Digital FeaturesKörperbauAnna Daki
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Anna Daki


PHOTOGRAPHY Anna Daki HAIR & MAKE-UP Michael Mayer,  Models Bara @ M4 Models, Hilal @ M4 Models, Anna Ma @ Core Management und Kirra @ Core Management Camera Leica S with Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 Asph., Apo-Macro-Summarit-S120mm f/2.5 Asph.

In her Körperbau, the young Ukrainian photographer, Anna Daki, combines the sensuality of the human body with the objectivity of architecture. The models, who have a deliberately natural style, adopt angular poses reflecting architectural structures and lines. Thanks to the rich contrast of black and white, the imagery gives rise to a bionic interplay of construction and biology.

S Magazine: You were born in Ukraine, studied photography in Great Britain and your studio is now in Berlin, where you live and work. How did it happened, that your path touched three different countries, and how did they and their cultures influence your work?
Anna Daki: I was born and raised in Odessa, a very multicultural and diverse city, where I started to study art and everything connected to it at a very early age. It was there that I realised I wanted to continue to create all my life. When I got into Architecture at university in London it helped me grow as a person, and it helped me realise that architecture was not something I wanted to do all my life; so I decided to try photography, which was my hobby at that time. It wasn't so easy, but I knew that I wanted to continue and never stop working as a photographer. Berlin and Hamburg gave me great impulses in my work, to live by what I'm doing and to be extremely happy about it – getting together amazing teams, very good clients and working in a great atmosphere.

You began by studying architecture but ended up in photography. What does photography mean to you?
Photography for me is an art-form like architecture, painting or anything else; it's all about creating, being fully responsible and controlling a situation (in most cases). That isn't at all possible at the beginning of a career in architecture. Photography gives me freedom and helps me to develop continuously, to learn every second – learn from the good and learn from mistakes. Now photography is my whole life and I can't imagine to not doing it.

Many young photographers start their careers as assistants to well-known, established photographers. You are very young and at the beginning of your career, but you work independently, have quite a lot of assignments and maintain your own studio. How did you managed that?
I did assist a couple of photographers back in London, which really gave me a lot, my first studio experience, working with a team. In the beginning, I was multitasking, doing make-up and styling models with my own clothes or clothes borrowed from designers. I learned a lot and also became very independent in terms of working.

Maybe this made me stronger and more pushy. I'm never sad about the rejects that I receive and always learn from it. I'm also an extremely responsible person and maybe that's a thing creative people sometimes lack. In 99% of the cases I deliver work on time even if it means I don't get to sleep for three nights; but, to be honest, I always take on all the work I can, and just shoot, shoot, shoot.

The picture spread you made for the S Magazine is connected with your long-term project Body Architecture. What's it about?
I've always been driven by the beauty of the human body, by shapes and forms. During my studies of architecture I looked at the human body a lot, trying to bring bionic elements into my architectural projects. With photography I've now found the perfect solution, to see and photograph the architecture of the body. I already did two parts, and third one is now here in the S Magazine.

For Körperbau you used the Leica S for the first time. How was it to work with this system?
For me, working with such a great camera was a most incredible experience. I never believed you can only succeed with an expensive camera; but the S System was so great, so simple to use. Although it looks big, heavy and complicated, from the second you take the camera in your hands you're able to produce amazing quality images.

What are you looking for in your models? What is your criteria for working with them?
I like my models to have special faces, and I don't like them to be too skinny – I prefer as natural as possible. On the whole, I'm super flexible in terms of working with girls; but, of course, for special projects or picture spreads I prefer to know the model beforehand.

How do you treat your pictures? Do you do the post production yourself or entrust it to another? What seems like the better way to you?
That's my other thing. I rarely entrust my images fully to anyone.  Sometimes I get some cosmetic retouching help from my assistant, but I always check and do the finishing myself.

On the whole, however, I do the post production myself; I also enjoy it – it's like drawing for me. The best way is to control the team, check the make-up and styling and all possible details, so there's not much to change in post production.

Do you have photographic idols who inspire you?
Yes, my all time idol is Helmut Newton, I can look at his work for hours every day. Elena Emchuk is a female idol of mine.

What dreams do you have as a photographer? What direction do you wish to develop in?
My dream is to simply continue doing what I love to do, and to have the freedom to choose any model or team member I want to work with. And, of course, I want to work with major fashion magazines around the globe! It's a tough road, but I'm full of the energy needed to get there.