A Moment Before Breakfast
Natasha Fava, a photographer from Moscow, who currently resides in Italy teamed up with Aliona Lebedeva, a stylist; Masha Chuchkalova, hair and makeup artist; and Tani Birkin, a model represented by Ego Models Ukraine on the new shoot. We speak with Natasha and Aliona about the chosen location, styling, creative decisions on set, and the dialogue that is created between the photographer and the model.
The apartment becomes a character that sets the atmosphere and adds emphasis to opening the space and bringing in light. The immense window in the middle of the room, high ceilings, classic parquet casts on nostalgic feelings and creates a play between the dynamics of movement that Tani builds and the static of the set. The black jacket becomes one of the fundamental moments of the shoot with the model standing on two cellophane pieces.
Tell about this shoot and the main idea behind it.
Aliona, the stylist, just moved into a new apartment in Kyiv and she told me she has a big window, bright walls, old doors, and a classic “Soviet” parquet so her place was the inspiration for the shooting and we decided to shoot there. The idea was pretty much improvised, we’ve been working together at different times, and we wanted to create simple and clean pictures without any set design.
Let’s discuss styling decisions and some incredible pieces you have included in the series like the extra wide-sleeved blazer and the theatre inspired overalls. What was the main emphasis the stylistic choices worked to create?
The shooting was planned in the morning, so we could catch the light. I decided that I would shoot B/W pictures on digital and color on 35mm, so as I had only 3 film rolls the shooting was quite fast haha. Also, because Tani is such a cool and easygoing model everything went perfectly smooth. Masha, the makeup artist, wanted to make a pure makeup with a slight accent. She decided to add a little bit of blue to the inner corners of the eyes and the hairstyle was as natural as possible to keep the look not “overloaded”.
‘I DON’T LIKE TO TELL THE MODELS EVERY SINGLE POSE, SO IT’S MORE LIKE A DIALOG BETWEEN US’
How did the day of shooting go? Were there any unexpected changes you were dealing with on set?
The stylist wanted to mix total black looks with more casual, fast, and a bit ironic looks. The showroom, Invoga, we collaborated with, had a good selection of Rick Owens clothes, so she decided that it’s perfect for the total black. Aliona mixed the clothes from the showroom with her personal ones. She suddenly decided to add to the black overalls that blue men’s tie as a tiny top, and the men sporty pants under Kappa pants and that’s what I love about Aliona - she comes up with ideas on the set we didn’t discuss before and that’s what makes the look complete.
How do you direct a model and work on the poses? Does it come together on set or do you come with a specific idea before the shoot?
It was my third shooting with Tani, and I’m just in love with her beauty and her personality. Like all professional models she moves herself without directions, I don’t like to tell the models every single pose, so it’s more like a dialog between us. But there were pictures I already created in my head, like the one with the black jacket, so in that case, I explained the pose.
What is your favorite part of the shooting day?
The jacket was my favourite peace that I wanted to shoot by itself, to emphasize it, there’s sort of a harmonious contrast between the model’s long skinny legs, her semi smiling face, and that big kimono jacket.