Written review by
NADIA ARROYO ARCE
Head of exhibitions, Foundation MAPFRE, Spain
First of all I would like to thank Anna for choosing me to review her portfolio.
Taking into account the different goals of this workshop, I must say that, in my opinion, has achieved most of them. I will go one by one reviewing Anna’s photographs.
Fashion photography has the power of, as Sacha’s indicated, make artificial situations look natural or unfaked. In most of Anna’s photographs the models pose naturally or even when they don’t, such as number 6, 10, 16 or 18, they don’t look unnatural or forced. On the other hand, I must say that I find photographs number 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 quite forced, the models don’t achieve to look really natural, their smile is quite artificial, and as the situation they are recreating could be a daily one, the result seems more unrelaxed. Maybe it is something due to the unexpertice of the models.
In opposition to this last aspect, I may say that Anna has achieved to capture the spontaneity and lightness in two other photographs stared by the same female model (num. 5 and 8). Both photographs have been “stolen”, as if the model wasn’t aware of her camera approach. I must say that this last one, number 8, I have found it very special, I have liked very much the composition and the play of the window and the reflection of the street on it.
In terms of spontaneity, I think that one of her best photographs of this portfolio is the one numbered 7, where the model poses in front of the camera but reacting as it didn’t exist. Anna has achieved that her model looks natural, beautiful, in fashion. Naturalness, brightness and beauty are equally represented.
Those images 6, 10, 16 and 18, that I have already mention in my first comment, could be seen as the most posed ones; in fact they are, but as I try to say, Anna has managed to get from her model beauty and simplicity. I think that in these images, Anna has got nearer to Sacha’s light and simple style. Anna has taken good care of the composition so the model always stays in the center and the whole of the image is balanced. She has framed her model within the nature and has managed to underline those aspects of the clothes that she found most important (elegance and sensuality in 6 and 10; lightness and effervescence in 16 and 18).
I haven’t still mention two other images where the models are posing outside. They are images number 9 and 17. I have found these two photographs quite interesting but I must say that they look, in my opinion, still a bit forced. Even if the models don’t look to the camera such as image number 8, they don’t achieve the spontaneity and brightness of this last one.
After having gone through most of the photos that conform this portfolio, I would like to focus my attention in the three images that open the group. These are the only three ones that have been taken in the inside of a studio. They all are well resolved. Anna enlights the beauty of the features of these three women. She focus her camera in their faces, and neutralize any possible distraction using a neutral background. The first image is fresh, but I must recognize that it reminds me more the portraits that are done in a studio for a wedding or a graduate school than to fashion photography. The second one has capture (or at least it reflects) the strength of this woman that faces the camera. Anna has created a kind of drama making a good used of the shadow; the darkness that silhouette the hands. This theatricality also comes from the focus of the lens; the photographer has decided to bring all the attention to the face leaving the rest of the body out of focus.
The third portrait could perfectly be a part of a makeup campaign. Anna has decided to leave the background on a clean and bright white that matches with the light skin of the model. She has made a good choice.
These last three portraits led me to Anna’s presentation. She says that she likes photographing in studio conditions with artificial light. I agree that she manage to recreate a scene, Anna invents the role that her models could represent, but I must insist that I have found her work taken outside more interesting and appealing. Fashion photography is lightness, creativity, artificiality but it is must also seem simplicity and naturalness. I think Anna has achieved these porpuses.
If I had to point out something negative, I might say that I would have edited out four of those five images that I mention in my first paragraph (12, 13, 14 and 15).