Conceptual Fashion Photography with Izzy Schreiber
A friend, Izzy Schreiber A.K.A Easy Izzy Photography, is a conceptual fashion photographer based here in Seoul, South Korea. We asked Izzy to share some of his ideas and work with us on Talk Photography.
Izzy could you first tell us about your background and your start in photography?
“I was born outside of Boston. I first started developing film in high school. A few years later I went digital and began focusing on portraiture photography. I moved to Japan and lived in Okinawa for almost 4 years where I found the love for fashion photography. In May I moved to Seoul where I have continued to work on projects and collaborations.”
What draws you to Fashion Photography over other genres?
“Fashion is about how the clothes make the viewer feel, how the clothes make the model feel. The model is an extension of the clothes, and the clothes bring life to that model. To me, I see fashion as a way to bring life to something that is not living. The genre fashion on the surface is so basic, but to me it is all about animism.”
What has been inspiring to you as an artist and an aspiring fashion photographer?
“The idea of bringing something to life that is not real fascinates me. I feel that clothing is an artistic way of expressing who that person is. I find that fashion photography brings that to light. In terms of inspiration; paintings, drawings, photographs, anything in the realm of art I find a large portion of my drive. The other part of it comes from a process of picking an object, whether it is a piece of clothing, a candle, or any other random thing I see on the street. I go through a process where I break the object down into its basic parts. I guess you could say I make a scrambled list in my head of what that object means. Sometimes it leads to nothing, other times it guides me to a great concept.”
Could you give us an example of how you would break down an object that you’ve seen and come away with a concept to shoot?
“I will give you an answer to this question for a concept I will shoot next week. I was walking and saw a gold table statue of a woman. I broke the statue down in to basic concepts. It all started out with what is gold. Gold, in my first impression has always been seen as a symbol of status. Throughout history gold has been used to show elegance, and wealth. Personally I saw that simple table decoration as much more. I saw it as message. A message that the gold on the women’s body was screaming that the human itself was the wealth, the elegance. I came up with the idea of covering a model in gold glitter to reflect the idea of the human body being the most valuable status symbol. I find in today’s society there is a desire to show status. There is a loss of worth based on what that person is wearing. I wanted to bring back the idea that the human body, the form, the figure and the emotion it creates is that of the utmost significance.”
Are there other fashion photographers that look you up to, who are they and why?
“There is one fashion photographer, Clinton Lubbe, I thoroughly enjoy his work but more importantly I respect his mind. He has a very level-headed artistic approach to photography that I found is quite similar to mine. I wouldn’t say though that I get inspiration from other fashion photographers, although I enjoy their work I really love critiquing and diving into the meaning of art. Paintings, drawings, photographs, anything in the realm of art I find I get most of my inspiration. I find a lot of inspiration from within too.”
What are some of the projects that you’ve done that you have been most proud of? Tell us bit about them.
“The first project I really love is called “Molded Cloth”. This was a concept based on the idea that a sheet of cloth is simply clothing that has yet to be formed and stitched to the body. I bought a 4×4 meter section of dark blue cotton and shot this concept a few weeks ago. I really love this project because the idea is so simple yet is so complex. By using an unorganized length of cloth, the images reflected on the idea that clothing is manipulated by society. This very concept is a social reflection of human exploit.”
“Another project I did was a two part movement series. This was a fashion shoot I collaborated on shot with two different outfits. The series of photos was shot to show movement in the clothes. Especially the second part of the series, which was shot in black and white, featured a flowing black dress with lace. The dress was made by a local designer in Seoul and I just love the emotion that came out of the photos. It was a very fun shoot with lots of movement and energy.”
What projects are you currently working on, and or will be working on in the near future?
“For next month I really have two things going on. I have a shoot with a model from Kenya. We are actually painting her in full gold glitter, which should be a fun mess of a day! The biggest thing this month is Seoul Fashion week. I will be shooting the runways in the art hall for a few publications here in Seoul.”
What are your aspirations in the field of fashion photography over the next few years, Where do you see yourself?
“I would love to get my work into a few exhibitions over the next few years. In terms of fashion photography I see myself going in the direction of medium format black and whites. I hope within 5 years I have my own studio to continue my artistic pursuit.”
What advice would you give to others getting started in fashion photography? Either beginners getting started or others more advanced trying to break into the difficult industry?
“Fashion photography has so many different sub-genres. Personally I think it all comes down to self-reflection. There are so many genres of photography out there and I think fashion gets an elitist vibe about it. Honestly I recommend that you just develop your style. Not someone else’s, develop what is true to you. I find so many people come to me with other photographers work asking to shoot just like that. Although the concept might be very intriguing, drop it. Let your energy do the work. It takes time, find something you’re passionate about and incorporate it into your style. Make your style and stay true to it. Let your work do the talking, for it will, once your style is developed. Fashion is a mutation of the human body. The body, the cadaver; the textile, the soul.”
This article appeared in the November 2017 issue of Talk Photography.