She started her career in steps of catwalk and left the modeling stage with the same grace after being accepted to a drama college in London. Acting days with film producer Robert Evans (The Godfather) changed her path and in a moment of revelation her life took its destined track.
Tatijana Shoan is a photographer madly in love with interesting stories and passionate about writing. AS IF magazine is her gateway to revealing remarkable photo galleries and articles that lay behind illustrious names.
MiND Magazine interviewed her with the occasion of the 3rd issue of AS IF magazine.
The modeling years…
TATIJANA SHOAN: I stopped modeling when I was accepted at a drama college in London. After college I moved to New York and started acting in theatre. I learned how to do make-up during my years as a model. While I was a make-up artist I had the privilege of working with some of the most gifted photographers of our time like Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Henri-Cartier Bresson, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Michel Comte, along with having a celebrity clientele such as Alec Baldwin, Glen Close, James Franco, Orlando Bloom, Julie Delphi and Helen Mirren.
When digital printing replaced the old, the ‘soul’ was taken out of my photos and my prints were looking static and one-dimensional so, I put my camera away and decided to just focus on acting, which was my trained profession. Moved to Los Angeles in 2003, I got work in the theatre and was discovered by legendary film producer Robert Evans (China Town, The Godfather, Rosemary’s Baby). Realizing that acting wasn’t something I wanted to dedicate my life to, so I made the painful decision to stop. I don’t miss anything about those days because the benefits of those careers have transferred into my photography.
TATIJANA SHOAN: AS IF magazine is the accumulation of all my passions. Our mission is to highlight people who have made a significant creative mark in our society. We are not interested in current trends or the new “it” person on the scene. Since launching we have come-out twice a year, in 2014 we will be quarterly. I will continue to provide the majority of the photography content, but will likely hire more writers. In our first year we won over 20 national and international awards in platinum and gold. However, when we launch our website next year we will have web specific content and I will be hiring outside photographers so I can stay focused on the publication.
TATIJANA SHOAN: We have exclusive features on artists Marina Abramović and Marco Brambilla, as well as intimate features with fashion designers Tommy and Dee Hilfiger and Zac Posen. Harold Koda, the Head Curator of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art sat down with us to talk about the evolution of western fashion and fashion as an art form. We have a fabulous editorial with Sean Lennon. I took a series of portraits of Sean and asked him to write adjectives above his head that best describe him and to illustrate around his image. Sean is a very gifted illustrator and this editorial is very unique and intimate. Actress Christina Ricci is our cover girl, and we also introduced beauty in this issue. I shot a beautiful beauty editorial and former supermodel Veronica Webb has come on board as our Beauty Director.
My magazine is my canvas…
TATIJANA SHOAN: This magazine is a culmination of my vision and I have invested so much into it to provide myself with a creative platform and to share my work with the public. If I stopped producing and shooting the majority of the content it would no longer be my vision and the magazine would ultimately change.
An instinctual approach…
TATIJANA SHOAN: I would describe my approach as instinctual and impulsive, but I don’t think I can categorize my style, though others have called it ‘painterly’. I feel my way through a shoot. I don’t like to tether or stop to review the images. It breaks the rhythm of the shoot and interferes with the connection I’ve made with my subject, and that connection is the most important ingredient.
In terms of making my subjects feel comfortable, I’m simply kind to them. I’m photographing them, therefore I have respect for them. You can feel when someone has respect for you.
The Ophelia mannequins are sleek and elegant. They have pure and clean lines creating beautiful silhouettes. By using the Ophelia mannequins as set props Candice’s purses took center stage. The color, texture, shape and materials of her purses were emphasized because they weren’t competing with distracting elements, instead the mannequins served as the perfect complement to her classic purses.
We were looking for natural and sleek silhouettes, and we were also looking for expression, not lifeless mannequins. We also needed mannequins that looked like sculptures to give the images an artistic quality.
A future perspective
TATIJANA SHOAN: AS IF will continue to expand but it’s very important that we keep the artistic integrity of the magazine intact so we will remain quarterly. Since AS IF is also a frame of mind, we encourage our readers to explore their own “as if” ideologies in their life, making “as if” a statement of personal power and ownership which can be used in the everyday lexicon—that’s so as if!