Creativity, Audacity and Determination
Sonyah is a French professional agency and freelance model, passionate about the fashion/ artistic fields and portrait photography.
These last years, she worked a lot as a beauty/hairdressing model and has been chosen as ambassador by several high hairdressing brands like Wella, Mod's Hair and Hair City Paris, or Cazance Genève.
She also walked as model for L'Oréal, Eugène Perma, Wella and Jack Holt's hairshows.
Her passion for image and portrait photography in particular finally led her to learn the profession of photographer.
As part of her diverse modeling experiences, she also practiced her taste for makeup and even self-taughtly learnt the art of make up, which allows her to create her own editorial photoshoots, many of whom have already been published into recognized fashion/beauty magazines.
She's now creating her own portrait photography magazine, a bi-monthly publication untitled Whimsical Magazine, whose launching issue will be out in September.
Moevir Magazine July Issue 2020 featured edition
Female Model: Sonyah Kross @Terres d’Artistes @sonyahkross
Retoucher: Lara Gilles @lara_gilles
Wardrobe Stylist/Creative Director/Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist/Photographer: Sonia Segura
Tell us something about you. Maybe your life, profession, habits, dreams.
I’m a professional model and beginner fashion/beauty portrait photographer based in France and working at an international level.
All the images of the "Satin Doll" editorial published in this issue are self portraits. I’m an unconditional portrait lover, probably mostly because I’m a fanatic of details and emotions!
Indeed, for me portrait photography is the photography field which allows the most to show detailed textures and to express emotions at their more intense and genuine form.
My passion for portrait photography and image led me to the idea of creating my own portrait photography magazine, that I’m currently launching with my retoucher, Lara Gilles, who is also an amazing beauty/fashion portrait photographer.
I’ll be both founder and editor in chief of this magazine, that I have untitled Whimsical Magazine, to express the diversity and the audacity of the content that it will offer.
This magazine will be a bi-monthly publication aiming to highlight and sublimize portrait photography in all its forms, envisioned as work of art, from fashion and beauty portrait, to fine art portrait, passing by black and white portrait.
Passion, creativity and emotion will be the three watchwords.
The first issue, which is in progress and will be out in September 2020, will be an open theme one, to allow a maximum of photographers, stylists, models, hair stylists, make up artists, etc. around the globe, to have the opportunity to submit their work.
Additionally to unique editorial portraits, every issue will consist of interviews and articles spotlighting talents, from every part of the world.
I’m so excited about the launch of this new project and I’m looking forward to have the chance to hold the first print issue!
In your daily routine, what resources do you like to use to learn new things about art, fashion?
For me, Pinterest and Instagram are very useful resources that I use a lot in my daily routine, to enrich my inspiration and discover new visions of photography and fashion.
In the creative process, the interest of social medias like Pinterest and Instagram is that their algorithms, though criticizable by other aspects, create a kind of virtuous circle, by systematically guiding me on ideas, images, linked to my initial research and so, to the concept I wish to develop and refine, in order to define the guideline of my new photoshoot.
More generally, I read a lot of articles, listen a lot of podcasts highlighting the evolution of art and society, watch many live videos dealing with the work of emerging visual artists (above all on Behance, YouTube and Spotify) and as a huge movies and series lover, I rarely spend a day without watching a movie or an episode, which, consciously or not, contributes a lot to feed and diversify my imagery about art, history of art, photography, fashion and beauty.
Is art, fashion important in your life? Why?
Art, photography, fashion, actually are what drives my daily life. I literally feed myself from fashion and artistic photography.
I never spend even one day without watching the work of photographers I admire or discovering new fashion photographers or models, magazine covers and editorials, fashion/beauty brands campaigns, hairstylists creations and other artistic works from the beauty/fashion field.
If you had a superpower or a talent, which one would you wish to have? Why?
Without hesitation, if I had a superpower, it would be to stop time!
Nowadays, we really have the impression that time is more and more accelerating and that days aren’t long enough to accomplish everything we’d like to, all the more when you aspire to be an artist, that you have an artistic life.
