In Profile: Fashion Photographer Igor Termenón

Originally from Ponferrada, a small town in the north west of Spain, fashion photographer Igor Termenón now lives in Edinburgh and works across Scotland as well as internationally.

Feature by Alexandra Fiddes | 28 Jan 2015

Photographer Igor Termenón creates stunning yet simple and relaxed work, which is strikingly beautiful as well as surprisingly honest. Self-taught, he studied Mechanical Engineering and Product Design, which he calls, "something completely opposite to photography!" However, he tells us he has always been interested in magazines and their editorials: "I started taking photos when I was studying for my Bachelor Degree. When I was a teenager I was really interested in fashion magazines, but had actually never thought about taking photos myself. I bought my first camera when I was 19 or 20 years old and started taking photos of my friends." He adds, "I wanted to find something creative that allowed me to disconnect from the technical load of my degree."

Having visited Glasgow during that degree, Termenón moved to Scotland permanently after its completion. As he tells us, "Living here in Scotland and in other places in the UK has definitely influenced my work. The industrial side of Glasgow played a big influence in my work when I lived there over five years ago, and the city is still the background to most of my fashion shoots. Brutalist architecture and British suburbia is something that is really present in my work at the moment."

As well as this interest in architecture, Termenón always carefully considers lighting and prefers to work with the natural light in a location. He says, "sometimes people tend to talk about the light when they describe my photographs. I also feel inspired by nature which is also prominent in my work."

Shooting in film rather than in digital is a very important and distinctive aspect of Termenón's photography. "I’ve been using only film (apart from some specific commissions) in my work for the past five years, and I like compact and point and shoot cameras because they’re easy to carry around and also to shoot with. I like my shoots to be really organic and fast so they are the perfect cameras, as you don’t have to spend time focusing or winding the film manually. "

Although he started photographing with digital cameras, and does so for specific commissions, he feels more confident using film. "I guess I’ve trained my eye enough to know more or less what's going to turn out after I develop the film and I know that I’m going to like the colours and tones much better than if they were shot with digital." He adds, "I don’t think I will stop using film any time soon."

When discussing the behind-scene aspects and the actual workings of a shoot, Termenón explains, "My favourite part has to be the moment I’m actually shooting. I’ve had some great moments shooting fashion and working with people who share the same vision. I also enjoy location scouting and I get really excited when I find what I had in mind, or when a location surprises me and turns out to be amazing."

And the most important part of a shoot? "Having the right location is probably one of the most important parts of a photo shoot and I like to make sure I have enough time allocated for this. My least favourite part has to be the production part, in terms of finding models, stylists, etc. and making sure everyone is available. It’s really time consuming but it’s worth it in the end."

Explaining that the combination of everything (model, location, clothes, crew) makes a good shoot and therefore a successful fashion image, he tells us, "It helps when you work with a good team of people and everyone respects each other. I think you can definitely see that in the final result."

When discussing capturing fashion in his images, Termenón mentions designers who he finds inspirational. "I really admire the work of Raf Simons in his menswear label and love the simplicity of Phoebe Philo from Céline."

As well as being a freelance photographer, Termenón founded two publications in 2011, Girls on Film and Boys on Film. Originally made as small zines, they showcase film photography by emerging artists. Last year the concept grew, and the two titles were also turned into books, made in collaboration with a publishing house based in South Korea. Termenón explains, "I still can’t believe how much the concept has grown since I decided to start it from my student accommodation room in Liverpool, when I was studying my Masters Degree." He adds that one of the highlights of the project was "the Museum of Modern Art in New York buying all the back issues for their library archive!"

Termenón recently finished editing the second volume of the Girls on Film book, which came out in December. He's currently working on the selection of photographers for the second volume of the Boys on Film book. After that is completed, Termenón wants to "shoot even more fashion and focus a little more on portraits."

When asked about his biggest achievement in photography so far, Termenón says (self-effacingly), "I guess having my work published in some of those magazines I used to read when I was a teenager." We're certainly interested to see where Igor Termenón's photography takes him next.

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Showcase: Igor Termenon @igortermenon