Text by Katia Ostapets.
Photos courtesy of Alex Mouganis.
Originally from Rochester, NY, Alex Mouganis is an up-and-coming fashion photographer in New York City. He has had several photo exhibitions and has been featured in various magazines and blogs. With a warm and playful personality that can make any model feel at ease, it’s easy to believe him when he says that he has big plans for his career in fashion photography.
How did you get into fashion photography?
The reason I like photography is because it captures a moment in time that you can later go back to and look at forever. I’ve always been interested in photography and I like to think that I have somewhat of a sense of fashion myself.
Being able to capture new trends and looks, and share them with people, is what attracts me to it.
Fashion photography can be edgy and you can get a lot of emotion through the combination of people, lighting, clothing and objects.
You’re the boss. It’s fun being in control of what needs to get done. [But] it’s more about being a leader than being in power. It’s also doing something that I love. That’s why I do it.
Who do you like to photograph?
My favourite thing right now is having a model in something very elegant, placed in a scene that is completely opposite. For instance, an image of mine on a rooftop: very attractive model, nice summer dress, and a really grimy, gritty rooftop in Queens, New York. The contrast, I think, is really what makes that picture so powerful.
I had a show at the Hotel Chelsea on May 13. It went really well, quite a few people came out for support. I also had a show at the Gates, which is a very prestigious bar/lounge in Chelsea. I’ve been featured on a handful of websites, [including] an interview in un’style’dDESIGNS. [And] I [did a] charity event for Stray from the Heart, a dog rescuing organization. Bernadette Peters was at the event. I took a few photos of her [which were] submitted to Star Magazine.
Does this make you a dog lover?
Oh totally! I did it for free. It’s really a small way that I could contribute to this organization.
What makes your work different? What’s your personal touch?
I’d say my lighting. If you don’t have the right lighting, you don’t have the right shot. It’s that simple. Also, my ability to work with people. I’m a people person. If I’m in a good mood, then whoever’s with me is in a good mood, and we’re going to have a fun time while we’re working.
To answer your question, I love the quote “the one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
I also really like the photo I took of my very good friend, Nicole McLaren, wearing a long wavy dress. We were outside, it was windy and the sun was out. We were in a park [with] a very tall building in the background. The lens I used allowed me to get a very low depth of field, which means that you’re focusing only on one subject and everything else is blurred out in the background. It forces the eye to focus on the subject that you want. [I loved the] lighting and the low depth of field.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Turning down jobs. The goal is to have enough recognition, so [I am] picking and choosing the shoots that I feel will progress my career, create art and make people happy.
What is your dream camera?
Brand: Red. Version: Epic. If you’re naming a camera “Epic” you better be able to back that up with something epic.
What is your favourite personal fashion item?
Suit jacket… A very tight-fitting suit jacket.
Have you done anything illegal/bad to get a shot?
I may or may not have accessed a few rooftops of buildings that are not accessible.
If you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Jimmy Hendricks. Not only is he so very talented musically, but he’s also got this crazy fashion style where he just wears these ridiculous outfits and it works for him.
What is the best artistic advice you’ve ever gotten?
If someone asks you to do a shoot, don’t only do it for them but do it for yourself. If they are satisfied with the image but you’re not – you need to redo it.
If you weren’t a photographer, who would you be?
Heavy blues musician.
What is the one thing people should walk away knowing about you?
That I’m nowhere close to the end of my career. [And that] the way I’ve gotten to where I am, and the way that I’m going to get to where I’m going, is by persistence and perseverance.