In a certain way, I am a kind of entertainer, creating a show of the unexpected using a mixture of weird material, man-made and natural, assembled together in the studio to create new juxtapositions which are both evocative and surreal. The use of light and colour are also essential in creating a sense of wonder. I want my viewer to stay with me a little longer than just a glimpse of time.
Alessandra Kila (@alessandrakila) is a commercial photographer and creative director, expanding beyond the parameters of the expected - she delights in delivering unexpected combinations of colours, oddities and thrilling visual experiences. Like any good entertainer, Alessandra surprises audiences with the wondrous and unexpected - carefully constructed sets are discarded in favour of thrilling dichotomies, art historical references and a combination of unanticipated and original lighting and colour combinations.
Alessandra’s campaign for Mercedes Benz leaps out of the realm of possibility for photography - literally so, as the photographs are CGI generated, and carefully constructed via computer. The complex process demanded that Alessandra become a virtual photographer, constructing lighting, angles, sets and colour within a virtual studio. Swapping studio based assistants for CG artists, the campaign navigates complex dichotomies between real and unreal, studio based and virtual.
Working within the virtual realm, Alessandra was still able to fully control the colour, lighting, tone and mood of the project, allowing her to expand into incredibly striking colours which refract and reflect off of the car body. The kaleidoscopic collision of colour, light and material within the photo invokes thoughts of freedom, luxury and style.
In another unexpected process intended to push the barriers of colour, technology and the photographic medium itself, Alessandra incorporates delicate glass based sculptural forms to interact with the car bodies. In collaboration with creative director Mathias Wilke and Recom Farmhouse's London post production studio, Alessandra created sculptural installations made of dichroic glass - a material that is both transparent and mirrored, and a substance that might be as unpredictable and unexpected as Alessandra’s work itself.
Working in studio with the glass sculptures proved to be a challenge - being so unpredictable and changing with the slightest movement of both camera and lighting, it was difficult to navigate the placement of the camera. Alessandra persevered however, as the material delivered the striking colours, reflections and atmosphere that she sought, and in doing so helped to generate the final image.
Navigating the virtual/ unreal world to deliver audiences a tangible and real image is a delicate balance - one where differences between hard and harsh lines and organic forms become essential to generate a product that isn’t misleading, cold or sterile in nature. The messy real life problems of camera reflection and colour become easy to overcome in a virtual world, but can just as easily render an image unrealistic and sterile to audiences.
Alessandra’s work within the studio overcomes this and brings balance back into the unreal images - “I collected images of glass details to incorporate to the final CG images: shimmering particles such as the sparkles of the lights against the edge of the glass, caustics effects on the floor or simply the glowing effect of the material against a white wall. The final result was great in the end and the added analogue bits really helped to bring these images together.”
Heavily inspired in form and colour by Cubism and architectural Deconstructionism, Alessandra’s photographs combine art historical inspiration, modern day technology and the unexpected to invoke a journey of emotions. Carefully planned, yet open to the joys of trial and error, Alessandra’s lighting and set work create incredible imagery that is entertaining, colourful and enjoyable.
As a female photographer in the industry, Alessandra reflects on how she often feels the need to make a statement to a client - whether it's via email, contained within the pitch or face to face with a client. Male photographers often aren’t subjected to questioning of their authority or skill. With the added complexity of COVID-19, female freelance creatives are often found juggling child rearing, career and creativity. “I feel like I have lots of plates spinning at the same time and still, we, femme, can make it!”
Alessandra is a photographer and creative director. She looks to the natural world, scientific facts and fiction for inspiration and investigates the life of objects and their sculptural potential. Departing from their literal meaning Alessandra creates rich new juxtapositions both evocative and surreal which she translates into the emotional landscapes and dreamlike worlds of her photographs. Alessandra graduated from the University of Westminster with a Masters Degree in Photographic Studies.