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  • LA Weekly
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© Kayla Varley

Kayla Varley

Xareni Penichet
+May 03, 2021

Los Angeles based photographer Kayla Varley (@kaylavarley) focuses mostly on fashion, beauty and lifestyle within the advertisement industry. From a young age she knew she wanted to be a photographer and started to shoot from the age of 13. Her work mostly explores the intimacy and connection between humans, evoking emotions through color, expression and kinetic movement. There is a playful aspect to her work finding joy in the unexpected and the magic in human connection. She has an eye for unique and diverse beauty, and one can see this reflected through out her work, especially in the campaign she did for IPSY.

quote Photography was a way for me to express myself when I had no other way, I could get in touch with my emotions whether good or bad. It was honestly the best thing that could have ever happened to me and I'm so grateful I found photography and creativity.
  • Foto Femme united image
  • Foto Femme united image
© Kayla Varley

IPSY is a beauty subscription service were people get what they call a ‘glam bag’ on a monthly bases that is especially assembled based on ones personality and preferences. The company is all about community, celebrating the individual and empowering others. The concept behind this specific campaign was to Discover Yourself, Be Yourself - stepping into your power and authenticity. Therefore Kayla’s playful, unique and colorful style was a great match. She worked along side the creative agency Someone & Others, who allowed her to be herself while still collaborating with her in the creative direction and finalizing the retouching. Kayla wanted to give the campaign an authentic edge, so she created a specific color treatment choosing a vibrant and attractive palette of colors, that also made the makeup stand out.

The production was shot at the same time as the TV commercial over 3 days in different neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Having to share the space with the video team added another level of difficulty as Kayla had a minimal amount of time to set up and shoot each character. Therefore to help make the job go smoothly she had a fully trustworthy and efficient team in which she could completely count on. Sharing the space with the video production, gave Kayla at the most 45 minutes with each personality. And although she had to work quickly, she managed to create a safe and intimate space which gave each model the comfort to shine and be themselves. The actors were a group of talented and unique individuals who have interesting personal stories. They all brought their authenticity and different perspectives to the overall vision of the campaign, evoking inspiration through each person’s unique beauty.

  • Foto Femme united image
  • Foto Femme united image
  • Foto Femme united image
© Kayla Varley

The production was shot at the same time as the TV commercial over 3 days in different neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Having to share the space with the video team added another level of difficulty as Kayla had a minimal amount of time to set up and shoot each character. Therefore to help make the job go smoothly she had a full trustworthy and efficient team in which she could completely count on. Sharing the space with the video production, gave Kayla at the most 45 minutes with each personality. And although she had to work quickly, she managed to create a safe and intimate space which gave each model the comfort to shine and be themselves. The actors were a group of talented and unique individuals who have interesting personal stories. They all brought their authenticity and different perspectives to the overall vision of the campaign, evoking inspiration through each person’s unique beauty.

“We shot on the streets of Silverlake with a woman named Indi, a beautiful house in the hills with the amazing musician Ciara, a trans woman named Corey, we shot a woman that had Spina Bifida, just many different people with different inspiring backgrounds.”

  • Foto Femme united image
  • Foto Femme united image
© Kayla Varley

Kayla used a macro lens for most of the shoot to highlight each person’s beauty, which also gave her the flexibility to find interesting angles that featured the makeup. Each personality demanded a different set up, sometimes shooting outdoors in natural light, as well as shooting indoors using specialized beauty lights. The results were a collection of empowering, authentic and inspirational photographs full of color and diversity.