London-based and Brazilian-born BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production alumna Carolina Mizrahi is an emerging talent in fashion photography after exhibiting her work in London, Stockholm and getting the cover image of several magazines along the way.
Fresh from a solo exhibition at the Bay Gallery Home, and shooting the cover image for After Nyne magazine, Carolina has been using her photography as a medium to explore modern women in advertising. Her feminine and surreal documentation style of photography is elevating her into a household name in photography. She’ll be exhibiting her work at The Other Art Fair London later this year, alongside the next generation of undiscovered and emerging artists.
LCF News talks to Carolina about contemporary beauty, working with Vogue and fashion photography.
You were a fashion designer back in Rio de Janeiro, what made you want to explore a career change?
I was very limited creatively speaking, working as a menswear designer for a brand mainly focused on sales. I started planning a ‘company change’, although my career took a different path when I casually started studying photography. Coming from a background in fashion design, I was collaborating with other artists and shooting for small brands across Rio de Janeiro. One year later, I decided to quit my job and study photography abroad for a while, now it’s been six years.
What made you want to move to the UK and study at LCF?
London melted my heart from day one. I knew I wanted to live here for a while since the first time I stepped foot in the city. London is full of contrasts between modern and tradition architectural styles, full of interesting and different people from all over the world. It’s an incredibly vibrant and creative city. At that time, I was already tired of my position as a fashion designer and just started shooting for small brands in Rio. It sounded like the perfect moment to embrace the experience of leaving abroad while pursuing a new passion.
How would you describe your style?
Feminine and playful.
Your shoots are full of life, colour and feminity, what do you think that says about you?
I trust myself. I follow my instincts.
Can you tell us a little bit about what your showcasing at the Arusha Gallery and The Other Art Fair London, and how it came about?
My exhibition at Arusha Gallery has just finished, it was great to be able to showcase my Avatar Collection alongside the super talented Juno Calypso in Edinburgh. The gallery set up was perfect for my work and the exhibition overall was really successful. Talking about The Other Art Fair, I’m planning on exhibiting a new project called Eve (6–9 October). I particularly enjoy doing the fair because it’s an opportunity for me to be physically in contact with people that enjoy my work. For this fair edition, I worked on a selection of fine art posters which will be sold in editions of 500, it’s a way of making my art accessible for a larger number of people.
Your photos explore women in advertising and contemporary beauty ritual with a sense surrealism. What made you want to document this?
I studied advertising in Rio de Janeiro, and have always been bit intrigued about how advertising manipulates society’s notion of reality. At university, I discovered Simone de Beauvoir, John Berger, and Jean Baudrillard among many others. This theoretical background made me realise my responsibility as an image maker and shape my voice as a female artist. The more you see things, the more they become normalised to you. I want to visually represent women on a respectful, inclusive and diverse way.
Tell us a little bit about your life post-graduation, and working for clients like Vogue Brazil/Portugal and Time Out?
After university I felt a bit lost. My portfolio wasn’t particularly fashion related and I struggled to find my place in the industry. You send 50 emails and maybe 1 person gets back to you after one week. It is really rewarding when you receive an invitation to work for a magazine such as Vogue, it feels like everything else was worth it.
How does it feel seeing your work on the cover of After Nyne magazine? Can you also tell us a little bit about the project please?
I think the cover looks great, I am so excited about it! In fact, the whole feature alongside the interview looks really nice. The issue was about ‘the avant-garde’. I wanted to create something connected to the representation of women in media. Searching back in history, I started to go through the many different ways which Eve has been chronologically represented. The representation of each Eve is connected to the perception of beauty of each period. I thought it would be fun to do my own contemporary representation of Eve, very playful and feminine including different ages and shapes. The idea is to propose that every beauty deserves to be visually communicated on a positive way.
What was your favourite thing about studying photography at LCF?
Oh so many things… I really enjoyed my time at university. I connected with creatives from all over the world. Being able to work on personal projects while being supervised by professionals it’s also a great learning. I loved the cultural studies subjects, it really opened my mind to a whole new world of ideas and concepts, changed my perception as an image maker and women.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying photography, and what they need to keep in mind when entering the industry?
From my experience, really believe in yourself and do invest time building your own portfolio. Working in the industry is a constant learning, be professional and work hard.
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