Autumn for the Elephants: Combining Fashion and Conservation

All images by Jvdas Berra. Used with permission.

Think about one of the coolest things in the world to–and how you’d feel if you got to photograph it. That’s pretty much what Jvdas Berra had the opportunity to do when he did a fashion shoot with elephants and models. This project is called Autumn for the Elephants, and tries to find a way to combine the raw power of nature with the refined beauty of fashion.

We’ve featured Jvdas on the site before, he’s a fashion photographer that combines aspects of fine art into his work and as you’ll see, also deeply cares about the environment.

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Phoblographer: What made you want to do a fashion shoot to raise conservation funds?

Jvdas: My love for animals is even greater than my love for fashion. From childhood I always looked at the beautiful pictures in National Geographic magazines and one of my biggest dreams since I can remember was dedicate myself to wildlife photograph until I met fashion photography and gradually I was able to make riskier projects.

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Phoblographer: Tell us about your creative vision here, how did you go about creating the images and planning them out for this shoot?

Jvdas: Elephants are the most representative creatures of our time. They have a magic and mysticism that captivates everyone who is in their presence. Richard Avedon is my hero since I saw “Dovima With The Elephants” in 1995 in a newspaper, I was about 8 years old when that photo caught my attention and since then I never could forget. It took many years later to devote myself to photography and some more until I was ready to make this tribute to Richard Avedon. It was not until a year ago I began to devise a way to give real value and my work, and that’s when I decided to donate to the world my work and support wildlife. These pictures belong to the world, belong to the elephants and are on sale to raise funds and help Elephant Conservation International.

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Phoblographer: How did you get the chance to work with elephants?

Jvdas: It was not easy, I had to research a lot and knock doors, I called all kinds of organizations dedicated to the care of Elephants, I proposed the idea until someone led me to International Elephant Conservation, they make a work of care and protection of elephants and rhinos around of the world. Its funds come directly from donations and I that was how I led to the caretakers of these 3 beautiful elephants.

Phoblographer: What are you doing to spread the word about this and actually increase the conservation efforts?

Jvdas: Three of the photographs are for sale in the fine art gallery” These Fine Walls” in New York and can be purchased online. These pieces went on sale on August 12, the #WorldElephantDay.

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