WORDS & MAKEUP DIRECTION BY EMILIE LOUIZIDES
F Word’s photographer self-portrait series Role Reversal was born at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and developed as a response to creatives’ frustrations surrounding virtual shoots. Some photographers felt that shooting virtually was better than nothing while others described it as unnatural and even gimmicky. Some makeup artists felt left out of the creative process when they had to completely step back from face-to-face work. We’ve now reached a point where in-person creative work is resuming, but Role Reversal remains the same. Working in a process where the roles are reversed gives photographers the opportunity to shoot in a different format than they’re used to, and they’re further challenged with the task of applying makeup. As we ease our way out of lockdown, it’s clear that new alternatives that began as temporary adaptions offer wisdom that can be integrated going forward.
For the fourth instalment of Role Reversal, contributing beauty editor Emilie Louizides got to know photographers Anna Komitska, Olivia Ezechukwu and Hannah Grinham through individual email conversations. The things that move Anna, Olivia, and Hannah, their favorite hobbies, artists, imagery, and upbringings served as Emilie’s inspiration for makeup looks unique to each of them. After creating each look, Emilie taught the photographers how to apply them over Zoom calls. The final results are their self-portraits.
Anna Komitska, London, UK
Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Anna Komitska comes from a big family that knows its history. With an interest in her origin, travel, art, and film, Anna crafts a creative life. Growing up, she would watch at least one French film per day while learning the language. Her desire to live abroad ultimately pushed her to move to Paris where she worked as an au pair and spent her free time going for long walks around the city, visiting museums and cocktail jazz bars. Now living and studying photography in London, Anna loves the freedom to explore whatever concepts she’s interested in. “I draw inspiration from a thousand different sources - not just within art, but in politics, social activism, etc.” Her makeup is informed by the artwork of Isabel Alonso Vega, the fact that Anna is currently living for reds, purples and blues, and also a violet, evening sky.
Olivia Ezechukwu, London, UK
Olivia Ezechukwu is a London-based photographer of Nigerian and British descent who studied by the sea in Brighton. She spent four, formative years living internet-free in Barbados, which she described as a “catalyst for triggering her creative side as [she] and [her] sister had to make [their] own fun”. The time spent outdoors, connecting with and photographing nature, inspired her to draw which led to photography as a new way to express herself. The colors, layers, and textures found in Olivia’s makeup reflect her response to the abstract paintings of her friend Georgina Stone, along with ‘Can’t Help Myself’, an art installation by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, featuring a robot scraping liquid from the floor that resembles blood, which Olivia found to be weird, creepy, and cool, and the flowers she often finds, photographs and describes as a “simple source of joy and inspiration”.
Hannah Grinham, London, UK
Hannah Grinham started in the fashion industry as a model at 16, and eventually honed her skills in photography and producing music videos with creative friends. Hannah also loves stop motion animation and set design. The soft, brown shading around her eyes directly correlates to what she describes as a particular inspiration; the weird, quirky style found in the work of Tim Burton and Henry Selick, and two of her favorite stop motion films, ‘Coraline’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. Her green eyeshadow is a reference to one of the “dark and spooky” sets she built for her own animation project. With a self-described tomboyish-rather-than-girly and androgynous personal style, it was important that Hannah’s skin emphasized her bone structure. To include her love of music and one of her favorite artists Miley Cyrus, glamorous glossy lips and apricot cheeks complete the makeup look.