GMARO & Interview with the genius photographer Vera Change.
Where are you from originally?
Originally, I am from Slovakia, a small country in central Europe. I moved to England 5 years ago and left everything (including my career) behind.
Give me a brief description of your career trajectory – professionally trained or not,opportunities that led to breakthroughs.
Before I moved to England, I had mostly been working with new face models and non-models on shoots for their own pleasure or family albums. I also did a few weddings, but I quickly found that this is not the way I want to go. After my move, I had to start all over again. Make new connections, break into the industry, find models to work with and shape my personal style. First "break" came when I got my first "editorial" published in a magazine year and a half ago. I say editorial in quote marks because it was actually only 2 pictures, but it gave me lots of motivation to shoot intentionally for magazines and, as of right now I am on 25 published stories and counting. Majority of them you can find on my web www.verachange.com.
The second "break" — and this is a big one — was when I started shooting beauty, instead of fashion. It was only 8 months ago, but I already have more success, more clients and more editorials published in this short period of time than I had for 10 years with fashion and portrait work.
What are some of your favorite magazines to shoot for and why?
I won't be naming any. But for me to like a magazine enough to submit my work, they need to have a tasteful website, active and a good-looking social media, and email communication needs to be prompt and friendly. Just like at GMARO :) I also look for their layouts. Graphic design is very important, sometimes you have an amazing editorial and it's all spoiled because the magazine had only the very simple, almost childish layout. When the graphic designer/art director of the magazine goes the extra mile and puts the thought into the design and layouts, when the final tear sheets look really really good, that is something that will always make me go back and submit more of my work.
What is the best way to describe the working relationship between you as a photographer and your stylist on any given project? How important is that related to the success of that project?
As for beauty, there is usually no stylist, unless it's a special project that requires it. However, working on set with a makeup artist is the most important part of a creative process for me. Align our ideas and vision for the shoot, get on the same wavelength, into the same mood, feel the same excitement about the project and bring out the best in both of us. I tend to work with a handful of makeup artists - girls I know, I worked with before, we easily get into the same headspace when working on the set.
We understand each other and we usually have the exact vision of what the final image should look like. To build a relation like that is for a long run, but it shows on every project, on every picture. It is something amazing, and I truly appreciate all my makeup girls for their hard work and extreme talent.
What do you feel ties you in personally to your work?
As of me personally, I like simple, clean, minimalistic looks. That applies to my house, outfits, even my food. I love to transfer that to beauty photography. Fresh, dewy but somehow still creative.
Every now and then, I get this need to do a messy, all-out photo shoot, but all the factors need to be just right. The inspiration, people around me, the perfect mood, they all need to play together. That, and only that is when I create some of my craziest work when I let loose of my minimalistic personality a little. But even when everything goes a tiny bit messier, I do not tend to "go with the trends", I always aim to go for timeless looks. I am a big fan of red lips and a good, oldfashioned winged eyeliner.
That, for me, is the most feminine, sexy and classy look you can create in beauty. Red lipstick is actually my best friend, in fact, I have nothing else in my makeup bag. :)