Dmitry Oskin is an experimental fashion photographer who currently lives and works in London. Despite Dmitry’s increasingly hectic schedule we were delighted when he agreed to be interviewed by Urbanity Chic so that we could showcase some of his work and give him an opportunity to discuss his experiences and interests. Read on to find out about how Dmitry got into professional photography, where he likes shooting most and what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I started by getting to know and assisting other professional photographers.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
Striking models wearing clothes that embellish their natural beauty.
Q: How has the last 12 months been for you?
I have had a wonderful last year and opened my first photography exhibition in June sponsored by VZ galleries. This was called “The Provocation” and was held at The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London.
Q: Who inspires you?
Steven Meisel, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott and Annie Leibovitz have been a great influence on my work.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
John Galliano, Christian LaCroix, Oscar De La Renta all have a place in my wardrobe.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
You need to get the most from your model. This is about the emotional content of facial expression and what the pose says. A good photographer needs to be able to explain this to the model and get the model to act convincingly by feeling the desired emotion. Attention to all details of costume, make up and lighting are also crucial.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
Digital. Far more post production potential.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I prefer location. The atmosphere of the location creates a mood and allows a story to be told. The advantage of the studio is the degree of control over the lighting that is perhaps the closest the photographer gets to be a painter.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
For my Provocation exhibition I had to shoot a vegan biting into a large raw rib of beef. This resulted in much retching but I finally got the desired shot.
My first shoot was on a very cold winter night in a graveyard. The models were very scantily clad and we did not have official permission for the shoot. I was expecting the police to arrive at any moment and so time was of the essence!
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I wouldn’t say I have a personal style of photography. I think style comes with experience and suddenly ..it just becomes part of you and your work.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
No, not one favourite. But one of Annie Leibovitz’s photos of Queen Elizabeth is up there.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
Patrick Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Grace Coddington, and Pat McGrath (sorry I am being greedy?) I would put with me behind the lens. As for the model……..I think less critical.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Yves St Laurent summed it up for me : “Fashion fades, style is eternal.”
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I don’t have one style. This depends on the occasion and the mood. I do lots of mixing and matching. I do retro, preppy, sporty and I love dressing formal.
Q: Where are you based?
Highgate, North London.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I have lived in London now for two and a half years having moved here from St Petersburg, Russia. I have been deeply influenced by the artistic heritage of my home city and still feel very Russian but London now is my home and my future.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I think it must be my exhibition earlier this year.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I would like to open my own studio and manage my own team.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I play tennis, London weather permitting, go the gym, love cinema, heavily into music (I have very broad tastes from smooth jazz, Classical, to House), fine dining, shopping and much, much more.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I had a wonderful trip to South East Asia last year. The highlights were the amazing island of Ko Racha Yai in Thailand and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Ko Racha Yai was the fantasy tropical island paradise somewhat off the beaten track. The island is tiny (3 km wide) and has a completely unspoilt interior that I explored by quad bike discovering unpopulated beaches and villages that hadn’t seen many tourists. Angkor Wat is one of many temple complexes set in the tropical jungles of central Cambodia. All very Indiana Jones! The peoples of these countries were some of the warmest and happiest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Lots of photo opportunities and one shoot with me as the model.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Michael Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Prodigy, Muse, R&B, Moby, Jazz, Opera ….
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I like to dance Hip-Hop, to draw, read books, and travel to exotic off beat places.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
Believe in yourself and keep doing what you do. Never be afraid to create something new.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
A love of fashion, beauty and creativity.
Editor’s Note: Dmitry Oskin effectively pushes the boundaries of creative fashion photography to create a plethora of appealing shots.