Ausra Osipaviciute is a professional photographer who is originally from Lithuania but now splits her time between Vilnius and London, UK. Ausra works in fashion, portraiture and advertising under the commercial name of Aography. At Urbanity Chic when we checked out some of Aography’s creative portfolio we were really impressed and were relished by the opportunity to interview her. Read the full in-depth interview below where Ausra discusses, amongst other things, how she became interested in photography, what she’s currently been working on and what she’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: Who are you called?
I am Ausra Osipaviciute originated from Vilnius, Lithuania. I am in love with photography and that’s what I am doing at the moment. My main focus is fashion, portraiture and advertising. Moreover, as a hobby I should also mention travel photography. In all of my work I am aiming to create without boundaries by experimenting and involving different artistic techniques, collaborate with like-minded people and produce interesting, unseen, unforgettable fashion imagery (www.aography.com).
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I took an interest in photography at the last years of graduation of my university, which was in a completely different subject related to math and statistics. Nevertheless, admiration to this artistic medium did not fall out of nowhere- I was constantly interested in different kinds of art from an early age.
As a child I liked to draw, At 12 I can even remember having thoughts of creating fashion. I always was, am and will be addicted to viewing beautiful imagery or creative drawings. My eyes need views -- this is with what I was born and what I need like an air. Photography was picked up not by coincidence- I remember my first trip to Italy where I started taking travel pictures with a simple camera.
Since then I decided to pick up a professional camera and started to experiment. I have explored some online artistic communities and admired imagery that I saw and needed to learn to create something too. After a short while experimenting with my new DSLR camera and shooting everything and anything around I realized that I was mostly attracted and interested in shooting portraits, fashion and also street life and portraiture during my journeys to other countries. Thus I started to focus on fashion at first by just playing and experimenting with my friend who is a model; making our own styles from what we had at hand. After a while, I felt more confident in my ability and also want to work within a creative team.
I was first noticed by In-Usu photo studio in Vilnius and was invited to join them. Thanks to them I have had a chance to work with various studio lighting techniques and have created a number of images for my portfolio.
Currently, I am working at PIX studio in Vilnius where I work as a fashion and portrait photographer.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
I enjoy artistic creative fashion images mostly. Afterwards, I love taking portraits of people and travel/street photography.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
During the last 12 months I have experienced a variety of changes in my life. I have moved to London for studies and pursuing my career. However, I have quit university in London because felt it would not benefit my career in fashion photography. I have also had chance to meet new interesting people and worked on my personal portfolio as well as commissioned work.
Q: Who inspires you?
I am inspired and like to keep myself inspired in many different ways, but mostly by visual objects. I like to look through other artists’ work and keeping in touch with inspirational people, watching strange movies, travelling around the world and looking at the people in the streets; how they live, what they do every day, what is their culture like.
Nature is also very inspirational for me.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Milda Cergelyte (better known as mimi.c) and Ieva Daugirdaite are the young, up-coming and very creative fashion designers and friends of mine with whom I collaborate and always looking forward to see their new masterpieces. As for world famous names I admire designers Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Izmailova, Mary Katrantzou.
Very inspirational fashion icons are Iris Apfel, Lara Stone, Lindsey Wixson, Tyra Banks, Edita Vilkeviciute, Andrej Pejic, Grace Jones,…
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
A constant strive to perfection. Personal and professional growth at all times no matter if you are just starting over or if you are already a noted photographer. Attentiveness to detail as well as seeing the bigger picture, limitless imagination, flexibility, flawless communication skills, likable personality, technical knowledge. The ability to use all those mentioned before allows you to translate your idea into an eye capturing and memorable photograph.
Moreover, on top of beautiful images, a good photographer should be recognizable by their unique style. When it comes to commissioned work, an ability to understand clients’ needs and exceed their expectation when producing the final work is also important.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
I prefer using digital cameras because it makes the technical part easier and the outcome is received faster. Also, during the shoot you instantly see what you get and what needs to be improved. However, film cameras definitely have their own charm and the process of producing image is a joy but for me it is more like a game; as nowadays we have technologies that make our lives easier.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I would say I prefer location if it is really extraordinary. Recently I was shooting in a studio mostly therefore I really miss shooting on locations and it’s my dream and objective to shoot on some outstanding locations in the future.
