This story was shot for 180 Magazine, the Academy of Art’s fashion school magazine in San Francisco. It was a collaboration between the fashion school, the architecture school and me, representing the photo department. A requirement for this shoot was to photograph some architectural foam sculptures on their own, and I would say that was the main challenge. The cross backlighting in some of the images required a lot of testing and fine-tuning; I wanted it to be intentional, perfect and clean, and once we moved in the large props and I saw the shadows on the floor, that was an exciting moment. Seeing how the model’s skin and figure stood out against the blown-out background in the second light setup was another exciting moment; I was very inspired by her figure and movements. We had a wonderful team, and that in itself is inspiring and rewarding. Another favorite moment that resulted from this shoot was when the Academy of Art selected one of the images for an ad published in the September issue of Vogue this year.
What Inspires Your Photography?
I’m constantly looking at fashion magazines, Instagram, Tumblr, the streets of NYC, films, art, music—inspiration is everywhere. Classic photographers like Richard Avedon and Irving Penn are particularly inspiring, and I look at what my current favorite photographers like Ioulex, Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello, Hilary Walsh, and many others are up to on a regular basis.
How Do You Define Your Style?
Intentional. I pay a lot of attention to details; even when it’s a simple shot or simple styling, there’s an intention behind the details. It’s contradicting in the sense that I tend to like some things left unfinished and natural, however, there needs to be a certain purpose and a sense of refinement. I also tend to focus on portraits and details. For my final submission, I am thinking a lot about small details, and I’m planning on having a refined feminine aesthetic with a modern twist. You can expect tight shots highlighting details and textures, and some experimenting with my lighting.
Nikon D700, AF Nikkor 50mm ƒ/1.8D lens, Broncolor strobes
I was born and raised in Venezuela where I lived until I was 18. I moved to Los Angeles where I lived for eight years (worked in digital advertising for four years in L.A.) before moving to San Francisco to pursue photography. I got my MFA from the Academy of Art last year, and this year I decided to step up to a larger stage, NYC, where I currently live. I’m currently freelancing and an assistant producer at Walter Schupfer Management. www.isabellabejarano.com