A day in the life: Sophia Al-irimi

For beauty photographer Sophia Al-irimi, no day is ever the same. With a portfolio boasting a host of brands and campaigns, Sophia’s days can be long and chaotic however, it’s the ‘fast-paced and fun’ atmosphere of shoots that sustains her love for the role. We caught up with Sophia on the set of the My Beautiful Eyes photoshoot to find out what a ‘typical’ day looks like and to find out her thoughts on the brand’s new look.

“A typical day in the studio starts early. Thank goodness for good coffee and great breakfast bowls!

Today I am shooting a beauty story for Ellisons, for a product called My Beautiful Eyes, which enhances both eyelashes and brows giving the wearer amazingly thick and long lashes and defined strong brows. Today we are working with two wonderful models, Amalia and Tara who will be wearing the products.

We are based at East London’s Street Studios today and the studio we have booked is spacious, with an area for hair and make-up, a meeting area, and a large white cove where we set up lighting and camera.

Once we open the studio, the morning is a flurry of arrivals…equipment is unpacked and I brief my assistants on how I want the camera and lighting set up. The client arrives followed by the lash technicians and make-up artists who bring with them suitcases full of make up, and hair styling products. A breakfast meeting confirms any last tweaks to the brief, which has been discussed at length over the weeks leading up to the shoot.

A lot has happened to bring us to shoot day. A concept has been established and mood boards have been created, with research into current and future trends. Lighting, styling, make up and hair have been meticulously considered. Models have been sourced from all over London and Europe. Skin, hair colour, eye shape and colour are assessed when selecting the right face for the brand.

The models go directly into hair and makeup and the transformation begins!  We seek perfection in the application and the grooming of our models. Lash technicians work steadily applying individual lashes, giving our two models thick defined lashes. The make up artist swoops in next, applying eye shadow to create glamorous sultry eyes, or wide doe eyes. The brow product is applied, which creates bold, defined brows designed to stay in place for weeks. Finally lips are filled and glossed, and skin is blended and highlighted to create a perfect surface.

In the meantime, I work with the lighting assistant to create a feel and mood appropriate to the brief. We create a lighting style to compliment the models’ contours, bringing out cheekbones, and their strong features and which brings out the detail in their eyes.

Amalia is a Latin brunette with stunning wide eyes and a great smile and Tara a strong red head with a cheeky gaze and bright blue wide eyes. Both models transform when they are in front of the camera, gazing confidently into the lens as I direct them. Communication between photographer and model is key to creating a feel to the images and both girls respond well as I direct them. We work through a range of expressions and poses, each one highlighting their great eyes.

The shoot is incredibly fast paced, with art director and producer on set ensuring the brief is met. The clients choose favourite frames as we shoot. The next stage in the following days is putting together an edit of the favourite shots for final selection and post-production.

Shoot day is fast paced and fun and we wrap feeling satisfied that we have gotten some great shots!

Visit Sophia’s website to view more of her impressive work.

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