Photography, Fashion, and A Brave New World

Photography and fashion have been heavily intertwined for an obscene amount of time; so what better way is there to capture the glamour and beauty of a morphing art like fashion, but to freeze it in time with a photograph? Leila Hafzi is a Norwegian clothing designer who strives to bring back a more traditional take on clothing, and in doing so has crossed paths with advertising photographer Erik Almas to create some imagery that, if you’re a woman, might have you dancing to Norway to try on a mess of new clothes… but there’s a twist.

Leila Hafzi’s line of clothing for Sandnes Garn is a luxury clothing line that you can knit yourself. That’s right, you. She designs the clothing, provides the blueprints, and they can be purchased along with materials at various yarn retailers in Norway who also ship abroad. This is done in hopes that consumers would be aware of how much work goes into their clothing, and in doing so, leads to better care of the clothing, not to mention creative ways to customize garments for each wearer. That being said, this article should be about photography, no? Here’s the behind the scenes video for this shoot:

Watching this along with some of Erik’s other videos shows how a versatile style can adapt itself to different clients; and that it’s always good to shoot with different styles and lighting methods to suit your needs. This sometimes means using all natural light with modifiers, artificial light, or a combination of the two depending on your subject and lighting conditions. A lot of Erik’s work has a polished, high contrast, editorial feel, yet much of this project favored a natural romantic look that brings the viewer in softly to accentuate the clothing line. The purpose of these images was well considered, and the texture and form of the knit pieces is brought out in each one.

[Check Out Erik’s Workshop DVD: Erik Almas On Aspects of Image Making]

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This isn’t the first campaign Erik Almas has done with Leila Hafzi; in fact, just last year he was on location in Nepal photographing in a country where Leila was inspired to become a designer some fifteen years ago. Here’s a couple samples of that work followed by a behind the scenes of the trip.

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One thing mentioned in Erik’s blog post from his time in Nepal with Leila Hafzi was that these projects are more than just the photos, and the experience of being there to create them is incredible, more so than having the photographs afterwards. Images that really tell stories or provoke questions are becoming scarce; so any time a photographer can slow down, create that story, and be a part of it themselves adds a depth to the photograph that makes it stand out; it’s refreshing to see work that accomplishes this.

If you’d like to see more of Erik’s work or read the blog, you can find his website here. I’d encourage you to read what he has to say about his work and travels, and also consider purchasing his comprehensive workshop DVD, Erik Almas | On Aspects of Image Making.