Powered by the smart phone’s advanced camera systems, these five photographers each present their own photographic series on being a woman in 2021, and how it has shaped their work. From capturing intimate everyday happenings to significant moments, here are the words, vision and self-reflection of five female creatives in an otherwise seemingly male-dominated industry.
Karolina Jez (@karolinajez)
About the series “As a female photographer working in an industry that is still quite dominated by male photographers, I aim to explore the stories of other female creatives in my work — what got them started, how they are building their brands, how they see the world. I spent a day in the studio with an amazing up-and-coming musician, Shah Frank. Her energy and talent are infectious.”
“Using iPhone 12 Pro Max, I decided to shoot Frank in black and white to explore her strong presence among the many men who often surround her in the studio. The Ultra Wide camera was a game changer, allowing me to capture the complete environment of a scene and how Frank interacts with the space around her. I loved being able to create some really interesting angles from above and below.”
Montreal-based photographer Karolina Jez‘s work is greatly inspired by her childhood in Europe, surrounded by different cultures and languages from a very young age. She has worked with high fashion names such as Gucci, and Ralph Lauren.
Julia Mayarova (@ilovemayarova)
About the series “I don’t want to claim myself agender but I feel like there are so many things that define me and what I do better than a certain affiliation to one gender or another. We all have feminine and masculine sides that should be equally appreciated, and I constantly maneuver between feeling more of a girl and more of a boy. For this project, I played with pink and blue, the most sex-associated colours in a palette, to portray everyday objects. Their colours mix up and get a little crazy, so that you can’t really know what the original colour was. I like the idea of this fluidity — just as the sky can be blue in the afternoon and then pink at sunset, people may feel and look differently at certain points. And instead of overthinking if they’re right or wrong, natural or unnatural, we can just enjoy them and their beauty.”
“All of my post-production editing was done with iPhone and nothing else. I reduced the overall noise using built-in adjustments in the Photos app and applied a filter for a personalized touch, but it’s crazy how fast we got from super-complicated image processing with scanning and manually editing layers to being able to create whatever comes to mind using just an iPhone.”
Born and raised in Russia, Julia Mayarova‘s photographic style focuses on atmospheric sophisticated colour gamut and explicit clean shapes. Currently based in L.A., she has shot for leading fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Chanel and celebrities including Nicole Kidman and Georges Clooney.
Anna Aiko (@anna.aiko)
About the series “Since ancient times, hospitality has been the most important cultural aspect in the Arab home. As a female photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to form deeper connections with the women and I have been welcomed like a family member. I was able to access the hidden beauty of those Arabic woman’s life, which inspired me to know more about empowerment of the woman and their culture. In this futuristic city of Dubai, there is deep hidden history of the Bedouin Women. They travel according to the flow of the seasons in the vast desert, shifting between the earth and the sky. Handicraft knowledge was transmitted from mothers to daughters, the technique of Ghazel, using sheep wool in creating Bait Al Sha’ar houses, blankets, etc. — preserving the Emirati heritage.”
“I’m really impressed by how well iPhone 12 can capture and archive the beauty and colours in such artistic way. And with Night mode, it captures even more of what we can see with our own eyes in the night.”
Born in Toyko, and raised between Eastern and Western cultures in Japan and France, Anna Aiko is a global traveller, dedicated photographer, and Psycho-Energy Therapist.
Vanessa Wong (@vanlml)
About the series “My work departs from typical femininity, which often uses colours for communicating warmth, mood and emotion. Instead, I move beyond gender to become a creature of the night – in a culture where nocturnal solitude is not a norm. I buck the norm by relying on minimal light to tell a story, allowing elements of the image to be swallowed up in blackness.”
“Night mode has been a powerful tool in enabling me to explore my style in much darker environments on iPhone. I love playing with shadows and light which is of course the heart of black & white photography. I hope people who see my work can use their creativity and imagination to compose their very own unique interpretations — to use black & white as a way to recreate their own story with their own ‘colour’.”
Vanessa Wong specializes in black and white night photography, sports photography, and gravitates towards capturing Hong Kong’s dynamic nature at night.
Chiara Mirelli (@chiaramirelli)
About the series “Especially in Italy, sport is linked to soccer, to teams and something that causes fans to lineup. But sport is much more diverse than that. I wanted to capture female roller skaters and skateboarders who compete on the skate ramps often populated by boys and have forged a community where they spend their time comparing jumps or tricks with extreme naturalness and open-mindedness.”
“I’ve been shooting with my iPhone for years and when not working, I almost never carry my equipment. All I need is my iPhone. I love experimenting between the Wide, Ultra Wide and Telephoto cameras to see how you can capture completely different perspectives of the same shot with such ease. Portrait mode is also a feature I like to utilize frequently when I’m a bit further away from my subject.”
Having graduated from the Cinema, Television and New Media school in 2011, Milan-based Chiara Mirelli has always been involved in the music scene- creating portraits, booklets, and music videos for various Italian artists.
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