Q&A with Samin fashion and food photographer based in London
Where is home?
My home used to be Teheran at first, then Paris and finally London since 2010. But really, my home is anywhere the sea is close by.
If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet, where would you build your dream home?
I always wondered about my life if I grew up older in Iran. Would I still be a photographer? I would never know. But I’m very grateful of my life today.
What sort of work do you specialise in?
When I moved to London I wanted to be a fashion photographer. Now I’m specialising in food! The main reason I shoot is the process of letting my imagination free and daring. I still shoot fashion stories with people I love, and I learnt from that to be more selective and patient in my production for a better and honest result. So watch this space!
Did you go to school to study photography?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend. Actually, the real answer would be: Do what you think is right. There is no one way better than the other one. We are all different and shoot different; that’s why it an amazing craft! I’m more practical in my approach to life, and I decided to do an apprenticeship so I can be on set as soon as possible and get the experience I desired and the money to keep me going.
How long have you been a photographer?
Everything on my website is mainly shot in London, but I was shooting since 2007. I also retouch for other creative people internationally speaking, editorial or commercial work.
What or who got you started in photography?
My dad gave me his old compact digital Canon camera when I was 17 years old. I didn’t even know you could make a living by taking pictures! I think my first shots were macro flowers as you do, I loved it. It was like the union of science and beauty to me, then I moved to auto-portraits and it did change my life. Since I never stopped (haha)
How would you describe your style?
Raw, but accessible and authentic.. It’s a never ending subject as there is always room for improvement in my humble opinion.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I love medium format when I can afford it, but I work a lot with the Canon system.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
I used work with my 85mm all the time, but since last year the neutral 50mm is winning my heart and the 100mm macro which is very handy.
Are you a MAC or PC lover?
I haven’t use PC for so long that I would say MAC.
What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such great imagery?
An idea always starts with a song for me believe it or not. Music inspires me a lot more than anything else.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
Actually this one wasn’t for photography, it was as a retoucher.. Instead of doing just some work for someone else and following a procedure, I was approached by a talented friend photographer who trusted my
judgement asking me for help on his soon exhibition. I felt honoured.
What is your favourite image you have shot recently? Can you describe its creation in regards to location, lighting, composition etc., also your thoughts when creating the image and what it means to you?
I remember I did a shoot very on the impulsive one night. I shot different type of candies for an editorial, but it took a different end. When you open up to any creative project you will start to expose a little bit of yourself. Even behind the camera, it’s you and the present moment. And if it’s dark, lonely and you are unhappy, that’s when it will start to show. Sometimes you can’t create anything satisfying, or sometimes you do beautiful things but it will always have its limits as you are not really yourself. The project ended being around disillusion, and drugs. I used a black plexiglass, and all pink candies. It was fun but it made me realise I needed some changes in my life. And today, I’m finally well happy living the life I want. Photography came to me at first as a therapy, a loyal friend. A place you can retreat, and get stronger for the next challenge in your real and spiritual life.
A photographer who inspires you?
Helmut Newton is my hero. Strong women, sexy. His vision is open, and travel far. His imagery is timeless, and that’s the best compliment any photographer could ever get, I believe. I also love Marcus Nilsson, he is a food photographer and I had a chance to briefly talk to him. I felt very happy and human that he was accessible and seemed kind. He is also extremely talented.
-Director/Photographer Retoucher: Samin Ghiasi
-Director/Fashion Stylist: Laura Comeron
-Model: Taisia @Premier
-Props Stylist and Set Stylist: Sarah Gobourne
-Props Stylist: Caroline Landry
-MUA: Simona GZ
-Hairstylist: Hannah Kirk
-Photo Assistant: Christopher Pereira
CLOTHES CREDITS: (PR TOTEM FASHION)
Top from Wolford, Trousers Sadie Williams, Warhouse shir, Braided tops by Xu Zhi
Director/Photographer Retoucher: Samin Ghiasi
-Fashion Stylist: Laura Comeron
Director/Photographer Retoucher: Samin Ghiasi
-Model: Karolina @Nevs
-MUAH: Joanne Reyes