All photos by Akila Berjaoui Just recently, the photographer Akila Berjaoui fielded an exhibition in a Brooklyn, New York, gallery. If you were there you would’ve drunk a little, flirted a little and been absorbed by photographs of the prettiest gals you’d ever seen. What is it about Akila’s gals? They’re models, sure, we can see that, […]
All photos by Akila Berjaoui
Just recently, the photographer Akila Berjaoui fielded an exhibition in a Brooklyn, New York, gallery. If you were there you would’ve drunk a little, flirted a little and been absorbed by photographs of the prettiest gals you’d ever seen.
What is it about Akila’s gals? They’re models, sure, we can see that, but there’s something else that makes ‘em shine. “I have a certain girl I shoot,” she says. “And it’a natural beauty but it’s something I have to cast for. A lot of girls look formidable on their cards or editorially, but naturally? I like girls I don’t have to put makeup on. Girls with a vulnerability in their eyes. I want to capture their raw beauty, their sensuality. I like the girls that are cheeky and provocative and who are comfortable in their own skins.”
But, not perfect. “I do like girls with big wide blue eyes but I also look for imperfections. A lot of people don’t believe these girls are top models because they look too girl-nextdoor. There’s no makeup, little styling. I don’t want it to look contrived.”
The photos are shot, mostly, around the islands and coast of Italy, a country that Akila spent two months in last year. “I love the light, I love the beaches, I love the freedom,” she says. “It’s that freedom from the constraints of time. You’ve got all these towns built thousands of years ago and all the Italians lazing around in the sun. Time is certainly not of the essence. They’re not too concerned about being anywhere. It’s a particular type of freedom that I like very much.”
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