Marta Syrko Uses Water and Glass for Creative Portrait Photography

All photos by Marta Syrko. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Looking to be inspired by creative approaches to portrait photography? We’re sure this featured series deserves a spot in your bookmarks and moodboards. Our spotlight is back on Ukranian photographer Marta Syrko, whose clever fashion portraits we’ve previously featured. In a new series, she explores the idea of narcissism as inspired by Greek Mythology and creative use of the fluid visual effects of water and glass.

Based on Syrko’s project description, the main idea for this series was inspired by the famous myth of Narcissus, and the river nymphs called Naides (or Naiads). Narcissus was a hunter known for his beauty and loved everything beautiful, but was also proud and rejected those who loved him. He fell in love with his own reflection over a pool of water and killed himself upon realizing that his love could not be reciprocated. From the different versions of this myth emerged the term narcissism.

Alternately, the Kyiv-based photographer also imagines her subjects as river nymphs gazing at the viewers through the fluid distortions of water. She achieves this through a combination of methods, either photographing her models posing in clear tanks or placing mirrors and glass (or similar material) panels over them and pouring water on the surface. It seems she also explored creating the effect by submerging prints over the tanks or placing the glass over the prints before pouring water on the surface. The results are beautiful, creative, and certainly fitting of the modern-day nymphs she was trying to portray.

This series is just one that demonstrates how water instantly adds an interesting effect to portraits. If this is a look you’d like to try for your next portrait projects, another great example is LES AQUARELLES by Elena Iv-skaya. Underwater portraits take it a notch further, as we can see in another painterly body of work by Arman Zhenikeyev.

Check out Marta Syrko’s Behance portfolio to see her other photography projects.