I’m lucky enough to meet some truly inspiring creatives through this blog, and the subject of this post, Alexandra Dao, is no exception.
Picture editor turned photographer Alexandra is based in London and creates beautiful limited-edition prints. She focuses on capturing the changing light – the way it dances on water or illuminates a petal – and many of her images use flowers as a subject. There’s a lovely softness to her work, and it has an ethereal, dream-like feel.
Alexandra was kind enough to send me a print entitled ‘Time Travellers’, which arrived on top-quality matt paper. Of all her work, this instantly stood out when I saw a snippet on her Instagram feed. It’s a wonderfully abstract image which everyone will interpret differently. To me, it has an air of nostalgia and conjures up memories of magical childhood summers or travel to distant shores; it made Chris think of dappled sunlight filtering through a forest canopy. It now hangs above the bed, where it calms my mind in the evening and inspires me in the morning.
I also chatted to Alexandra to find out more about the inspiration behind her work…
What’s your background?
“I’m a self-taught photographer and I use my iPhone and Canon EOS D70. I started out as a picture editor in illustrated publishing, working on books in the arts, including fashion, design and architecture. I then moved to magazines, spending many years at Condé Nast in London. Parenthood soon followed, along with three years living in Los Angeles, and once back home in London I started looking for a career change. A fleeting moment in floristry followed, which inspired an interest in flowers. I started photographing my floral projects and obsessing over light. In a sense I’ve come full circle back to pictures, where I started many years ago.”
Please can you tell us a bit about your business?
“I like to immortalise flowers and bring nature into the home in a way that brings a sense of peace and poise. Currently I’m focusing on producing art prints on high-quality photo rag paper made by Hahnemuhle, but I’m also in the process of creating a range of imagery in other mediums, too.”
What inspires you?
“What inspires me when imagining and capturing a photo is simply light. The room where I photograph catches the sunlight from the early morning right through to the late evening in midsummer, and each time of day brings its own unique kind of light.
“I’m also influenced by art, particularly still-life paintings by the Dutch masters and the use of light by great artists like Vermeer. Inspiring photographers are Deborah Turbeville, Irving Penn, Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi, Sarah Moon and Josef Sudek.
“Pinterest is another big inspiration for me. Pulling on my picture-editing experience, I spend half an hour every morning looking through my feeds and collating, collecting and sourcing new ideas. But most of all, my children are my constant inspiration.”
How would you describe your photography style?
“Simple, graphic, fluid, and fused with emotion. I look for beauty in the patterns of the shadows and in the light and darkness, rather than in the object itself, and I hope this comes across in my style. Other people have described my pictures as romantic, ethereal and peaceful.”
How can people purchase your prints?
“Email me directly. Images are so personal and I like to make sure my service is personal, too. My prints are available in three tiers: standard, premium and limited-edition artworks.”
Alexandra kindly provided a free print for the purpose of this post, but all opinions are my own.
Photography by Abi Dare