Fashion photography is one of the most important jobs to have in the fashion industry. Not only do photographers help showcase collections, but they capture important moments and inspire those to pursue careers in the fashion world.
With that being said, here are the top five up-and-coming fashion photographers who are breaking barriers in the Denver fashion scene.
Roxanna Carrasco had her big break when she discovered her passion for photography after taking an advanced class in high school. What started with senior pictures and self-portraits, shifted to fashion photography when she attended college. She loved the aspect of creating her own world through photography and decided to pursue it as a career.
Carrasco grew up in a small town called Las Cruses. She said that being from a small town forced her to think outside of the box when it came to photoshoots because designers and models weren’t easily accessible. It wasn’t until she moved to Denver that she really immersed herself in the fashion scene.
“What inspired me the most and kept me driven throughout the years of building a fashion photography portfolio in Las Cruces was the fact that I didn’t let where I lived keep me from creating,” Carrasco said. “Small towns breed big dreamers and I was the perfect example of that.”
Following her move to Denver, Carrasco realized that the biggest challenge is dealing with the pressure of having to constantly showcase new work because “when it comes to fashion photography, you don’t want to be repetitive,” she said. Not to mention, finding a certain style of photography has been something Carasco is experimenting with.
“I’m constantly trying to stay inspired which has been the biggest challenge but I’ve learned that it also depends on your environment too,” Carrasco said.
Carrasco’s work focuses on capturing flamboyance in ordinary settings. Whether that be a drag queen wearing couture on the light rail, a living room set in the middle of the mountains, or a tea party in the river — she wants her audience to feel taken back.
“I want the viewer to feel just as energetic as the model did, walking through a hotel lobby in couture,” Carrasco said
How does she develop her unique concepts?
She creates mood boards and is often inspired by her models. She also gains inspiration from her favorite photographers Petra Collins and Nadia Lee Cohen.
“They are female photographers that are totally badass and are super big on looking extra in ordinary settings,” Carrasco said. “They really inspire me a lot to push the boundaries when it comes to deciding what my models are going to wear and where we are going to shoot.”
Although Carrasco has only been doing fashion photography for a short time, she envisions herself taking pictures for Vogue, I-D Magazine or seeing her work on billboards in major cities — Denver is just another step towards achieving her goal.
“The accomplishments that I’ve made since being here made me realize that I have the power to make it all happen. I know that it WILL happen,” Carrasco said. “I’m barely getting started and that’s the most exciting part.”
View more of Roxanna Carrasco’s work on her website.
Think tight, close-up shots where every clothing, makeup, hair and accessory detail is seen. Next, think nature meets fashion meets intense smoldering. Finally, think simple backgrounds with bold fashion statements and you have Catarino Moreno’s photography.
What started as a fascination with fashion magazines and ads has turned into an aspiring business. For Moreno, working with fashion photographer Kevin Alexander played a huge role in pushing him into the fashion industry as a photographer.
“He showed me the ropes and provided a space for me to really explore what it was that I wanted to do,” Moreno said. “From there I started to go to school at Red Rocks Community College for Professional Photography.”
Fashion photography has always been Moreno’s passion. From his mom exposing him to the hair world as a hairdresser to constantly being surrounded by fashion, Moreno has always loved the creative storytelling that comes with fashion photography.
“You can create anything you want with fashion,” Moreno said. “You can tell any story whether it be with the models, the clothes or something completely made up, it excites me.”
Although each photoshoot is different, Moreno often finds inspiration from “other photographers, finding and figuring out different perspectives on a subject, cultures, music, friends and family, social media, current things going on in the world, history and even my own story,” Moreno said.
While Moreno understands that different emotions can be depicted in a photograph and interpretation varies from person to person, he still hopes that when looking at his work, it stops and makes them think.
“I hope to make the viewer stop and look at the image and make them think about the clothes, the style of photography, the emotion the model is portraying wearing the clothes,” Moreno said. “I leave it for the viewer to decide.”
Part of the Moreno experience is being a part of a fun and safe atmosphere. His goal is to never stop doing what he loves and allow himself the time to creatively recharge.
“I don’t want to make photography seem like a production line because to me it is so much more,” Moreno said. “Quality is far greater than quantity.”
View more of Caterino Moreno’s work on his website.
Kirstin Anne Johnson
Kirstin Anne Johnson began her photography journey at a young age. While she was always interested in art and photography as a child, it wasn’t until she was 11-years-old when she received her first film camera that she really began to explore photography. From there, she continued her passion through high school and graduated college with a bachelor’s in photography.