You’re always boiling, working on several projects at a time, being on multiple fronts at once, so you don’t feel time running and it’s very often frustrating!
Hence, having the possibility to master time, even just one day in my life, would be really amazing to me!
In modern societies, lots of people want to be famous, influential. What do you think about it?
Yes indeed, nowadays, everybody wants to be famous, that’s crazy!
And I think this phenomenon is mainly due to the invention of reality shows, which allow and encourage people to be famous just for themselves and not thanks to a talent they might have and develop.
For me, reality shows are vividly symptomatic of the phenomenon of personality cult which characterizes our modern societies.
What is your favorite camera? Why?
My favorite camera, that I use since I began photography, is the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which is commercialized since 2003, so it’s not a recent model but it’s a very professional and qualitative camera!
I chose this model because it is the one used by the photographer I worked with the most as a model, before I learnt photography and as I loved the photos we made with it, I’ve decided without hesitation to chose this model to learn photography.
I’m still using this model and with this camera, I always work with the EF 50mm F/1,8 STM lens, which is amazingly versatile and so, allows me to exploit a lot of different plans during my photoshoots.
For me, the versatility is an essential criteria in the choice of a camera and a lens since it’s crucial in the quality, diversity and creativity of the images I produce.
Besides, the association of these camera and this lens results in a beautiful vintage effect, above all perceptible on the black and white pictures.
How do you prepare your new shoots?
I think concept is the key to create a coherent, harmonious, but also striking new photoshoot.
Hence, for me preparing a new photoshoot first means finding the concept, the common thread of the photoshoot.
Then, once I have it clear in mind, I take several weeks during which I daily feed my inspiration from the work of photographers, hairstylists, make up artists and even retouchers whose I admire the work, but also advertising campaigns from fashion/beauty brands and magazines cover stories, corresponding to the state of mind and mood I want to reproduce through my photoshoot.
The last step (but not least!) is to take care to find the good playlist to play during the photoshoot.
Indeed, for me it's a determining aspect to get into the appropriate conditions and allow me to adopt the adequate attitude and expressions.
All this process allows me to create, little by little, my moodboard in view of the photoshoot.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration, both as a model and a photographer, first comes from the work of photographers I admire and follow and who, for most of them, are women. Lindsay Adler (United States), Lara Jade (Great Britain), Marie Bärsch (Germany), Salamon Photography (Russia), Amanda Diaz (Canada), to quote a few names.
Of course, I also admire the work of male photographers who especially create amazing black and white portraits, like Vincent Peters (Germany), Nathan Elson (Canada ) or Gregory Harris (New Zealand), who and more classically, the legendary Peter Lindberg, whose fashion black and white portraits will always stay avant-gardiste and timeless.
In parallel, as a huge cinephile, I also draw my inspiration in the movies and series I daily watch. The acting skills, the esthetic of the styling, the colors and the atmosphere, the musics, are all elements that feed my inspiration for the purpose of realizing new editorial portrait photoshoots.
By the way, about music in particular, which takes a specific place in my artistic life, I'm systematically inspired by classics of music to define the titles of my editorials. "Satin Doll", the present editorial, is the title of a jazz standard performed by Ella Fitzgerald.
What are the worst difficulties you have to face during your shoots?
The main difficulty of my photoshoots, which is also for me the biggest wealth, is that I only work in natural light, that is to say with day light.
I love working in natural light because in my point of view, it’s the most beautiful light in photography.
But the inconvenient is that, contrary to studio lights, that you can direct and adjust like we want, you can’t control neither the intensity of the sunlight, either the frequency and the motion of the clouds.
Then, you have to do with it and your creativity and technicity are submitted to these natural elements.
But as I love taking up challenges and that for me, casualty participates to the magic of the creative process, I don’t take it as a difficulty or a setback, but much more as an opportunity to keep renewing myself, both as a model and photographer, but also as a make up artist.
What is the most important thing for you to create a new work?
In my point of view, the most important thing to be able to constantly create a new relevant artwork, is precisely to have this ability to consistently renew my creativity, to get out from my comfort zone.
Creation cannot exist without risk-taking!