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“Meet the creators” is a series of interviews where our team meets inspiring artists/masters of their craft and tries to learn more about their creative processes. This time we had an opportunity to chat with fashion photographer Rokas Darulis. We invite you to join us and learn more about this creator.
Can you tell us a little about your journey as a photographer? If possible, narrow it down to the main turning points.
I became interested in photography when I was 16 years old. One of the starting points was a Kiev camera given to me by my grandfather. At that time, I became interested in learning how to use it and started experimenting with film photography. That is how my passion for photography was born.
The second turning point was a last-minute decision to cancel my admission papers to graphic design studies and choose photography studies instead. At the end of the twelfth grade, I realized I wanted to tie my future with this creative sphere.
The last turning point that shifted me towards fashion photography was an unexpected fall into the world of fashion. When I graduated from university, I mainly photographed people and portraits. But once, after photographing a friend who worked as a model, I was invited to shoot at a modeling agency. That’s how my passion for fashion photography was born, and my career began.
Do you have sources of inspiration that shape you as a creator?
Yes, in the beginning, I was most inspired by photographers Paolo Roversi and Peter Lindbergh. I was drawn to the specific mood they create, naturalness, sophistication, and perception of light. I also find movies like Larry Clark’s Kids, Korean Old Boy, Hungarian Taxidermia, or Gregory Colbert’s Ashes and Snow inspiring.
There is much naturalness in your work. Can you share how you create the atmosphere in your photos?
When you photograph people, you usually get the same energy back from them as you give. My photos are calm and quiet. It reflects my character and the energy I project during the photo shoot.
Sometimes when I must do highly vigorous shoots with much action, I have to radiate energy myself to get the talent or models moving. It drains me, and it’s not natural for me. I feel like a fish in water when taking pictures calmly, slowly, and quietly.
A photographer’s journey can be compared to the development of a brand. What qualities do you think are necessary to be a successful fashion photographer?
A successful career as a photographer consists of many things – photography is just one part. Good management (be it agent or self-management) is crucial. Fashion photography has a lot of politics, so it is necessary to strategize which jobs to say yes to and which ones to say no to. And another important thing is the social circle or circle of followers. It doesn’t matter how good your works are they won’t interest anyone if no one sees them. Therefore, you need to advertise yourself. It’s really like growing a brand, only you have one product, and that product is yourself.
Have you ever had moments when you were tired of photography?
Such moments keep coming and repeating in my life. I think this is normal because everything goes in waves. The desire to create depends on mood, life situation, and general emotional state. There are difficult periods and better ones, but one way or another, that desire always returns.
What is beauty to you?
Something that gets your heart rate up. When it’s hard to take your eyes off someone or something.
What is your biggest current goal?
To find new inspiration.
We are curious to know, what is your personal relationship with fashion?
I like to dress quite simply. Comfort is the most important thing for me. I enjoy vintage and 90’s styles. I wouldn’t say I like accessories, so I only wear very minimalistic jewelry. I have dozens of the same black and white t-shirts, and I enjoy wearing the same look. Even though I shoot fashion, dressing is not where I want to burden myself. I sometimes like to look for more unique clothes when I travel or from small designers (usually blazers, bombers, or jackets) and mix them with that simple minimalist style.