Although her work is primarily commercial fashion, she loves high fashion, color and art. Johnson grew up attending a catholic school where uniforms were required. She said it was boring to see everyone in the same clothes and that she enjoyed expressing herself in other ways.
“Fashion, art, photography — they all allow me to see into someone else’s world and I love that,” Johnson said.
For Johnson, being a photographer means catching a moment and creating a feeling, whether it’s planned or not.
“My favorite shots are always the blurry ones, the ones out of focus, the shots with movement, those ‘in-between’ moments,” Johnson said.
In terms of capturing those moments, she finds that her models and subject matters inspire her the most — though “inspiration is everywhere.”
Her pictures primarily consist of tight, close-up shots, with expressive makeup or hand gestures, and of course, eye-catching clothing. Filled with vibrant colors and happy facial features, it’s evident what Johnson hopes to convey through her work.
“I just really want people to feel happy and excited when they look at my work. I thrive off color and good vibes,” Johnson said. “I hope to portray that and make others feel like they would have a fun time working with me.”
In terms of Johnson’s goals, she hopes to continue to learn, grow and evolve as a photographer. She also wants people to feel good about themselves, especially in their own skin.
Her last piece of advice?
“Don’t ever give up on yourself. There’s a time to rest, but if there’s something you want to do with your life, and you feel a calling to do it, you’re definitely going to succeed in some way,” Johnson said.
View more of Kirstin Anne Johnson’s work on her website.
Weddings, newborns, holidays, graduations, maternity, fashion and more. That is what Cierra Covington prides herself in taking pictures and videos of.
As a woman of many talents, Covington didn’t officially launch her business until three years ago. Though she has been passionate about photography since high school, it wasn’t until the pandemic that she began to take it seriously.
Covington’s photos focus on body positivity and celebrating all shapes, sizes and color.
“I like photos that include body positivity,” Covington said. “I’ve also tried to get in front of the camera a lot more this past year and that has made a big impact on how I go about photoshoots.”
Although she doesn’t have one specific niche, one thing is for certain — Covington’s favorite part about being a photographer is showcasing people. She likes the idea of altering different emotions and forever capturing a moment.
“I’m excited to capture those moments that you’re going to forget the next day or that you didn’t see,” Covington said.
For Covington, the biggest challenge is finding the right editing style. It’s because of this, that her Instagram isn’t cohesive but combines bright colors or neutral tones depending on the picture.
“I’m a very true-toned photographer,” Covington said. “I like my pictures to be sunny but I also like them to look like the foggiest meadow you probably could find.”
When looking at her pictures, Covington hopes it makes people want to work with her. She said that she intentionally conveys different feelings and emotions through each picture in hopes of inspiring her audience.
In terms of the future, Covington aspires to take pictures on a larger scale and eventually get into travel photography.
“I also really want to get better at editing because there are just so many things that you can do with anything that can make or break your photo,” Covington said.
View more of Cierra Covington’s work on her website.
Emily Snell began her fashion photography journey 16 years ago and since then, has won a few awards, photographed celebrities and had her work featured in Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan and more.
She initially wanted to be a writer but soon switched paths after her dyslexia became too much. It wasn’t until she took a photography class in college that her professor encouraged her to pursue a career. Snell applied to Brooks Institute of Photography and pursued concert photography, but soon realized that she couldn’t make a living out of it and fell in love with fashion photography instead.
“I got to practice at LA Fashion Week, then I studied abroad in Paris where I got to attend Paris fashion shows — it was divine,” Snell said.
Following her life-changing trip, she got a job as an intern for fashion photoshoots. There, she met countless celebrities like the Jabbawockeez and even had the opportunity to photograph them. For Snell, this experience was a dream come true.
Snell enjoys making women and men feel confident and powerful in every picture.
“In certain situations, clothes can make or break a person and I always want to make someone feel amazing, especially in a beautiful gown,” Snell said.
Inspiration for each photoshoot often comes from right outside of Snell’s window. Other times, she enjoys gaining inspiration from other photographers or scouting for locations.
To Snell, being a photographer means showing the world her art through her camera lens. She said her camera is a tool like a paintbrush and it’s about showcasing the beauty of others.
“A women’s beauty comes from their face and body language,” Snell said.” I want to show that through my lens and help women or men feel beautiful, confident and powerful.”
View more of Emily Snell’s work on her website.
Denver is a city full of endless possibilities for fashion photographers. They’re pushing fashion boundaries through their lenses and capturing the Denver fashion scene in their own unique way.
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