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Best of Behance: Elizaveta Porodina

By Jenny Carless

Who: Elizaveta Porodina

What: Fashion photography

Where: https://www.behance.net/porodina

Behance member since: 2012

Two guys walk into a bar…and meet a photographer. It’s not a joke; it’s what set the stage for fashion photographer Elizaveta Porodina’s photo series Siamese Connection // New York, which documents the relationship of her friends Ian Weglarz and Jack Page.

“I met them in a New York bar and was immediately enchanted by the dynamics of them—individually and while being around each other,” she says. “They seem like careless rock stars from one of my favorite post-punk bands, and at the same time they’re just friends in this huge, ever-inspiring city.”  

This project was one of Porodina’s most spontaneous shoots. “The planning took place right at the bar where we met. We agreed to meet the following day on that rooftop,” she explains. On the way, she bought cigarettes and a newspaper in Chinatown, to use as props.

The shoot took just two hours. “We used just the lovely October sunlight and clothes the protagonists brought from their own closets,” Porodina says.

CLOSE COLLABORATION

The photographer—who describes her aesthetic as inspired by cinema and by experimental and documentary photography—enjoys working very closely with her muses, involving them in the creative process.

“The relationship between the muse and me shows in the imagery,” she says, “as it becomes less about fashion and more about the portraiture of emotions, storytelling, and unveiling hidden traits of the protagonist.”  

Porodina enjoys collaborating with the entire team involved in a fashion photo shoot.

“I think it’s important that the vision of a project is pure and complete,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if it comes from my mind or from that of my work partners—maybe the stylist or makeup artist, for instance—but the message has to be clear and distinct.”

Visit Porodina’s Behance portfolio to see the complete Siamese Connection // New York series.  

She creates elaborate mood boards that specify her vision for all aspects of a project—from hair and makeup to set design, props, movements of the muse, and the overall dynamics of the shoot.

“I forward the mood board to my partners in crime and let the idea spread in their minds until they come up with the specific visions of their roles,” she says. “On set, I enjoy holding the dynamics of the shoot together. The most beautiful feeling is achieving perfect harmony, when everyone feels the same about the image.”  

AN UNUSUAL ROUTE TO PHOTOGRAPHY

Porodina studied clinical psychology and specialized in depression and eating disorders while working as a psychologist in Germany. During that time, her interest in photography grew to the extent that she dedicated most of her free time to experimentation in the discipline.

“Soon after some of my images appeared online, fashion designers started asking me to use my vision to show their work differently than what’s typical in fashion photography,” she notes. “I enjoyed this process so much that I’ve never really been able to let go of it.”

Porodina shot Fairytale of Morocco for the UK edition of Condé Nast Traveller magazine. 

Visit Porodina’s Behance portfolio to see the complete Fairytale of Morocco series.   

“We were curious to go to a city that could offer a surreal, dreamlike setting—that seems too good, too symmetric, too staged to be true,” she says. They discovered Chefchaouen, whose medina is entirely blue.

“I was fascinated by this setting, as it was ideal for the storytelling about this eccentric and striking character we shot the editorial about,” Porodina says. “I loved how easy it was to discover places I had always dreamed of: a house full of flowers; a rooftop with huge, beautiful arcs that worked like staged frames for the image; the spots where rays of sunlight worked like theater lights.”

Her project The Metamorphosis, shot for models.com, aims to pay homage to the old masters and their icons.

“We wanted to transfer the greatness of the dynamics between the artists and their muses to today—to show the modern version of this relationship,” she says. “The project also reveals the versatility and natural acting talent of my muse, Lina Hoss, a rising star of the modeling scene.” 

Visit Porodina’s Behance portfolio to see the complete The Metamorphosis series.  

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FROM A PRO

Porodina offers photographers three tips for getting the most out of a fashion shoot:

  • Always keep in mind that the body tension of the model is one of the most important things for the image. I remind models constantly of it while shooting. 
  • Change perspective often: The one you choose in the beginning is not necessarily the best one. Throw yourself to the ground or go unusually high, bend the camera, or hold something in front of it.
  • Challenge yourself; go to places or situations that scare you as an artist. I tend to grow artistically a lot in the most horrible weather conditions and the most complicated constellations of protagonists.