We spoke with Alex after his return to Paris from the slew of international fashion weeks.
Here are his insights and opinions into the Danish fashion photography scene. Enjoy!
Where does your interest in photography come from?
I grew up in a home where my father was an art director while my mother was restoring paintings and later on also began coordinating exhibitions all over the world. Trust me, I have been dragged to more art exhibitions than most kids – and the worst thing was I loved it! So I grew up in a very visual and artistic home. As long as I remember I have loved and been inspired by visual art, but it took me a few years to find out that it should be my life.
Do you have a philosophy or inspiration when it comes to your work?
That’s a hard one. I’m often getting inspired by situations in everyday life. I’m a quite moody person, I think, and I often end up exploring emotions. It’s about doing the obvious but at the same time chasing the devil in the detail.
Great fashion photography – as well as art in general – is a borderline between cultural knowledge and the ability to exploit unconscious structures, about writing against history, the narrative and chance itself. For me a great fashion story is all about the cliché: “the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.”
Talk a bit about the Danish fashion photography scene. Is there a specific aesthetic?
If you asked me for about a year ago, I would have answered you very differently and I would have told you that it was all daft. But moving away lets you see things from a different perspective. I think the fashion scene in Denmark is about to reach its puberty and is struggling to find its identity. Compared to Stockholm for instance we seem miles away. That said, the scene in Denmark is ambitious. The expression is getting closer to a more natural look and feel.
You’re now based in Paris. What does that offer that Copenhagen didn’t?
EVERYTHING! Besides 7-Elevens and free cabs on a Saturday evening. You feel alive, the pulse of the city is just incomparable. In the mornings when you go down and grab your coffee and all the locals are hanging out grabbing a straight coffee and a Richard before they go out for work… It somehow always begins and ends that way. The fashion scene seems very similar. It’s uncompromising, fast and unforgiving.
Tell us about what the various international fashion weeks are like as a photographer.
To be honest it feels like a rush, a tour de force of bullshitting. You meet so many people from the industry, and they say mostly the same thing: “me, me, me!” But then again you give them the same answer, so I guess it evens out.
This time I went with my girlfriend who is also working in the industry. We had a wonderful trip, but shit, we were both completely wasted afterwards. It took us almost two weeks to recover.
What’s your least favourite part of your job? Your favorite part?
What I love the most is probably the unpredictable and the spontaneous; the fact that not two days seem the same. But at times that’s also my least favorite part. Sometimes you curse that everything is decided last minute. It strikes me that if we in the industry were just a tiny bit more organized, including myself, the expenses would be more than halved.
We don’t know about you but we can’t get enough of these chic shoots. Check out more of Alexander’s work at: www.akristoff.tumblr.com