The MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Eva Al Desnudo
DateNovember 14, 2016
Photographer: Eva Al Desnudo
Location: I am based in London. I have been here for five years, but I am originally from Spain, which is my real home. In London, photography became my way of living. There are many possibilities in this city; you can meet many creative and inspiring people, which I am always thankful for, but it’s difficult to predict how things will be in two years’ time. The changes taking place in education and of course, Brexit, will probably seriously affect London’s creative community.
Style: I find it hard to describe my work and usually, other people describe it better than I do. Sometimes I’m surprised by what people see in my work – I’m always told there’s a strong cinematic influence in my photographs, which makes sense as I love cinema, especially Asian and European.
I like to shoot moody, natural and clean images, and I prefer to catch people when they don’t notice me. Sometimes – especially with street style photography – the amount of people around can make it challenging to capture a clear picture. I also love shooting backstage, where you can observe and capture the real vibes going on inside. Shooting on the street is also fun, although I think the last two seasons were different as you could see more looks prepared by brands and less personality or free, individual style. Recently, I’ve started doing more editorial, lookbook and other photo projects which is very exciting. I really enjoy doing everything I do.
Equipment: I recently bought the Canon 1DX Mark II. With lenses, I use the 85mm f/1.2 a lot. For editing, Lightroom and Photoshop.
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience (and your first camera!).
I have been taking photos for fun all my life. My dad was photographer, an amateur one but really good, and my first camera was actually a gift from him – a Pentax MG that I still have and use from time to time. I have had different cameras during my life, but it was in London that I started taking photography more seriously. I always loved fashion. I studied some courses in styling and photography (more about studio lighting than photography itself, which I learned in a more intuitive way) and started going to fashion week to shoot street style photography. It is an easy and accessible way to start, and fun at the same time.
You have a really great eye for shooting street style – what do you look for when seeking out subjects for this kind of photography?
Thank you. When I shoot street style I have a special eye for theatrical and dramatic looks. I love to shoot people with real essence and not people who just dress according to the trends of the season. Following this, Tokyo and London are two of the cities I enjoy the most, as well as Paris, where you can see CDG catwalk pieces or the most structural and dramatic looks on the street . Most of my favorite designers show in Paris, which means attendants’ looks are usually very strong.
I look around to find people that usually go unnoticed by other photographers. I rarely shoot bloggers and celebrities, so I usually skip these scenes where 50 photographers surround one person. Everybody gets the same image and the spontaneity disappears.
“Follow what you feel at the moment of a shoot. Shoot what is interesting to your own eye. Do not worry if your eye is different than other photographers’ because this is what makes you special.”
If you could shoot anyone, who would it be, where, and why?
There are different people I would like to shoot, and I know the scene I’d like to do it in. Hopefully these ideas come to life at some point soon.
I would also love to shoot backstage at Comme Des Garçons, to capture the moments before one of Rei’s shows. She’s one of my favorite designers. I have shot backstage at Yohji Yamamoto’s shows in Paris several times, which has been some of the best experiences of my life; really beautiful.
What are your thoughts on iPhone-ography?
Especially since the release of the new iPhone 7, you can easily take amazing photos with your phone. I think today, people do not value a photo as much as before because it’s just so easy. People are taking hundreds of photos per day on their phones, so the beauty of film has disappeared. Still, I think a good photograph can be really powerful and the most important tool you need is your eye. Everybody can take photos nowadays, but the challenging part is to get a good shot. Even if you can afford the most expensive gear, this is not enough to take a good photograph.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot.
There is one photo that comes to mind immediately. I’m not sure if it’s my best photograph, but is probably the most memorable. It was during my first time backstage at Yohji Yamamoto’s show, and it’s a photo of him – sitting, calm, looking at every single detail of the piece the model was wearing and smoking. The peace you can feel backstage at one of his shows is amazing. I really admire him, his work and his philosophy; this is probably why this photo comes to mind. I remember sitting on the floor in a corner with a few other photographers, looking at him in silence and being almost afraid of disturbing that moment with the sound of the shutter. It is incredible to watch him work, to observe the musicality of his movements and his calmness.
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
Cinema and traveling are a constant source of inspiration for me, but I think you can find inspiration everywhere. You never know where inspiration will come from. Of course, the work of other photographers I admire inspires me too. I like to add an editorial look to my street style work.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
As a photographer, I really admire Nick Knight. He has a different sense of beauty that’s theatrical and dramatic. I admire how he can take this dark sense of beauty to commercial campaigns or magazine covers. I personally love the combination McQueen-Knight, which has resulted in some of the best fashion photographs in history. Special mention to Another magazine’s SS15 cover in collaboration with McQueen.
Three of your favorite Instagram accounts to follow and why.
1) King Kong Magazine. I really think they are doing something different. Their aesthetic is another world, and every day they surprise me more and more.
2) Dilara Findikoglu. Dilara is a young designer based in London, whose designs are really a breath of fresh air in the industry.
3) She comes in Technicolor. They always post past and recent collections and photographs that are very inspirational. I always enjoy their feed.
Can you give us three photography tips or tricks that you love and explain each?
I do not really use tips or tricks, I just follow my eye and the rest happens. So I guess this is my tip – follow what you feel at the moment of a shoot. Shoot what is interesting to your own eye. Do not worry if your eye is different from other photographers’ because this is what makes you special.
Finish the sentence…
If I weren’t afraid I would… move to Tokyo.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if… I hadn’t met a person who really opened my mind when I moved to London, who said to me: why not?
If I wasn’t a photographer I would be… probably a fashion designer. I used to draw a lot years ago, and this is something I would have always liked to do.
I’ve been listening to… depends on the day and the mood.
Kids these days… stop being kids at a much earlier age. It’s incredible how they talk about business at such an early age.
I look and feel my best when… I loose a couple of kg.
Traveling… all the time!
I respect… people who have something to tell.
Tag a friend to feature and ask them a question.
Gsus Lopez, @gsus_lopez. How important is photography in your fashion films?
Gsus answered: Photography is hugely important in my fashion films, and I would separate its importance in two parts. The first is when I am creating a mood board to go with my script before I shoot the film with the cast and crew. It is often that images from my favorite photographers end up there, such as Nan Goldin or Ryan McGinley. On the other hand, I also use still photographs from films and directors that I admire, like Xavier Dolan, John Waters or Pedro Almodovar; which brings me to the second part: I only know when the shoot of my fashion and/or short film is going well when I see one still that will eventually represent the entire film, which I use to create the poster and promote it later. You can watch my films on my website or my Vimeo channel.