Two nationalities, Peruvian and Spanish, come together to form a unique photographic studio drawn towards the exotic and strange.
When special minds get together, an explosion of amazing things result. Add in social media and the boom won’t be late to follow. Thanks Instagram, for letting me discover the unique work of this studio.
The freedom of innovating yourself in every new work without losing your signature style. This is what I feel when I see the production of this collective. Estudio ATLAS is a photographic studio based in Madrid and Lima. It was initially founded by the graphic editor and producer Tatiana Fernández and the fashion photographer Alejandra Vera. Soon after, Abel Trujillo (Madrid) and Leslie Hosikawa (Lima) joined the crew.
Even though each of their works have a different spice, the conceptual aesthetic is the common thread between them. Each one has a wonderful portfolio that you must see.
Founders of Estudio ATLAS, Alejandra Vera and Tatiana Fernández (Photo courtesy of Estudio ATLAS)
First, I’d like to know more about the name. It stands out that you are ‘estudio’ instead of ‘studio’. But why ‘atlas’? What’s behind the name Estudio ATLAS?
Estudio ATLAS: We wanted to use a Spanish word because we both, Alejandra and me [Tatiana], are Spanish speakers and we believe it’s important to use our mother tongue in the name of our company. The difference is small and we believe that both words are perfectly understood in any language. However, it’s not usually found in Spanish and we think that we are in an era in which any type of assertion is valid and needed. ATLAS, simply emerged because Alejandra is from Peru and I’m from Spain. As partners and associates we will always have that connection between continents. Not only for work but also for personal reasons, so we chose a name that embraces that; a studio from here and there, from the Atlas in general.
Tell us a little bit about the beginnings. How did you decide to develop projects together?
EA: We are a very young studio, we have almost two years as a company. We liked so much the idea of building a team in which we can count with different profiles, not only ours but also with talented people that understand and identify with the aesthetic that we are trying to state as a studio. With that in mind, we’ve found amazing people like Leslie Hosokawa or Abel Trujillo that are part of the team today. We have the luck to be always surrounded by very creative and generous people like Beatriz Moliz, an amazing art director and friend, or Pablo Lopez, designer, art director and friend.
ATLAS team members, Abel Trujillo and Leslie Hosokawa (Photo courtesy of Estudio ATLAS)
I’ve deeply researched each team member’s portfolio (I’ve stalked you, sorry) through different media platforms. Each one has a very particular style that makes you definitely unique. That personal vision can sometimes make coming to an agreement difficult. The more creative you are, the more difficult to have your vision understood. What do you think is key to getting along well with your team?
EA: It used to be called investigating, but now with Facebook and Instagram there is the verb stalkear [laughs]. Stalk us as much as you like. We all have a different style but our working harmony is born from looking for the same visual objective. Our different personalities and interests is what enriches our teamwork. For example, Alejandra is fascinated by the natural light, the analog and men’s fashion. Abel is drawn to the lineal, the architecture, and Leslie by the minimalist and ethereal. And I´m fascinated by classic art, especially Renaissance. It’s an interesting mixture that constantly gives incentive to our creativity.
Despite the fact that the studio is between Peru and Spain, I feel like your works have a very New York air, very Brooklyn. I wonder if it’s my personal perception, part of the global trend, or a response to the market? What do you think?
EA: We try to see what is being done everywhere around the world. As photographers and creatives we must be very aware, not only about the visual arts but also music, fashion, politics and even gastronomy [laughs]. Its essential to be fed by a little of everything to have a global vision. That’s maybe why you see our works as New York style, and another will maybe more see it as Nordic or totally Latin.
How important are trends for you? Do you like adding trendy elements to your projects or do you prefer to keep a more independent style?
EA: We consider both concepts relevant, is part of our job to be aware of the trends. However, we think that not only what is current or independent is important, but also going back to the past, to know what was happening some time ago. It sounds contradictory but we are in constant mutation, to repeat, transform, and renovate in order to create. The past is everything, so you must look deep to find and then choose what to do with your findings.
(Photo: Estudio ATLAS Facebook)
A see a variety of elements that make every one of your projects stand out. From urban elements that fuse with natural spaces, to pieces that look as if they’ve traveled from the past. How do you choose the elements you are going to use? Do you have a magic box full of gadgets or do you look for the elements for each campaign?
EA: We are very obsessed with details, it’s something we have in common, and I think each one of us has his/her own magic box. When we are shooting, we have a very clear plan. But we can get carried away by what is going on in front of our eyes, even if it is in the studio or outside. There are details that could be considered irrelevant but are a treasure for us.
Anything that is happening in front or outside the camera is part of the moment and we consider it interesting to link them.
Independent brands to more popular names have had the luck to work with you. Is there one that stands out as your “favorite project”?
EA: You flatter us, you made us feel like tycoons [laughs]. The truth is that we are just beginning, and we wish to work with different brands, small and big, in the future. But we have two favorite projects that were done the last year with a young brand from Madrid called HOSOI (with a huge projection) that is not published yet because we are waiting for the craziness of Fashion Week to end. And there is another one that will be published next week with the German magazine Kaltblut that is a very personal project, but also very interesting.
(Photo: Estudio ATLAS Facebook)
What are the differences of working with a small and a big brand? What do you prefer?
EA: We like both. When a big client has a team that develops the creative concept as well as the campaign it can be a little difficult to accept certain things because they arrive with clear ideas and they know exactly what they want. But sometimes they listen and accept our approach. Small brands that are equally well structured will instead trust more in your way of seeing and doing. There is maybe more freedom, more desire to experiment and play. That’s very enriching.
Which brands or people are in your “top list” of whom would you love to work with?
EA: UFF!! We have a lot! Jill Sanders is one of them, or Céline. Then Camper makes awesome campaigns, Études Studio…the concept of &OtherStories as a brand is beautiful. As far as people, Heloisse Letisser, vocalist of Christine and the Queens, Shaun Ross who is an albino model, or Winnie Harlow. We are usually attracted by the beauty of exotic and weird, or the unexpected things you can suddenly find on the street.
We live in an era in which social media rules the world. Now fashion bloggers or influencers are the ones who sometimes lead campaigns for brands. What do you think about this change in the industry? Do you think it affects new professionals in the field?
EA: With the progress of technology in the world it’s inevitable and its different currents are modifying but there is a place for everyone. Influencers have always existed, but today they are more mainstream, you see them everywhere. However, there will always be someone who will develop their ideas. In the case of putting together a campaign, a big team behind the influencer is needed.
What is coming up for Estudio ATLAS?
EA: Actually, we have a lot of projects, this week we are officially launching the studio in Madrid and we are trying to grow here and in Lima. On the other hand, we are working in a variety of projects for different magazines, that is what drives us the most. The editorial world is definitely our favorite. We have long term plans to make our own publication, not just about fashion but what is happening now. We have the luck that our office is inside HUB which is the coworking of the BtoB agency, and this is what let us be in contact with creative as well as very professional people. This is what makes us grow every day.