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Updated: Dec 29, 2022

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE OCT-NOV-DEC 2022 (Vol V, Issue XXVIII) COVER STORY | Article Published on: 28th DEC 2022 |

Irena Eastington (Founder, Owner, Chief Photographer, Editor, and Creative Director, IRENA EASTINGTON PHOTOGRAPHY, LONDON) is a photographer whose photography feels like a direct reflection of who she is as a person.

Anyone who has spent time around her knows the quiet confidence and depth to her personality, how she speaks in a way that feels thoughtful and intentional - a seriousness mixed with an easy-going levity. Her photos feel largely the same way, thoughtful, intentional, and often serious yet filled with surprising amounts of joy. Deeply introspective with a sense of stillness - peaceful and intimate. They contain bursts of loudness that feel like love and also tension and pain. Her work touches on all these things in a way that doesn’t feel indulgent or dramatic but is understated, simple, and honest.


Read Irena's journey as a fashion & lifestyle photographer in her own words and her exclusive interview with DE MODE.


Being the founder, owner, chief photographer, editor, creative director and just about everything else, including dog mum, it is my sole aim to empower men and women of all shapes, sizes and ages by creating incredibly beautiful photographs and videos that build self-confidence and leaves all my clients feeling truly wonderful!


Originally from Ukraine, my studies gained me an MBA in Business, before moving to the UK over 20 years ago now. Wow, I cannot believe how time fly’s so fast!

I have always been very creative, so started my career as a makeup artist/retoucher, and then gradually worked my way up and became a professional photographer, working for one of the biggest names in the hair industry, Robert Masciave. My first winning project was featured in the biggest hair competition in the UK, called Fellowship. Since then I never put my camera down.


My interest in photography grew from working with some of the best photographers in the world, giving me a privileged insight and introduction to the industry. I now specialise in commercial and fashion photography, I am a passionate stylist and accomplished makeup artist specialising in beauty, hair and fashion.


For over ten years now, I am proud to be a highly published photographer, working for clients that include every major British newspaper, Barclays Bank, Revlon Style Masters, L’Oreal Color Trophy, British Hairdressing Awards, Channel 4, F.A.M.E and Sky Sports, to name a few. I have many eCommerce shoots and publications and continue to work on television productions all over the world including the UK, Europe, the US and the Middle East. My international work includes front cover works for Bazaar, L’Officiel and Glamour Magazine.


I adore specialising in men’s and women’s portraiture and while I get to be my own boss which I love, my main mission as your photographer is to show just how gorgeous my clients are and to refresh their confidence with a series of the most beautiful images.

Before I shoot, it is crucial that I understand each client’s needs, inhibitions, likes, dislikes, and passions so I get to know a little about the person who becomes the centre of my photography universe.


Once a shoot date is confirmed, I will begin organising and creating the perfect tailor-made photography experience for each client…from the moment they set foot into my studio, I will work closely with their artistic approach, discuss outfits, share their vision, and what they are looking for from their unique photo shoot. My goal is to make every single client feel comfortable, happy, relaxed, and excited about what is about to happen next!


Q: What was your first thought when you started photography?

A: When I started working, that’s when I understood. I can’t use the same light, or the same “safe techniques” for all my clients and whatever I have learnt through the books and YouTube went out of the window. As each client has to have a unique approach. I have to move 360 around them, use a flashlight, natural light etc, as harsh flash light suits some people, and natural light only. Some people shoot only great from above, and some just from underneath. The power of communication with your client is a key to success making sure each client gets a special approach to archive the best results. I understood that the team is everything, and you have to be mega patient with everyone if you work with people who have little experience, you need to cheer them, guide them and have fun with whatever happens on a set and work on your feet when things go not according to a plan and that’s my fav part.

Q: How do you as a photographer make sure that the thing, person or landscape you want to shoot looks the way you want it to?

A: I prepare upfront, and always ask my client to send me ideas, and their vision, whether I shoot a commercial or if it’s a private client.

Q: From your point of view, what makes a good picture?

A: Experiment with poses, light, make-up, and hair. Also trust from your client, believing you can do a good job, and making them relax and enjoy the process.

Q: What is your favourite subject to photograph?

A: People, I love to see their expressions, turn them from normal-looking people to someone they will not be in their everyday life.

Q: Since photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times?

A: I'm a creature of habit, I know there are so many new photography techniques and equipment but the most basic stuff is the best, so don’t change what is not broken really. I always will try, but I rather improve my skills with the equipment I have, rather than keep changing equipment thinking it will make my work great. No one really cares if you took your image with Hasselblad or with polaroid as long as the final product is like wow, that’s all that matters.

Q: Are you a detail-oriented person?

A: I’m a perfectionist, and sometimes it’s very tiring, as no one really sees those details as I do (well my retoucher does :), but I can’t function any other way. I’m a typical Virgo. Small tiny details make the whole picture look beautiful. I'm blessed with an amazing team who are actually the same way as me, so we have pretty good results usually.

Q: Now a days almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer?

A: My photography journey started as a hobby, I liked to make people beautiful then I realised I'm good at it and I turned that into a job. I believe if you have an eye, and passion and you are a bit creative, even with a mobile phone you can create a work of art.

Q: Which one is your favourite lens and why do you prefer it?

A: She is a beauty - Canon 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6L. That babe is heavy, expensive and maybe not that sharp, but she does deliver magnificent results. A bit like the owner photographer 😂I have a few prime lenses, but because I shoot fast, I don’t like to change lenses as when I’m in the moment I forget about everything.

Q: Who influenced you the most? Is there any other photographer that you consider a kind of idol?

A: I love the work of David Lachapelle. It's pure art, colourful and crazy artistic and I love the course, that’s definitely my thing. And I love Helmut Newton, his work is just wow. I love that style and I wish to start my own project soon. I m so into a sexy fetish.

Q: Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?

A: Hmmm, difficult one, I think my fav shoot is the one I have done in Ukraine, with my Ukrainian girls. I hired a small studio in the middle of my city Vinnitsa and hired the whole team. Now model @marri_dem from my shoot works in Milan and does high-profile campaigns and my Ukrainian team though it's a tough time now in Ukraine, they still going strong in the industry. @olena.lanhe.chala

Q: What, in your opinion, is most important to consider while shooting portrait pictures?

A: The Person in front of your camera is the key to everything. You can have mega amazing light, super stunning makeup or crazy props but if a person not loving what she/he does or look like, all that technical stuff you can scrap and put down the drain. It's pointless. So for me to find the connection with my model at the beginning of the shoot and make sure they know I want to make them look the best is the most important thing.

Q: As for how good would you describe your skills in Photoshop?

A: I love Photoshop. I'm a perfectionist in it as I said before so I can spend hours editing the images and make sure it's flawless, but I have amazing retouchers I'm working with, so makes my life so much easier now. They are both based in Ukraine btw.

Q: In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?

A: I got a puppy now, so he is my ‘Guinea pig ‘ so I am training my skill in moving photography as he doesn’t sit still ever. There are no pictures I would avoid, I would try everything once.

Q: How do you feel about working with DE MODE?

A: I'm delighted to get a feature, that was a dream of mine for a while, and professionally it's an honour to be interviewed by DE MODE. Thank you for having me.



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