On Female Photographers – Olga Gridina

I had already met Olga in person once, before seeing her again for our portrait photo-shoot, on a gorgeous summer day, in London. We had been chatting online and following each other for around a year.
I still remember Olga’s first message to me, surprisingly asking about my work as a hobbyist writer. I happily found out we both love writing stories, and you can easily see how Olga is great in doing so also with her beautiful photos.
Originally from Russia, Olga Gridina attended the University in Yekaterinburg, where she received a Master degree in Arts with a specialisation in Architecture. She worked for many years as graphic designer, in the advertising, film and game industry, travelling around the world and living in some amazing places such as Spain and New Zealand. This until she moved to London, eight years ago.
Since then, she worked as a portrait and fashion photographer creating amazing images which are featured on magazines and platforms all around the world.
Her models are both strong and beautiful creatures. Very often they are redhead girls of renaissance inspiration, who dance in the wind and become one, in beauty, with the nature. Olga is also a very talented photographer of children, and her “painting” skills become evident in some of their beautiful portraits.
She loves connecting with people, when she works; and she encourages everyone to bring their own ideas to the shoot, to be themselves and have fun. Although she reckons this industry is a very competitive one, and jealousy is often a predominant feeling among photographers, she knows how to enjoy the little spot of quiet and creativity she found in it.
Talking to Olga, you can just smile and appreciate her lovely personality. She is a generous, down to earth, lively person whose positive feelings definitively shines in the eyes of those she photographs.

I thank Olga so much for the beautiful time spent together and I invite you to follow her work on Instagram: @olgagridinaphotography and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/olgagridinaphotography.

©2019 Flavia Catena

OlgaGridinaPortrait_FlaviaCatena_07riOlgaGridinaPortrait_FlaviaCatena_02riOlgaGridina_FlaviaCatena_02OlgaGridinaPortrait_FlaviaCatena_09riOlgaGridinaPortrait_FlaviaCatena_14ri

And below some stunning portraits by Olga!

3Q8A1482_cRAW_noise_FB3Q8A4548_cDesat2_FB3Q8A7828_c2_FB3Q8A0248_c_FB

 

The Photographers Series: Madara Freimane

A lilac summer dress, long blonde hair, porcelain skin and a sweet smile, Madara Freimane welcomed me on a warm spring day in the colourful neighbour of Notting Hill, London. We walked around Portobello Road looking for a place where to sit down and have a chat about her work, and we ended up in a lovely cozy cafe with beautiful windows facing the busy street.
Madara is a great freelance photographer and a strong, independent young woman promoting sustainability in the fashion industry through her successful platform What’s your legacy (WYL).
Originally from Latvia, she started taking photos while still living in her country. After a short period of time spent in Vienna, she then moved to London where she attended the London College of Fashion. It is during those years at University, immersing herself in a world which often shows us only its shining side, that she became aware of what’s behind the high street brands, of how clothes are produced – exploiting people and the environment – and of how depersonalising some trend can be when forcing us to buy and wear certain outfits due to their popularity.
The shining world then became dull if not even dark, and Madara decided to look more into sustainable brands whose clothes were both beautiful and ethically made, saying goodbye, with no regrets, to the high street ones.
The idea to offer other people the right tools to make their own decisions also when it comes to fashion, brought What’s your Legacy to life.
Madara now shoots for ethical brands, take videos interviewing people whose talent has been dedicated to the mission, and fill the online platform with amazing contents.
Also as a photographer, she looks for honesty and simplicity. She likes a portrait taken outdoors, with natural light; she loves working with trusted creatives and with models who are confident with their own bodies, who are guided by their personality, not by set rules. Her photos are candid, fresh and yet captivating, as the brands she works with and she promotes.
It is our responsibility, in the same way it is theirs, to make a difference, to show our unique faces and to work together for the world we value.
I thanks Madara so much for working with me on this project, and I invite you to have a look at her work at https://wylstore.com/ and to follow her on Instagram @wyl_store.
©2019 Flavia Catena
Madara_FlaviaCatena_19r
Madara_FlaviaCatena_02rMadara_FlaviaCatena_04rMadara_FlaviaCatena_08rMadara_FlaviaCatena_09rMadara_FlaviaCatena_10rMadara_FlaviaCatena_13r
Madara_FlaviaCatena_01r
Madara_FlaviaCatena_16rMadara_FlaviaCatena_18ri
Here below some of Madara’s photographs:
IMG_0885_editsn_2sm3z3flavia_5

