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Exclusive interview with Karen Ishiguro, our cover photographer

How did you get into photography?
I got into photography with the help of my uncle. He was an amateur photographer and bought me my first camera. That was the start of everything.

Who/what inspires your work?
Currently Michael Pudelka, Romain Duquesne and Jamie Hawkesworth. I constantly check their work. It’s beautiful; I love their vision. Other classics are Inez & Vinoodh, Peter Lindberg and Paolo Roversi. They are all quite different, but I think it’s important to have your inspiration come from everywhere and not a single source. Other times it’s movies, music or just something that I see in general – anything and everything!

You shoot lots of amazing fashion editorials, but you also have a passion for flowers, tell us about that?
My very first published editorial allowed me to shoot whatever I wanted, so I shot a girl with some beautiful orchids. Since then, it’s become a recurring theme of mine. It’s not something I had planned to be so prevalent in my images, but to me, flowers are a very feminine symbol and I want all my images to reflect that energy. I think that’s why I keep coming back to it. I’ve started my first on-going, personal project called HANA (Japanese for flowers) that explores the beauty of flowers and the women who bear it.

Have you photographed many weddings? Any favourites and why?
I don’t shoot many weddings, but when I do, I always wonder I don’t do it more. I love ‘love’. