Esoteria: A Deeper Take on Fine Art Portraits

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Esoteria: A Deeper Take on Fine Art Portraits by Zorz Studios (8)
Reading time: 3 mins

It is not often when clients seek something profound in their fine art portraits, beyond beautiful and thrilling. This woman roamed deep into her night dreams.

I am stunned. Thank you for feeling me and capturing these moments. Pictures are gorgeous and express what I wanted and so much more. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I barely execute my visions, let alone have someone see through my eyes. I am amazed how this turned out.

Alena, client

Most of us, when considering having professional portraits taken, think of polished but basic high quality portraits, as long as they bring out the best in us. Luckily, there is no shortage of inexpensive services offering just that: lots of photographers can achieve such results which normally only require technical skills (know your buttons, light, props, and poses) and decent personality (care about clients and put them at ease). Then, some of us look for more intriguing and thought-provoking fine art portraits. We may not have a clear vision of what exactly we need or how we want to be depicted but we count on those photographers who are also visionaries (the first two who just came to my mind are Von Wong and Mike V Metz). Those are inquisitive artists who want to avoid a routine, avoid replicating themselves and let alone others; they try to challenge themselves and stand out in the saturated industry. More importantly, they don’t stop at sprinkling their websites or bios with words “unique” and “creative” but strive to push something actually unique to each session. And finally, a few of us also happen to be visionaries without a camera but with very own ideas and deep concepts… much deeper than “something cool and creative”. They have harbored those ideas for ages, they have mentally replayed them over and over down to the last detail so those visions began to stalk them, aching to be unchained. They just need the right key—the like-minded visionary photographers who can amplify their vision.

I drew Alena’s attention at the exhibition of NYC’s Russian-speaking photographers organized by Sergey Mayboga (right) where I displayed a series of my work past September. She shared her aspiration for materializing her long-standing dreams into fine art portraits. I was amazed how particular she was about her vision, and even more fascinating, that it was indeed based on her persistent night dreams… Because of that intimate and abstract nature of concepts, I will refrain from dissecting my execution. I did look at her dreams through my perspective but I don’t want to mud her emotions with mine; she is a devoted fashion and travel blogger and I will add links if she decides to open her mind to us in her blog.

Not surprisingly, I was commissioned for the entire day—elaborate fine art portraits require a more intricate research and concept development, as seen in other Zorz Studios’ full-day portraiture projects ranging from underwater to boudoir to beauty portraiture, and from to maternity to newborn. Extended coverage also allowed us to alternate between the studio lighting set up, outdoor natural lighting, and portable flashes to complement the concepts while moving around two states. We could have shot even more but the cold drizzling day was a challenge for this astute lady so after some pushing, I called it a day and got a high-five.

 Click images for full size. Kindly refrain from re-uploading images to social media during the first week of feature. Share instead!

Enjoy these behind-the-scene images, courtesy of my wife who assisted and shot with me:

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.


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