A Fresh Look for Debutante Portraits - Inspiration From Russian Fashion Photographers

The rise of "celebutante" culture - the fascination with the glitzy Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton world, has today's 16 to 21 year old debutante wanting to record for prosperity her own great-moment-in-time beauty by scheduling a photo shoot prior to her big "deb" party/ball. Photographing American and international up-and-coming young ladies has become a very lucrative revenue stream for those photographers actively pursuing this niche market. This isn't a senior picture, this is a fantasy of glamour, magnetism and presence. A moment in time for the debutante when she believes she is the bright star of the universe.

Fed a steady diet for years of chic fashion magazines, red carpet photo sessions and runway shows these young ladies are looking for fashion-shoot style with a modern twist. For that reason studying leading fashion photographers' methods can be very beneficial to the debutante portrait photographer.

Russian fashion photographers Andrey Yakovlev and Lili Aleeva used a compelling design for their "Decadence" fashion photo shoot. The minimalist set combined an elegant luxury vibe with a completely "now" perspective.

‘Decadence’ by Andry Yakovlev and Lili Aleeva, Models Sasha Silver and Inessa Gold.

For the "Decadence" set Yakovlev and Aleeva pared down the extraneous distractions, leaving the focus on the subject but not separating her from her surroundings. The model above looks connected to the scene and removed at the same time. The framing is interesting and the posing of the model squarely face-on has a modern feel. By utilizing an extremely limited background color palette the eyes of the subject leap right off the page and the skin tones warm up in contrast.

The layout for the second image above could be successfully adapted to a portrait of the young deb and her best friend. What portrait photographers can take away from analyzing Andry and Lili's images is the sense of elegance and glamour permeating the scene; the very same mood many debutantes are going for. Leaving a lot of props out of the shot keeps the focus where it really belongs, right there on the glamour and high fashion wannabe, today's debutante.

Other work by Yakovlev and Aleeva includes "Women to Women", a photography collection in black and white. For this shoot they channel Casablanca ghosts with hairdos inspired by the 40's, film noire soulful eyes, and their signature elegantly aloof style.

"Women to Women", Andrey Yakovlev and Lili Aleeva.

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Filed under: Photo Extras November 30, 2009
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