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Dazed Club Spotlight: End of summer 2023 round-up

Our Club Spotlight continues strong with a selection of striking photographic works by Dazed Club members – from explorations into sensuality to space-inspired couture, experimental post-production, and street shots of Paris

Dazed Club Spotlight is our monthly series showcasing up-and-coming talent from the Dazed creative community. If you’d like to be featured, join the Club here.

“In this project titled For What It’s Worth, I had the privilege of collaborating with an all-women creative team from Barcelona behind the camera. We wanted to capture the beauty of soft masculinity. I was excited to team up with the talented stylist duo mammamarmalade who had complete creative freedom to bring their vision to life. With the makeup artist Monica Cruz, we agreed to explore the idea of incorporating some subtle traditionally feminine makeup elements while keeping things minimalistic.

“The ethereal, blurry glow in these images is inspired by the moment of waking up from a dream. You know the feeling when you can’t quite grasp all the details, but the colours and emotions still linger, creating a magical and captivating memory. That’s exactly how I recall most of my dreams, and it’s the essence I wanted to infuse into my work.

“As I work on a series of photographs, my focus is on achieving a captivating colour palette that pops in every single image. I love using flash to really highlight the subject and make them stand out. I enjoy playing around with the exposure, giving the images a slightly overexposed look, which allows me to have better control over the final colour palette. 

“I am currently inspired by androgyny and the camp aesthetic, which I find absolutely mesmerising. They allow me to play with gender fluidity, celebrating how it empowers us to express ourselves authentically with fashion. I truly believe in the freedom that comes from being true to ourselves, and am passionate about advocating for it through my creations.”

“I focus my practice on exploring fashion as a zeitgeist by capturing a variety of raw emotions, real people, communities, and human connections. What empowers my work is the strong sense of vibrant colours and energy that reflect my cultural background. This series portrays a male subject expressing a range of emotions while exploring the profound connection between his inner feelings and his physical body, pointing towards the male experience in its complexity.
“The intention of the series is not to objectify the male body or exploit sensuality, but rather to create a safe and inclusive space where viewers can engage in a deeper conversation about gender norms, self-expression, and the power of emotions in shaping our identities. Through these images, I hope to convey a message of acceptance, self-awareness, and the importance of embracing vulnerability as a fundamental aspect of the human experience. This was approached with the utmost respect for the subject's boundaries and comfort.

“I have always been fascinated by people, and the ways in which humans interact and explore differences, privileges, struggles, hopes, emotions, and identity. At the moment I am looking to create more work that challenges mainstream representation in fashion and visual culture – where image doesn’t seem very alienating to people.”

“As a young girl, I was captivated by the cosmos, imagining the possibility of other life forms and dreaming of exploring distant planets. Those sci-fi stories from movies and books fuelled my inspiration. Even during school, I found solace in writing fantasy tales. However, my journey was not without challenges; dyslexia led to continuous spelling corrections.

“Determined to overcome this, I embarked on a photography project, observing the intricate details around me and collaborating with creative minds. The idea for this project had lingered within me, sparked by a quaint village in The Netherlands. I yearned to craft a fantasy realm without using AI, in partnership with talented designer Tim van den Heuvel. United by a shared desire to escape reality, we brought forth a concept centred on a space odyssey, nestled within the village’s distinct architecture.

“Tim’s meticulous designs provided the foundation, complemented by the talents of makeup artists, hair stylists, fashion experts, videographers, and models. Together, we cocooned ourselves in an escape bubble, our collective effort giving rise to a mesmerising visual tale that seamlessly weaves reality with the extraordinary.

“Additional credits on this project: Stylist: Cynthia de Blander, Nails: Rachel Chichi, Nails by GiiGii, make-up artist: Roberto, R Godales del Valle, Make-up artist + hairstyling men: Anastasiia Minina, Hairstyling women: Valérie Guillaume, Video: CCMEDIA.NL. Models: Vladys, Karol & Merel ter Wal, Ilja Hemmen, Haoyang.”

“These are photos that I recently created with various London artists. I always try to find new effects to bring to my shoots. These projects are built on complex lighting, expressive looks, and experimenting with layers that I put in front of the lens to achieve an element of distortion, and new textures.
“Incorporating the use of material layers in my process can make for some exciting and unpredictable results – whether it’s placing a piece of glass in front of the lens or experimenting with various filters, these material distortions add layers of complexity to my images. The layers introduce unexpected colour shades and alter the very geometry of the objects, adding new texture, engaging the viewer’s gaze, and inviting them to explore the hidden stories within. I use special soft filters, magnifying glasses, pieces of colour filters, and pieces of thick glass plus work with mixed lighting. Honestly, I never know the precise result of all these modifications until I take a photo.

“I like it when we can show the elements that the audience can’t see in real life such as exaggerated details of the hairstyle and make-up. Creating by itself is an inspiring thing. It is a neverending exploration process that includes building the story with the help of lighting effects, makeup, hairstyle, and clothes. Connecting these elements with team synergy boosts me to work harder to find new angles, methods of colour mixing, and spectacular light setups.

“Additional credits on this project: Art Directors: Vadim Yatsun, Margo Mayor, MUAs: Julia Leshanich, Sophia Sinot, David Gillers, Stylists: Yana Chaplygina, Shaquille Ross-Williams, Hair: Tizi Dima, Betty Bee, Models: Liam, Elias, Li Rui Xue, Jemma Hansen.”

“This project illuminates the seldom-seen splendour of Paris: it underscores the overlooked locales, flirts with the city’s vibrant subcultures, and embraces the conventionally unattractive, transforming it into something distinctly beautiful when viewed through an imaginative lens. What is traditionally beautiful becomes an unexpected revelation. This provocative blend compels us to question the very essence of beauty itself. We wanted to highlight the beauty of Paris that is barely seen: emphasise the forgotten places and embrace the Parisian subcultures that no tourists could experience coming to Paris for one week.” – Marina Blaho
“Every element of my photographs supports a visual quest. I love to experiment with layers and depth of images, mixing analogical and digital techniques. There’s a sense of freedom in moving across the boundaries of reality. I’m getting inspired now from the past, I’m looking really carefully at fashion photography from the beginning and I’m really having fun going back and seeing. I am also more interested in street fashion and the connection between the city. I used a digital camera as well as medium format 120 and Polaroid, because I always want to see my editorials in different media – both digital and analogue – that’s where I really find joy in photography.” – Ali Ghorbani Moghaddam

Additional credits on this project: Creative direction and styling: Marina Blaho, Production: Nacré MGMT, Make-up: Lizaveta Lazouskaya, Hair: Eni Natalia, Nails: Mathilde Guyot, Assistant styling: @leachrnd Léa Charnaud, Models: Seven Liu

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