Nothing can make an outfit so desirable as a good picture. It makes you search for your wallet and want to put on your coat to get away with your copy.  When you have it, you try to recapture the image of the picture while trying the outfit on yourself, wanting the stunning look like the model had and hoping for the feeling it first invoked.  This is one of the reasons that a good designer cannot live without a good fashion photographer.

Connie Arida is such a fashion photographer.  With her sexy blond look and her perfect feeling for styling, she makes every outfit a piece to die for.  How does she do this?  Time to have a talk with her and to introduce her to you, because you will be seeing more work from her on the EFA blog.  She responded to my call for participation in the EFA-AIFW2009 and henceforth will be our official event photographer for this show.

EFA - Connie Sec - fav1It's done in my home, at my dressing table, it's simple, direct and I look real (to me).

Left: My Artilleri Cha Cha Pants, one of my earliest purchases in SL, that red Primouth car, the unusual baked on hair on the skin, the totally Modded hair made into a Pony, and it’s a featured pic in the Global Artists Flickr Group. It’s my past, my present and appreciation from Photographers outside of SL that makes it special.

Right: It’s done in my home, at my dressing table, it’s simple, direct and I look real (to me).

Who is Connie Arida or must I say Connie Sec?

In 1st life, I’m a student studying Environmental Science after completing my Lab Technology diploma.  Arida is my SL surname..and Sec is my Flickr Surname…’cos I’ll always be “Just a sec”.  ( yea yea..weak joke). I live in Sydney, Australia, and have been in SL since April 2007. While I am an SL photography addict, my 1st life does come first and I made a promise to myself a long while back that SL and 1st life would not mix. My Flickr is where I post all my pics, though I do post some to Koinup, and Facebook..and others. My Blog is just my fashion shots, with a list of the outfits and accesories and where thay are from.  I like to feature lesser known or new designers if I can. Basically, I like to help out. I don’t charge 99% of the time. Apart from that, I spend time with my SL partner, see my SL sister and friends, furnish my home, terraform and don’t get out as much as I should. I hit the Big 30 a while back ( Runs to the edge of the grid, and jumps)

Watch out with jumping, I am already laying there! When did you start with fashion photography?

I started Flickr in about the middle of 07 as a sort of everyday record of the happenings in my SL life. Over time, it’s morped into clothes, “Art” and silliness. I love SL fashion and like to find things that I like ( especially from little known designers) and photograph them. I mainly do it for my own pleasure and relaxation…it’s better than writing a scientific report with Harvard referencing 🙂

Did you learn to make and edit the pictures yourself ?

All self taught, trial, error, obsession. Though I did do art at School.

Can you give the biggest don’t and do when it comes to fashion photography?

Gosh, hard question..big don’t..personally, I’m a stickler for skins..I don’t like skins with too harsh baked on shadows and highlights and no detail.  While it makes it easy to take one sort of shot, you really are stuck with one look, and thats it.  And do’s..experiment, work with the environmental sliders..try everything, look at RL fashion pics !! In the end you are selling the outfit. Theres no point having an amazing shot, and you can’t even see the reason why the pic was done in the first place.

What inspires you when creating a picture?

Sometimes its the pose on a pose vendor, or an outfit I love, sometimes its a pic i see in a fashion mag, sometimes its a pic I’ve seen someone else do in SL..and I go wow…and it inspires me to try new things. Let me say that, of all the things that inspires me, it is the community of SL photographers and artists that have made me want to do better.

Looking at all your pictures, you must have an enormous inventory because of all these gorgeous outfits. But what are the things you have in it that a photographer absolutely can not miss?

Heyy!!.. I “Only” have about 13,000 items.. and a lot of its bits from building and demos, and rubbish really. 🙂  What I cannot miss is probably poses. I also like to make my own backdrops and have made full sets from textures imported into SL.

Sorry sorry, that is a nice number 13.000, I did not say a thing. Do you make your poses yourself or do you have a favorite pose-designer?

Well.. I’m too lazy to make my own, but I have been known to use poses NOT for the situation for which they were intended.. for example, in my opinion, the most “emotional” pic I’ve done was using a Boudoir pose.. but changing the eyebrow angle and lips..and angle of shot gave it a whole different feel. I don’t really have a Fave pose maker as such..It’s like with music for me..I’m into songs..not bands…so, if a pose from anywhere inspires me. I will grab it and pop it into my pose stands.

EFA - Connie Sec - fav2‘Cos its just naughty as hell.

And how do you find all these beautiful places to make a picture? Can you share some favorite places where you make pictures?

Many of my things are done at my “studio”..which is just a big megaprim floor up high with all my backgrounds and glow/light prims and pose stands strewn round..a complete mess..:) I’ve also used locations, everywhere from actual Namia, or las islas., to the Japan Tempura Sim, So many. In the end, it’s what suits the idea I have..or conversely, a place will inspire me to go “Woooo…that outfit would look great in here”

Mostly you photograph yourself in the pictures. For this event you will have to work with other people too. Like designers, DJ’s and models. Do you have experience with that? And will it make a big difference to you?

I do a lot of pics of myself, mainly cos it’s easier, and if I have inspiration..I just go ahead and do it. I love to do portraits of people. Some I’ve done at my studio, and many I’ve caught out and about as candid shots at events and so on. I’ve used models in some instances, a major one was for the Brilliant Blonds / Calendar, with 2 models per shot, per month..and a big group pose with like 20 or so blonds in one shot. Now THAT was HARD! I’m really looking forward to the challenge of working with more people. I hope to perhaps pick up inspiration and ideas from they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. I also hope to bring some of my experience to the table and want to take sl fashion photography to the next level in “realism”, if I can.

Can you share some favorit pictures with us and say why it is a favorit one?

Hard to pic out faves, all of them, in a way are a rememberence of a time and place for me 🙂

EFA - Connie Sec - fav3EFA - Connie Sec - fav4

Left: It’s one that communicates emotion. I like the composition, colour and it even works as a fashion shot I think.

Right: Done on the fly at a Kmadd event, caught the moment, processed to the max, and it illustrates the fact that you always should have underwear.

Thanks for sharing Connie. You can see her favorits and the story behind it in this article. I am anxious to see what she will bring on for EFA-AIFW 2009.

EFA - AIFW 2009 (red)

Connie Arida will be the event photographer for the EFA – Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2009. All EFA-AIFW 2009 articles will be illustrated with her pictures.