Vivienne Mok believes that to be a great photographer, one must have a strong vision. It’s certainly a characteristic she not only aspires to but one she achieves with rhythmic regularity. Her shoots are the kind that seem to create their own worlds. They’re dream-like, almost always a unified vision of beauty and softness. At times they capture something sensual, erotic even – though when asked, Mok says she prefers adjectives like personal, feminine, dreamy, and romantic.
In an exclusive shoot for Fashionising.com, Vivienne Mok brings her photographic romance outdoors in a story of forgotten places. With floating tulle and ethereal pleats filtering through with sunlight, models Sinara and Alexa explore the kinds of settings that may be, on the surface, forgotten but that are always alive in the corner of our childhood memories and fading daydreams.
You can read the rest of our interview with Vivienne after the break.
Q: I understand you are self-taught as a photographer? How long have you been photographing for?
A: Yes, I am self-taught and I have been photographing for almost two years now…
You tend to do most of the styling, hair, makeup and photography on your shoots. Why do you prefer to work alone?
Actually, before photography, I studied Fashion Design, and then worked for a couple years in a Fashion house in Paris. I picked up photography as a hobby first, and then it just started to take a big part of my life. Although I liked designing clothes, I always had a tendency to think in terms of visual pictures, so for me clothing is an element of an image and that is why I style the pictures myself. It is a “whole”, to convey a mood, every element, from the setting, to the model, to the styling is important. For the make-up part, I like the natural look so I do not really need a make-up artist and the hairstyles I do are not anything too complicated. For now I really enjoy to work alone with each model, it’s like shooting with a good friend. Eventually I will learn to work with more people when I meet the right people to work with.
What, in your view, makes a great photographer?
Someone that stays true to himself/herself. Someone with a strong vision.
I’ve read some people refer to your photography style as ‘erotic’. Is that a word you’d use? How would you describe your own style?
I have nothing against the work “erotic”, although I would not describe my style as erotic, I do not think while I’m shooting, that I want to create something erotic. (Except when, under a given topic, I did do some erotic series, and those were inspired by the 70’s imagery of Penthouse magazines, but I do not think that they summarize my work).
I would describe my work as personal, feminine, dreamy, romantic and sensual.
Name some things that you love. Things that inspire you.
I love good food, the sea, the company of people I appreciate, calm…
Many things can be a source of inspiration: a person, an emotion, a moody painting, a movie, a place, a story, fairytales, things from the past that have a story to tell…
Click on the thumbnails above to enter the woods of Vivienne Mok’s full shoot for Fashionising.com. Be sure to pack your breadcrumbs: it’s the type of work you can get lost in.
Visit viviennemok.blogspot.com for more of Vivienne’s work.