The Style Researcher is proud to present the editorial “Secret” with the renowned model and artist Lil Safonova, photographed by Victoria Kurdyumova.
Hello Lil. We are very pleased to have you as cover story for the June issue of The Style Researcher Magazine. First of all, tell us about you. I know it is hard to define ourselves, mainly in Europe, where everyone would love to give roles to classify everyone else. Would you like to tell us about you and all the sides that compose Lil as human being and artist?
Hello guys. Happy to be chosen as cover story of the month. For “Secret” I am modeling for Victoria, but lately I rarely act as a model or actress (only if there are very interesting projects), because mainly I am a photographer and a journalist-publisher. (I also have my own magazine in Moscow).
But, from time to time, I find it interesting! We must catch the moment while we are young. Many photographers still invite me to shoot, but as I was saying, I get to shoot about once a year, even if this is very difficult with my schedule. However, there are times when things get out of control. For example, last month I starred in a music video of a band, in two commercials and two creative ones. This is a lot for one month. But you can see in this exclusive series of photos what kind of “model” I am.
Tell us about Lil as a photographer.
I have been doing photography since 2010. All this time I actively shoot – I work with magazines, I shoot for advertisements of famous companies, I spend a lot of time on the set, in the open air. I work with celebrities, I have made a portfolio with many. I shoot all over the world, in beautiful places. Now I am constantly collaborating with a number of foreign publications in the USA, Europe, and Asia. I started my career as a model but did not see in it a great future and real prospects, and I always wanted to create something myself, “not to play a role, but to write scripts, to direct.” In this sense, I am a lead person, I am good at keeping my emotions to myself, but I love and know how to get emotions from other people, this is what a good photographer or artist should do.
Would you like to share with us some experiences you lived that contributed to create “Lil the artist“ and “Lil the woman” that you are now?
As a child, I thought that sooner or later a person would appear in my life who would take my hand and lead me to the future, open all the doors for me, “make a career,” and so on. But in reality, everything turned out to be the opposite. I have become that person myself. Nobody really helped me in promoting and nobody guided me (on the contrary, they tried to stop me), I got to know people myself, looked for keys to the right doors, and made my life what it is now. I have developed a lot of contacts in the field of show business. And some of them just appeared out of nowhere, it was amazing.
As a result, on the contrary, people began to turn to me and ask me to give them a job, help them in promotion, give them at least advice, and I helped many people. When I was having a studio, for 8-9 years I “raised” my artists and grew with them. Consequently, I began to lead people… and not to follow them. And the older I am, the more it is going like this, I am an absolutely dominant figure in life. Sometimes it seems that if I am not there, the project will completely go downhill, and this is not a show-off, it happened many times …
My ill-wishers in the past insulted me and told me several times that they would do better and more than me and tried to do it, but none of them achieved anything even close. As for my profession – I have no special art education, I have a higher education, but in another field (I am a geographer). I had to study science by education, and this remained in the circle of my main interests. Also, as a child, I worked as a TV journalist, author of my own entertainment program, and generally dreamed of becoming a journalist. Then I was engaged in staging, directing music videos, selecting actors, etc. Once I wrote a song and presented it to a music band. In this song, I did everything – I wrote the lyrics of the song, I even hummed the melody to the composer. I did all the screenwriting, directorial work in the video, selected and trained the actors, staged absolutely all the scenes in the video. And we shot a video clip, it became insanely popular on the Internet, just like my song itself. I am very glad that, even if I am not a musician, I was able to seriously compete with many musicians with this song. Then I directed several more videos for this band. By the way, directing and working in a video has always been interesting for me, I would gladly accept this type of projects.
Your teachers? How is your relation with the models, on the day of the photoshoots? How do you make them open themselves?
As for photography, I studied only with other famous photographers, Yan Mcline was my main teacher, and my career began only after the birth of my first child, when one significant part of my life came to an end, I went this way. I always liked talking to people, helping them. This profession gave me the opportunity to realize this because many people turn to the photographer to boost their self-esteem, to reveal their personality, to be heard, understood, and liberated. I don’t put pressure on people, I can listen and feel the mood of the person, we can talk for an hour, and shoot for only 30 minutes, and the result will be amazing. I can shoot in almost any genre, be it a photoshoot of balls for advertising, fashion, or a photo of a newborn in a bassinet, but, of course, working in the field of fashion and nude are my favorite ones and strong points. Working with nude photography is very subtle, it’s like working with a soul. If people are undressing in front of you, it means that they open up their souls to you and they want to be heard. I treat these desires with understanding and respect and, of course, I can capture that moment when a person is most beautiful.
Thanks a lot Lil. It has been a pleasure to enter into your world. Our biggest congratulations on your professionalism and charm, both as a person and as an artist.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about myself and thanks for your interest in me.
About the photographer Victoria Viva
Victoria Viva (Victoria Kurdyumova) is a photographer and stylist. She has been working in these fields for more than 25 years. For each new shoot, she invents an idea, creates the complete image of the model, does her hair and makeup. That makes all her photo projects unique, with the images and colors perfectly matching the shooting location.
Creative Director/Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist/Retoucher/Photographer: Victoria Kurdyumova
Model: Lil Safonova
Fashion Designer: Lady Daze Fine Jewelry
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