A Tête–à–Tête with Photography Talent Scarlett Casciello
Thanks to a chance meeting with Scarlett Casciello in a Beijing cafe, I had the opportunity to work with her on our recent Windsor Avenue "Femme Fatale" photo shoot. Not only did we have a blast on set, but I saw first-hand how talented of a photographer she is. At Rendez-Vous With Olivia, we wanted to find out more on this budding talent, especially since we'll keep seeing more of Scarlett's work in the fashion world.
RV: How would you describe your overall style?
SC: I would say my imagery evokes a feeling of power and style, I try to make my work not throw away and make it about the subject being totally in control of their environment.
RV: How did you get started in photography?
SC: I started properly studying photography when I was at college (age 16 in the UK) and I fell in love with documenting people and moments as well as the whole process of shooting on film and not knowing what will come of it. I then continued through to a foundation course and then to University to specialise in Fashion Photography. I always had an interest in cameras and photos, I was and still am obsessed by family albums and photos telling a history, not just my own but anyones, and I think that triggered my initial want to start myself.
RV: Was it something you always knew you wanted to do?
SC: I've always wanted to take photos but its probably only until recently I knew I could actually do this forever as a career. Before I discovered photography properly I liked the idea of being a Journalist, I think I always wanted to somehow work with magazines and be in print.
RV: Who would you love to shoot and why?
SC: I would love to shoot Lindsey Wixson properly, I photographed her once backstage and as soon as I saw her I went running over and tried to capture something, but it wasn't going to be the same as if I had her on a location of my choice I don't think. I find her face sublime...she has this freshness and coolness I haven't seen in a lot of models since the 90s supermodels. I would also like to photograph all of the 90s supermodels on location.
RV: That would be fabulous! And they could wear Windsor Avenue jewelry too!
RV: Working with you on Windsor Avenue’s most recent shoot, you were amazing in directing the model. In other words, you had the moves and I’m convinced you were a supermodel in your past life. Where did you learn how to move better than many models?
SC: Haha, I think I've done a bit of mirror practicing in the clothes the night before... but I think really I mirror what I'm picturing in my head...it just comes out. I can't explain it really, I think I learnt how to direct out of a want to create a perfect image, I think if you stay stiff and make commands as a photographer, you aren't going to ever create what you really want out of an image.
RV: The coolest thing too was having Miss Jay from America’s Next Top Model pop into our set that day. I’m sure he along with the others on the judging panel would have been impressed with your moves too.
RV: What do you find different and interesting about the fashion scene in Beijing?
SC: It's different in that it’s very new in a way...What I find interesting is the use of colour now, I feel like all those grey colours that were worn by the parents of my generation have totally flipped into what is now the most colourful city I have ever been to...It's different in that they don't reference decades like we do or look back like we do, they are completely starting from their own decade of fashion, which is exciting to witness.
RV: That’s such a great perspective. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re so right.
RV: Now that you’re back in London, what are you most excited about?
SC: I'm excited to move into a new apartment and get back involved into the London scene. I haven't been in it for so long because I went straight from University in the countryside to Beijing so coming back to London now is almost like moving to somewhere unfamiliar and exciting. I'm looking forward to working with new teams and hopefully new publications.
RV: After living in China for a while, many experience this so-called reverse culture shock when going back home.
RV: And what do you miss about Beijing?
SC: Beijing as a city, I am really missing the food and the visuals. I don't think my senses were ever bored in Beijing. There was so much to see and do every day and you never ever get bored or feel uninspired. That's definitely something I'm going to miss because I don't think many other cities in the world have that power and it was one of the main reasons for me moving!
RV: When not working, what do you do to have fun and unwind?
SC: To have fun I like to go out dancing with friends, particularly if it involves a pub or bar that has tables for us to dance outrageously on to good music. To unwind I listen to Cerys Mathews on 6 music radio every Sunday morning, listening to the radio and her choice of music is one of my favourite things to do.
RV: What’s your fashion/beauty indulgence?
SC: I don't have a beauty indulgence because I'm pretty awful with makeup and skincare really...but in terms of fashion I seriously indulge myself in dresses and more recently shoes!
RV: What’s your most treasured possession?
SC: I think my photographs of friends and family...and certain photography books that I own that I think would be hard to find again... as well as a ring that my parents gave me on my 18th.
RV: Which travel destination is on the top of your list?
SC: At the moment I'd like to go to South America most, I want to go somewhere that I can dance a lot and be hot. I like the idea of going to Austin, Texas for the music scene apparently it's great, and then maybe driving around America. Shockingly I've never been to New York so really that should be at the top.
RV: What inspires you?
SC: I'm inspired by films and powerful women throughout history, whether they're made up characters or real. I'm passionate really about what I do which is seriously cheesy but I think its true!
RV: Not cheesy at all! You love what you do and it shows in your repertoire of work.
RV: What’s on your music playlist right now?
SC: In my head its David Bowie, but on my iPod i've just downloaded this song called Berlin to Beijing by Tricky because it reminds me of Beijing.
RV: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
SC: When you have a moment of realisation of how lucky you are to have something.
RV: If you could have dinner with any 3 people in the world (still around or passed away), who would they be?
SC: Vivian Leigh, Quentin Tarantino, Cerys Mathews and if one more person could drop by it would be Leonardo Dicaprio
RV: Now that would make for quite an interesting dinner party. Could I be a fly on the wall to listen in on the conversations?! Thank you so much for chatting with us. Can't wait to see what's in store for you as you take on London.
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