Tim has collaborated with fashion magazines such as; V Magazine, S Magazine, Metal Magazine, and CITY.  Last year EFM interviewed CITY Magazine Fashion Director Julie RagoliaEFM first noticed the classy edgy images that were shot by Tim Zaragoza.  Tim shares with EFM his interest in film, photography, and assisting established photographers.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: I love the work you do for CITY magazine, also I am drawn to your short fashion film work as well; but first can you tell me how your career started as a fashion photographer?

Tim Zaragoza: Photography was always a part of my life.  But really, the foundation for my career began pursuing painting and then video art at the San Francisco Art Institute.

EFM: How long have you been interested in film and fashion?

TZ: Well I'm an 80's kid…and I think for many of us, Films played an integral role in how we experienced the world.  Before I left for San Francisco, I had a short stint at a liberal arts college on the east coast.  It was there that I got into the work of directors like Goddard, Fellini, Antonioni and Tarkovsky to name a few. It’s the particular way in which these filmmakers were all visual storytellers that inspired so much of what I do now.

My interest in Fashion began during my travels in Europe after art school.  What I witnessed happening in fashion felt so dynamic, irreverent and free in comparison to my experience in the Art World.

I gravitated toward Fashion photography; I suppose because it was a way to return to a more visceral form that functioned in concert with Pop-culture.

EFM: Have you ever assisted a fashion photographer; if so who and what have you learned from him or her?

TZ: Assisting great photographers that I respected was big a part of my development. Over 5 years as an assistant, I worked with Juan Algarin, Cleo Sullivan, and then Richard Burbridge.  All of these photographers had such different personalities and photographic approaches.  I have such respect for each as artists and people. But in the end, working closely with different photographers helped me clarify what it was I really wanted from my pictures.

EFM: You are based in New York; where in New York do you get inspired?

TZ: The New York City subway never ceases to fascinate me.

EFM: Do you prefer shooting on location or in a studio?

TZ: Well I Love both, but Location is definitely the more athletic of the two.  Great production is key.  I think it also helps to be a strong studio photographer-when you can be creative in a naked space, a location is an enjoyable bonus.

EFM: Tell me one thing that no one knows about you?

TZ: I was once held captive in Cuba.

EFM: Do you find yourself trying to evolve or reinvent yourself as a photographer?

TZ: Always. Reinvention, I think is at the heart of what fashion 'means'. A friend from V-magazine once said to me that Fashion for him was just another word for the present-moment.

So I'd say it’s more a reinvention that happens naturally through the photography, the parade of seasons and editorials.  It’s a continual response to a cultural landscape in constant flux.

EFM: Can you describe your personal style as a fashion photographer?

TZ: I strive to make images that I believe in; embracing the persona and beauty of my subjects is a big part of that...I always appreciated Lindberg and Newton for that sensibility.  But I'm a stylist (in the larger sense), so it’s always a celebration of artifice as well.

EFM: Can you tell me the process on shooting for a fashion magazine; how do you interpret the concept of your clients (understanding the fashion director's vision)?

TZ: I do a lot of prep with the clients and teams I work with. Casting is always a paramount consideration.  I pull referential imagery in relation to the initial idea or theme, create online concept boards and then together with the team begin to edit through until there's a clear direction with all the right pieces of the puzzle in place. Like many other aspects of the process it comes down to looking back and forth between the big picture and the finer details. It has to all make sense.

EFM: Our famous question; what advice can you give to aspiring fashion photographers?

TZ: Never be afraid to leave convention behind.


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Interview by Rochell “E” James


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