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
I remember times when our team had to shoot in super cold photo studio in Vilnius because there was problem with heating. In winter sometimes we have -20, and even if it’s just -10 outside, inside will be no more than +3, so literally we were shooting in the fridge. Till this day I still remember my models trembling from the cold with horror after this challenging shoot.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
A specific style of photography is vital today otherwise you will melt as a piece of sugar in the water in today’s market with cutthroat competition. You should surprise the world that has seen everything already today.
Taking all this into consideration I am striving to purify my own style – I like to create without boundaries, experiment and do not limit myself. I enjoy mixing photography and fashion with other artistic medium such as digital illustration, photo manipulation, embroidery, painting on images, etc. Those means of creativity already made me recognizable among my followers. Objects in my photographs usually are women and girls who are often portrayed a bit alien looking, mystical, unapproachable. People who know me in person often see a hint of me in the models’ faces.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
As of my own, some images from FANTPLASTIQUE series are some of my favourites. But I cannot strictly select one as every time I feel thirsty for creating new stunning thing.
Regarding other photographers’ work- there are quite a number that have been stuck in my memory since I first saw them. I see in front of me some images of Richard Avedon, Solve Sandsbo at the moment.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Some of my favorites are Solve Sandsbo, Richard Avedon, Lara Jade, Paolo Roversi, Patrick Demarchelier, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Steven Meisel.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
Yes definitely it would be a great experience to have at least a few hours working with some of the photographers and fashion icons mentioned above!
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
I see fashion as one of the ways human beings use to express and distinguish themselves throughout the centuries and in many cultures. It is definitely an inseparable part of life and for me it is not only the way of dressing and presenting your outside but also a main composite part of my creative activity of photography.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is dependent on my mood and also occasion. I do not limit myself to one specific style but I always look to something extraordinary. Recently I find myself looking to outfits that have an exotic Arabic and African tribal twist. I feel I am becoming obsessed with turbans as a part of my summer style. From a young age, and still now, I am in love with wedgies- it’s the best foot ware for me in all the ways- comfortable and eye catching. Big extraordinary earrings too are something that without I feel naked.
Q: Where are you based?
I am based sometimes in Vilnius, Lithuania, and sometimes in London, UK.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
I am from moody, rainy and relatively cold country thus I always feel missing sun and strive for energy in all parts of life. However, I find 4 seasons of the year quite enjoyable. As for the fashion photography market- it is really super tiny and limited, not too much space for a career because the country itself is very small and demand for high fashion is very limited.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I have improved a lot and made my personal photography style recognizable, my work is being featured and published in noted national and international magazines, websites and blogs. I get more and more clients to shoot with me. I also feel more doors are opening for me as I am becoming more able.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I am working on marketing the AOGRAPHY name to make myself known to a wider audience of people. I am aiming to work with reputable clients, set goals and also concentrate on advertising more. And of course I will further work on my personal portfolio. One of my biggest dreams is to have the possibility to shoot in any location around the world- whether it is commissioned work or personal.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Do sports, dance, swim in the sea, sun bathe, smoke shisha (I do it rarely though as it is very addictive and doesn’t add a bonus to health), drink coffee with black chocolate, dream…
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
In a place that can offer a mix of different activities and features such as but not limited to sun, sea, water sports, good music to dance, mango juice, great views and interesting subjects for photography. And of course a great company to share any those pleasures with.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment you are reading I might be listening to the sounds of the ocean or if I am by pc it is usually a mix of different kind of music and musicians, for example, just recently on my playlist I had Sade, Amr Diab and other Middle Eastern sounds, soul and rhythm & blues, some good old techno …
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I have passion for street dance and extreme physical activities such snowboarding, driving, shooting, also some untried future hobbies related to sports’ activities are in my list as well. Also I enjoy watching movies and reading books. A good movie or book can take me to another world for a moment.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
Shoot as much as you can and analyze what you get to improve yourself. Play with light. Also don’t forget to show your work to an audience. You could be a genius and have absolutely crazy stunning work but without promoting yourself people will never know about you. Keep yourself inspired and motivated as hard days come from time to time don’t get upset, keep moving forward.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
Inner feeling of satisfaction, it is easy and enjoyable to do what you like.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I am very approachable and friendly person, thus if you need to contact me or have photo shoot with me, do not hesitate to contact me. And many thanks for reading this interview, hope you enjoyed it.
Editor’s Note: Ausra takes creative chances to create some very appealing, unique shots with a commercial edge. We’re looking forward to seeing the Aography brand develop internationally over the coming months and years.
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Aography just follow the links below:
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/AOGRAPHY
Web page link: www.aography.com