In Conversation with photographer Katt Webster

Finn, a black, curious cat, jumped on the couch where I was sitting, ready to start a new conversation about fashion and photography. He smelled my face, as a way to welcome me, and then started wondering around the bright room. Katt Webster is Finn’s owner, and the second artist I decided to portrait for my new series about young women behind a camera.
Katt is a very talented photographer whose style captured me since when I first had a look at her work. The beautiful pastel colours of her images, the harmony of the poses and compositions make her pictures really captivating and pleasant to the eyes.
Katt’s adventure with photography started when she was 16, and she was living in a small village in the surrounding of Oxford. Some fine art and photography courses make her interest in the field grow (one of her teacher was interestingly Norman Parkinson’s nephew!), and she began experimenting with shooting fashion, something that had fascinated her since she was a teenager. She then moved to London and worked for some time as social-media manager before becoming a full time freelance photographer.
Photography can be definitively a difficult path to walk on, sometimes, Katt reckons, but those around you really make the difference. She feels lucky to collaborate and work with emerging designers, brands and creatives. Although a certain luck of communication and the difficulty – sometimes also as a woman – to be recognised and supported can be draining, meeting new people, people to share a passion and an inspiration with, and doing something different everyday make her feel free. And freedom is what gives every artist a reason to live with their art!
We had just finished talking about this when Katt introduced me to Teddy, her youngest adopted cat, only one month, that I decided to photograph with her. Of course, we included also Finn in the session, and had what every creative should have when working: a lot of fun!

I thank Katt very much for her time and for what she shared with me about herself and her work. Do not miss to have a look at her website: https://www.kattwebster.co.uk/, and follow her on Instagram: @kattwebsterphoto. Here below you’ll see also a selection of her beautiful portraits!

©2019 Flavia Catena

KattWebster_FlaviaCatena_18riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_16riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_17riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_13riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_14riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_05riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_04ri.jpgKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_11riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_12riKattWebster_FlaviaCatena_19ri

Katt Webster’s photos:

_MG_6172Photo 09-09-2018, 10 08 57 pmIMG_6316Photo 20-07-2018, 6 45 59 pmPhoto 29-04-2018, 6 24 08 pm

Conversation with Female Photographers – Kat Terek

I met Kat on a Saturday winter morning. The dark clouds were hiding the sun which tried to sneak out at times, while we were talking, seated at a coffee shop nearby Farrington station. I had asked Kat to choose a location she had a sort of connection with, where to take her portrait.
It took me long to give consistency to a series of thoughts I have been having for months, and then, one day, I woke up thinking to shoot a series about female photographers, in order to describe the strength, the passion, the perseverance of being a mind and a soul behind the camera, and of showing both the mind and the soul in the images that camera helps taking.
Kat was then the first photographer I decided to approach, and I was so happy she accepted to take part into my project. We have been following each other’s work for quite some time. I immediately loved Kat’s style, the warm colours giving depth to her photographs, the light enriching them and the stories she was telling through them. This is what she loves of being a fashion photographer: the possibility to work around an idea and to develop its narrative in a clear but personal way.
Kat discovered her passion for photography a few years ago, when she was studying Audio Video Engineering at Glasgow University. It was thanks to a Film project she got involved into that Kat bought her first camera, an analogue lens to go with it, and started capturing what her eyes could not stop to look at, from people on the streets, to friends and all the little things which sometimes go unnoticed in our daily life.
Soon after moving to London, Kat developed her interest for fashion photography as well. During our conversation, she stated how important is finding a good team while working on a creative project. Respect, trust and especially kindness are very important, essential, when communicating with someone, whether they be a make up artist, a stylist or a model. The fashion world is like a big ladder – she described it – that one needs to climb step by step. And for this to be an ideal world – or anything close to it – there would need to be more interactions between photographers, without a feeling of competition, and more empathy and consideration for everyone who is part of it. This is not a job we can do on our own: giving and receiving emotions is what makes it real, what makes it special.

I want to thank Kat so much for sharing her experiences and opinions, and for the hours she spent with me, taking photos and chatting. Don’t miss to have a look at her work visiting her website: http://www.katterek.com, and Instagram: @katterek. You’ll also find a few of her beautiful images featured at the end of this post.

KatTerek_FlaviaCatena_11riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_09riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_12riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_15riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_04riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_03riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_20riKatTerek_FlaviaCatena_01ri

Here below some of Kat’s fashion shoot!

KatTerek8 (1)Kat_Terek_Nadia_D1_Models-11Kat_Terek_Adrift-3Kat_Terek_Adrift-10

Paula

These are the last portraits I have taken at the end of the summer with the talented and sweet Paula (have a look at her beautiful Instagram @paula_agnes_art). We met in London and walked around Little Venice, which I found so similar to some areas of Oxford that I regularly explore. The weather was still nice and we enjoyed looking at the trees reflected on the water and at the boats where dreaming people live like in small dolls’ houses. It was such a lovely way to spend a morning outdoors!

©2018 Flavia Catena

Paula_FlaviaCatena_03riPaula_FlaviaCatena_04Paula_FlaviaCatena_05riPaula_FlaviaCatena_08riPaula_FlaviaCatena_12riPaula_FlaviaCatena_14riPaula_FlaviaCatena_15riPaula_FlaviaCatena_19riPaula_FlaviaCatena_22riPaula_FlaviaCatena_24riPaula_FlaviaCatena_28riPaula_FlaviaCatena_30riPaula_FlaviaCatena_31ri

 

Here come the colours

Back to the first days of spring, with this series about colours, youth, joy. I believe this sentence by Kahlil Gibran describes very well the idea behind it: “Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow”.

