A TÊTE-À-TÊTE WITH PARIS-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER - KARO RAMOS
During the pandemic, while some of the freelancers collapsed as the opportunity started lacking, a few boomed and proved everyone wrong with their skills. They did very well and made their mark in the industry. Just like that, we talked to a photographer from Paris, and it was a pleasure knowing her and the challenges she faced during her journey. Read on ...
Hello Karo! We are glad to have you here. Before going into your professional photographic life, we would love to know about you. What was your childhood like?
Thank you! Super excited about it. I was always a very active kid, trying out multiple activities growing up. I went through various phases in my life: there was a time when I was really into sports. Then I got into arts, dancing, painting, and attending music school. Eventually, I discovered photography – I played with an old disposable camera and photographed my friends. I’m grateful that I got to try out so many things, because thanks to that, I knew what works for me and what doesn’t.
You have moved quite a lot during your life and visited multiple countries; which one is your favourite where you would be happily willing to settle in?
I love Europe (especially Paris), but my heart is in New York City.
I don’t think there’s any other place in the world that has as much to offer as New York, and it’s like a playground for any photographer
At some point, I would love to split my life between States and Europe.
You’ve studied economics and IR and they’re completely different from your current profession; what inspired you to choose photography and make a 180-degree switch?
Everyone in my family has a very ‘down-to-earth’ profession, and I never really thought about studying anything connected with the arts. It was always just a hobby, and I thought I needed to get a proper education that could guarantee a secure job. However, during my studies, I realised, I prefer to work in the creative industry. I started doing various internships, assisting, and creating my own portfolio, and my big passion turned into a full-time job.
Your profession requires a lot of travelling and meeting new people but during the time of the pandemic, we were bound and restricted to our homes; how did it affect you professionally and personally?
The pandemic was a challenging time for all freelancers.
It was an extremely chaotic time, but there’s also a silver lining – it pushed everyone to think outside the box and be more creative
I was in Spain then, and some brands would ship me boxes full of their new products so that I could photograph them around Barcelona. That was also the time when I started producing photoshoots, and it turned out that I dig it a lot!
You’ve worked with numerous brands to date and shot some of the biggest stars; what has been your biggest accomplishment so far that you would love to relive?
One of the most fun and complicated in terms of logistics shoots was an editorial done for ELLE Croatia. The stylist is my good friend, and together we produced the entire thing: did the casting, location scouting, organized the entire crew, and so on. Lots of stress, but also lots of satisfaction afterwards! It was shot in the desert, and it was exceptionally cloudy that day. We were afraid that it was going to rain, but instead, the natural overcast worked in our favour. Also, the model was stunning – an ex- Victoria’s Secret Angel. This is my favourite project until today.
You’re currently based in Paris and it’s a ‘City of Love’ and full of inspiration for those working in the field of fashion; how did it affect your professional life in terms of coming up with new ideas? Is your decision playing a good part in your growth?
I love Paris, it’s beautiful, full of opportunities and extraordinarily inspiring. Everyone looks stylish and effortless at the same time! It’s also impossible to be bored here. Also, Paris has a lot to offer when it comes to fashion photography - definitely a place to be at the moment.
You’re a full-time photographer and travelling to different locations can be a little hectic sometimes, how do you clear your mind and spend your free time?
I feel best when I’m on the go and a lot is happening. I have realised that it’s easier to stay organised and up- to-date if I have a lot on my plate. I’m more efficient and manage my time better. It might be hard to keep a proper work-life balance, but to be honest I don't mind it. Some weeks are more hectic than others, but at the end of the day, I do something that I love and I’m my own boss.
From being an economist to a media person and then a full-time fashion photographer; are we going to see any other side of you soon? What are your future plans?
Definitely sticking to photography now! Feels great to finally do something that fits so well and gives you so much satisfaction. Also, every project is different, so it doesn’t get boring and too predictable. The plan is to have a base in Europe for now, as it’s full of amazing opportunities, and just travel to more distant locations for various projects.
Also, it’s hard to plan a lot in this industry, but that’s what makes it so exciting – you never know what kind of cool people you will end up working with and where this will lead you.
INTERVIEW: MARYAM ZUBERI
PHOTOS: COURTESY KARO RAMOS