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Out of Context

Spanish born and raised, Rocio Segura uses her homeland as inspiration while making her mark in the field of beauty- and fashion photography. She’s an NYC School of Visual Arts alumni, with a Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography, and also a highly sought-after freelance art director whose work has been featured as part of numerous group and solo exhibitions worldwide.

Could you tell us a bit about the idea behind your series Fort Tilden?

The idea was to take the underground street style out of its natural urban environment, and place it in a location where it doesn’t belong. We are playing with a distinct aesthetic and testing it in different ways. We work with color, light, composition, mood… There are many ingredients to make this recipe unique.

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What do you find most interesting with working in a team?

The most interesting part of working with a team is the exchange of ideas. Each team member commits to bring their vision to the table, and to share the different points of view of their own profession. A hair stylist is not going to look the same way at the subject as the makeup artist, stylist or photographer, and the model interaction is vital for the quality of the editorial. It is this communication that I find so interesting.

Why did you decide to shoot Fort Tilden?

Fort Tilden is a highly transited beach where New Yorkers go to free themselves from the stress of the big city. We planned, with our production team, to go early in the morning, and before the summer, to hit the solitude of this beautiful beach. We found an empty beach entirely for us. I like to isolate the subjects from the backgrounds; I need to have a quiet scene to shoot and be able to focus on the composition of the frame, focus on the light and shapes, technical issues and storytelling.

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Are there any references to the film with the same title?

This editorial is not rated with the movie as far as I can see. Do you think it has similarities?

Nothing besides the obvious. The name, location, etc. But I am wondering, how does your Spanish background influence your work? Have you noticed references from your upbringing making its way into your photography?

My Spanish background influences me in many ways. My mum is a painter, and she has always shown me a different way to look at the world, a sensitive way to represent thoughts. In many ways, she is the one who has made me a creative volcano that uses photography as a need. She taught me to compose the frame, the use of color, how to tell a story, to create only from the heart… I have had many mentors that have believed in my work, not only my mum. Mentors are 100% necessary to survive and to become a talented and respected photographer.

I had an upbringing focused on creativity, and I played the piano since I was five years old. I love to dance, to paint, to sing … everything related to self-expression I am interested in. And I think this life surrounded by art made me the photographer that I am today. I also grew up very active, and doing all kind of sports, which I believe was crucial to becoming the flowing person that I am now. To be a photographer is almost like playing a sport, you need to be in shape to keep up with all those hours on your feet, the heavy lifting for lighting equipment etc. and of course… Always with a smile.

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Where do you see the future of photography?

Photography today is a hard and overcrowded market – I am talking about fashion and beauty digital photography here. There are too many good photographers out there, the competence is fierce in NYC, but at the same time, there is a stronger need for imagery than ever before. All the fashion and beauty brands need daily material for the new social networks, e-commerce shots for each season, campaigns that reflect the mood of each of those brand’s seasons, etc. We are in the internet era, and if you want to highlight your brand, and make it noticeable, you need the best photography – the photography that’s going to make people want your product and love it to death. To be able to do that you need to hire the best photographers out there, and bring new, fresh ideas with current and creative aesthetics. On the other side, photographers need to be networking machines to catch those jobs. If you believe in yourself and the quality of your work, and people like you and to be with you, the future of photography is yours.

What does the future of photography look to you? How do you see yourself evolve from here?

I plan to keep growing as an artist and as a photographer, and to learn as much as I can from the many artists that surround me – and that takes care of me. I want to shoot in the fashion and beauty industry, and I am open to meet new clients within all these creative fields.

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