All images by Elena Iv-skaya. Used with Creative Commons permission.
While the fashion world has been found guilty of promoting unreasonable beauty standards, fashion photographers like Elena Iv-skaya bring back our faith in the industry. In her latest set, Double Beauty, Iv-skaya skillfully uses contrasts in skin color as a canvas to showcase beauty in diversity. This set is definitely worth checking out and studying if you’re seeking to be inspired by clever portrait and fashion photography.
Previously, we brought Iv-skaya’s DREAMER POOL to the spotlight, and loved her treatment of the popular retro aesthetic that has taken over the fashion world in the last few years. That particular set was all about retro colors, moody tones, and an overall vintage feel from the styling alone. In Double Beauty, however, the focus lies more on the contrasts than the colors, and how these elements come together to convey beauty.
Skin color may be an obvious yet creative use of contrast, but Iv-skaya also uses it as a canvas to play on other subtle differences in make-up, hair color, clothes, and accessories. The make-up may be simple, but it’s effective in drawing our attention to the symmetry in the contrasts. The tight composition and the models’ emotive poses also highlight these contrasts. I really like the clean and minimalist look of the black white snaps the most, but the color photos work nicely too. The pop of red in the accessories and make-up definitely bring the eyes around the frame and make for interesting variations to the theme.
Overall, I find Double Beauty to be a beautiful representation of the female form, an impressive play on contrasting elements and minimalist visuals, and a clever example of poetic fashion portrait photography.