring through your work?

I am interested in exploring identity, diversity and authenticity, which closely deals with my personal feelings — fantasy and emotions, I guess. I'm always searching for something extraordinary, fascinating, visual poetry that represents my personality.

Can you tell us about your favourite piece of work and the inspiration behind it? 

I was recently commissioned by a young talented Chinese fashion brand Villa XRWA (also alumni of LCF and CSM) to create a fashion campaign in Moscow, and I’m very proud of what we achieved. It was such a pleasure to work with people who have a similar vision and mindset. The project was inspired by Chinese cultural heritage, fairytales, diversity, and traditional paintings.

What makes a good photograph?

A good fashion photograph is all about research, understanding and identifying social, visual and fashion trends. It’s really important to be well-organised in the pre-production stage and have the right people on board. A little bit of a budget won’t hurt anyone of course!

Where do you think the fashion photography industry is heading? 

It is obvious that fashion photography is the most demanded photography genre. Nowadays we see fashion imagery literally everywhere on the internet, social media platforms, magazines, street campaigns, art galleries, etc — and it is not just about shooting clothes on a body anymore.

Fashion photography, as well as successful fashion brands, is about making a statement, a mirror of today’s social issues, a tool of communication through imagery. It is headed to reshape established cultural codes and social stereotypes. Through visual communication, society will be able to acknowledge social changes and question things.

What would you say to anyone interested in pursuing a career in fashion photography? 

You need to understand that this is an extremely competitive industry and there is no time for procrastination. Build a strategy before you start. Know the genre of fashion photography you would like to pursue and what kind of themes you would like to explore. Then start building a portfolio as quickly as possible. Just shoot, make mistakes, figure out things and network with people to promote yourself and your work. Be visible on social media, be communicative and try to make the right connections.

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