Here I am back to my editing nights,
comfy cosy when outside it's raining and there's just me, some good music playing in the background, my sketches for the next project and thousands of pictures to edit...
It might not sound like the perfect Saturday night and it's not the first neither the last time that'll happen to me to rather stay home and work instead of going out, but I must confess I missed this so much!
Especially where two of my best friends are available for a way too long and chatty brake in between...
Despite the ridiculous amount of things to do before to go to bed (it's gonna be a long night...) I decided to take one extra brake in order to introduce something to you,
or I should say someone...
Antonina Zharko is a fashion photographer.
Despite her degree in translation from Russian to English and Spanish and despite her first love with black and white photography and film cameras, she is now positive that fashion will be her last destination.
Currently about to graduate at Griffith College Dublin, she cannot wait to get her BA in Photography in order to go out in the world and do what she loves the most: create strong, beautiful, fashion forward scenarios where there’s only her and her camera and everyone else works in function of that to create some incredible images.
Antonina’s photographs are the kind of images you would cut out of a fashion magazine and stick on the wall or keep inside of a book to remember. They are beautiful, even if she is not a big fan of editing and Photoshop. Which also means that these photographs are good by themselves, without the need to modifying them too much, which sometimes happens in fashion photography.
Very strong, she likes attitude because she has one, but positive.
Very simple, because everything you need is a bit of good taste to create something special and memorable.
A bit crazy sometimes which tells a lot about her courage: she is not afraid of experimentation and that’s why she will probably keep getting better and better.
I have been interviewing Antonina for one of the magazines I'm contributing to (it's a great one, you should all check it out: http://www.reykjavikboulevard.com) and I would like to share with you the questions she has been giving me,
hopefully you'll be as inspired from her as I have been!
Your first project, last project and future project: how would you describe them?
My first projects were mostly single-photograph-projects, as it was difficult for me to make series of images of one theme or subject. I carefully selected good images and worked on them. I thought that one strong single image could well worth a series of ten. I started with black and white film photography. My first images were pretty dark and moody. And I used to work in the darkroom a lot. Then I moved to colour and when I started my second year in college I thought I had to move on to make series of images and I did a lot of street photography at that time. Although I switched to colour completely, almost all images had the same poetic mood. Most of those projects were a reflection of me, very self-oriented. So I don’t know if they were of any interest to other viewers, rather than myself, if you know what I mean. Than after I finished my second year in college I decided to try fashion photography and I liked it very much. I started to shoot for beginning designers and then moved on collaborating with model agencies. No my projects are more commercial oriented but I think I managed to keep the same style as I had from when I just started. Every project for me, whether it is a single image or a series, is like a music piece, if you know what I mean.
What do you find inspiring and how would you describe your lifestyle?
I am inspired by movies quite a bit. But generally it is random things that inspire me. Sometimes I don’t know where the inspiration comes from, I never think of it. People that surround me can be quite inspiring sometimes. I am quite an introvert but I never avoid talking to people and I am more of a listener rather than talker. Everyday is quite busy in planning the shoots and new projects. I don’t like spontaneity, everything has to be carefully planned at least by 80 percent, the rest 20 I leave for a sudden inspiration. I think of photography every day, I do it every day. Basically, looking at life, people, places through the viewfinder is my lifestyle, if you know what I mean.
What would you be today if you hadn’t followed your dreams of being a photographer?
I would probably translate literature. That is what I wanted to do before I started photography.
Artists and events: could you tell us the most interesting that you’ve found in your career until now?
Unfortunately in the place where I live now there are not many things happening in the art world that I could be interested in. That is why when I travel to other countries I always try to find a chance to visit as many events as possible. Well, maybe the exhibition of Tom Wood’s work in the National Media Museum in Bradford… I loved it and was inspired by his work at some point. Yes, that is the one I can remember of.
The place where you were born, the place where you live, the best place where you travelled with your work: can you tell us something that only you know to describe them?
I was born in Omsk, a city in Western Siberia. And I would say if I were a model scout I would go to Omsk for the most beautiful female models. Yes, it describes everything. Now I live and study in Dublin. It is a special city for me probably because Dubliners remind me of Russians, same attitude, lots of similarities. My favourite place I travelled to is Manchester. I think it completely suits my personality, very cold, very industrial, very ‘button-down’, if you know what I mean.
Pictures: Antonina Zharko All Rights Reserved.
Another reason why I'd like you to get interested about Antonina (aka Toni) is the upcoming photo shoot that we are going to do together next Tuesday, and that I am going to style.
I guess it's going to be quite an easy challenge as we are going to feature some truly amazing designers such as Honor Fitzsimons, Louise Rawlins, Maria Lola Roche, Rebecca Kenny and Sookyoung Song...
Of course, much more coming up on that!
Therefor, this time is a must: stay tuned!