Jen – Natural beauty portraits

I haven’t post in a while, as busy with work first and then happily distracted by the sun, the blue sky, and the sea! I have been in Berlin for a few days, and in Italy for two weeks. I still can’t believe holidays are finished already! Could summer repeat itself again and again?

I have so many photos still unpublished, so I will start from a test done at the end of last spring. Jen was stunning without make up; I feel her natural beauty and bright personality really stand out from every image we took! Do you agree with me?

Model: Jen White

©2019 Flavia Catena

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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
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Here below some of Madara’s photographs:
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Photo-shoots back in Milan

Last month I was in Milan to meet up some old friends and breath the fresh Italian air for a few days. That is the city where I started dreaming to be a photographer; among its streets I walked hoping to see the miracle, the perfect image to capture, even just with my own eyes.
It was indeed an emotion to be back in Brera, after more than five years away, to take photos to the lovely Sofya. I used to go to the library, inside the Brera’s Pinacoteca, to read and study, when my future was still unsure but strong my desire to give it the right shape. Following the same memories, I had my second shoot with the beautiful Alexandrina at Indro Montanelli’s Gardens. I lived just a few minutes away from the park, then, and I spent so many spring afternoons walking on its paths, and experimenting with my first camera. I can still remember a day in March when a bunch of children were playing among the trees and soap bubbles were flying in midair. That was one of my first picture. My style has changed and I grew as a photographer since then, but the amazement for beauty has remained the same.

Models: Sofya Berezhko, at Wonderwall Management; Alexandrina Graur, at Brave Models

@2019 Flavia Catena

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Fana

Back to a fashion story shot last autumn with the beautiful and sweet Fana, from Linden Staub. In the amazing location of Richmond Park, we played with vintage and dreaming clothes while the sunlight started fading on the horizon.

Model: Fana Dade, Stylist: Yuriko Hiratsuka; Hair and make up: Ceci Wu; Hats: Elena Shvab

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Anastacia

Today I am sharing with you some portraits taken to the beautiful Anastacia, new face at D1Models. Despite the very limited time we had to shoot this – it started raining very badly and the wind did not allow us to work but only to run and seek shelter – I enjoyed this relaxed session, and I am quite happy with the result of it. Many thanks again to my lovely model, and to the British weather which always pushes me to do better despite the difficulties!

Model: Anastacia, at D1Models

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Lost in the ’70s

“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands”, Christina Rossetti

Photos taken in collaboration with Danielle and Nicole, two twins with a passion for vintage – in particular for the ’70s – and a very great sense of style indeed! Don’t miss to have a look at their online shop (https://www.depop.com/betty_berry), you’ll find incredible clothes and you’ll start thinking what to add to your wardrobe!

A special thanks goes also to the hair and make up artist Daisy Oldershaw and to Bianca Elgar (accessories and home designer) for allowing me to use her house for the photoshoot.

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Yebeen – A test shoot at the Barbican centre

“Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
To-morrow be to-day.” Kéramos, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thanks to the lovely model Yebeen, from Elite, and to Floor, who is with Yebeen in the last picture of this selection.

©2018 Flavia Catena

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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

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Anesu

November is already here and I am still thinking about the summer, as something I have just took my eyes off a few days ago. But months have passed and I still have some photos taken then to share with you. Anesu’s photos, for instance, are among those. We had a lovely, relaxed session in London, and got the chance to explore museums – being a bit adventurous shooting inside one of them – and to chat about art and life. That’s the lovely Anesu!

Model: Anesu Noelle

©2018 Flavia Catena

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End of summer

She walks in the wood, bare feet and her hands open to capture the shadows of the hours which are fading away. So, like the summer, and its memories, young and cheerful. Light seems to lift her soul; her eyes rest on a far away lake, and the day is already close to its end.

My last fashion story of the summer, in collaboration with model Morgan Black, stylist Bethany Anne Kelsey and make up artist Francesca Quagliatti.

©2018 Flavia Catena

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