A big thank to my talented and patient girls (you could not see that from the pictures, but it was extremely cold!), Marianna Saver (model), Anne Aurelie Pillet (stylist), Kayleigh Keen (make up artist).

©2018 Flavia Catena

DSC_2787riDSC_2872riDSC_2892riDSC_2887riDSC_2947riDSC_3120riDSC_3160riDSC_3250riDSC_3272riDSC_3289riDSC_3378riDSC_3383riDSC_3408ri

 

The forest girl

A rainy enchanted forest, a misty horizon, and a girl, white delicate skin and red cheeks, who walks wearing an embroidered cape and a long magic dress where flowers bloom around gold yarns. I see silent dreams follow her steps.

Model: Harriet Russell / Stylist: Tia Oguri / Make up artist: Daisy Oldershaw / Designer: Daisy Miller

©2018 Flavia Catena

Harriet_FlaviaC_01riHarriet_FlaviaC_07riHarriet_FlaviaC_08riHarriet_FlaviaC_13riHarriet_FlaviaC_14riHarriet_FlaviaC_15riHarriet_FlaviaC_20riHarriet_FlaviaC_17riHarriet_FlaviaC_21riHarriet_FlaviaC_24riHarriet_FlaviaC_25riHarriet_FlaviaC_26riHarriet_FlaviaC_27riHarriet_FlaviaC_29riHarriet_FlaviaC_30riHarriet_FlaviaC_23riHarriet_FlaviaC_32ri

 

Cats and their humans – Becky and Lexi

More than one year ago, I decided to start a portrait project about cats and their female owners, being a cat lover myself, and also strongly believing in that sometimes saving bond between humans and pets. I took the first portraits, and then, overwhelmed by commissions, work, and other projects, I had to stop. But I was still looking forward to going back to that series of mine, and now it seems the time has come!

Last week I visited Becky Paton, a very talented artist who makes and successfully exhibits beautiful mosaics (please, have a look at her Instagram page @beckypatonmosaics). She lives with her family in the countryside just outside Oxford, and has a sweet and gorgeous cat named Lexi. He – yes, Lexi is actually a male cat, but the vet found this out too late for his name to be changed, as he really liked it! – was adopted by the family while he was still a fluffy little kitty. Now he is a four years old beautiful feline who loves to cuddle up next to his human mum at night, but also exploring the fields following his hunting instincts. I could see he was just impatient to go out and enjoy the sun, on the day we took the photographs. But I thank him and Becky for posing in front of my camera and sharing with me a bit of their happiness!

©2018 Flavia Catena

DSC_2500riDSC_2494riDSC_2505riDSC_2513riDSC_2529riDSC_2531riDSC_2532riDSC_2533riDSC_2562riDSC_2564riDSC_2543riDSC_2585riDSC_2586riDSC_2610riDSC_2588ri

 

Two souls

Listen to the sound that comes from my soul when it meets the sun at dawn. Your soul echoes just like mine; they both have the same coloured dresses, the same shades. Whether our hands do not touch each other’s faces, whether our voices do not reach each other’s ears, our souls whisper in the distance, and we dance and live together.

From a fashion story in collaboration with Polina Schadauer-Povarich, creator and founder of Polosophia. Models: Hjordis Lara Hlidberg and Suzannah Gilburt. Make up: Micaela Congia.

©2017 Flavia Catena

TwoSouls_01TwoSouls_02TwoSouls_03TwoSouls_04TwoSouls_05TwoSouls_06TwoSouls_07TwoSouls_08TwoSouls_09TwoSouls_10TwoSouls_11TwoSouls_12TwoSouls_16TwoSouls_13TwoSouls_15TwoSouls_17TwoSouls_14TwoSouls_18TwoSouls_19TwoSouls_20TwoSouls_21TwoSouls_23TwoSouls_22

A Summer Fantasy

My first Fashion Editorial has been published on Kodd Magazine! I am very happy I had the chance to work with some very talented professionals on this, and I want to thank them all once again for the nice day spent together and of course for the result achieved!

Have a look at the full story below and on KODD Magazine’s website: http://kodd-magazine.com/a-summer-fantasy/

Photographer: Flavia Catena

Model: Natasha Samsara

Styling: Naomi Alderton

Styling Assistant: Leanne Brown

HMUA: Georgina Yates

Designer: Fool Dost

DSC_2551riDSC_2621riDSC_2485riDSC_2706riDSC_2718riUntitled-1DSC_2748riDSC_2789riDSC_3000riDSC_3005riDSC_3058riDSC_3131riDSC_3191riDSC_3210riDSC_3301riDSC_3361ri