Vivian Sassen is a distinguished fashion photographer who has produced advertising campaigns for fashion houses such as Carven, Louis Vuitton, and Miu Miu, as well as editorials for magazines. In 2011, she received the ICP Infinity Award for Applied and Fashion Photography.
Her distinct style involves bold colors, starkness, sculptural compositions, contrast, obscured faces, and abstract forms. She also utilizes natural resources such as mirrors, bright sunlight, reflection, and shadows. Sassen often conceals her subjects’ faces. This makes the photographs more intriguing as well as taking the focus off the individual models, which causes their bodies to seem more sculptural and abstract. Her experimentation with capturing forms of the human body is also evident in her photography. At times the model don’t even look human, and this gives the images a dreamy and surreal quality. Sassen’s spontaneous and intuitive approach remains unconventional in fashion photography, and she continues to push the boundaries of this medium with fresh and riveting ideas.
-“I think that something beautiful is even more charming when it’s not too perfect. You don’t want to feel the artificiality of the image, you want to believe in it. I feel related to reality, while slick images feel exchangeable.” –Viviane Sassen
Sassen “tends to treat the body as a sculptural element- a malleable shape that combines with blocks of shadow and bright color in arrangements that sometimes read like cut- paper collages, bold and abstract but full of vibrant life.” –Vince Aletti (critic)
“She told me recently that she really did carve out her own visual language in terms of fashion photography, and I think that’s why she is so popular- it’s fresh and unique, and it’s consistent…You can tell it’s Viviane, which I think is attractive in a commercial practice. Even though fashion is obviously very commercial, it’s important to have a voice.” –Olivia Gideon Thomson (agent)
“What I like about fashion magazine is that they create a platform to experiment and to work closely with people who can be super inspiring. I call it my laboratory. [It] should be like an adventure; not knowing where your play will lead you. When you’re working on fashion campaigns for a commercial brand it’s often much less experimental, but still creative in the sense that you have to match the pieces of a puzzle.” –Viviane Sassen
“I don’t plan everything in advance- that makes things flat and dull. For me the shoot feels like a kind of explosion.” -Viviane Sassen
“[Fashion and art photography] are separate worlds, so different from each other. But I love them both- I love the group dynamic [in fashion] and collaborating with other people.” -Viviane Sassen
Hope you enjoyed this inspiration post! Learn more about Viviane Sassen here: http://www.vivianesassen.com/
Fashion editorials are so fascinating, and it’s amazing what talented photographers can capture. Who are your favorite fashion photographers?
<3 Stella Pu
Creative Director of the FNA Blog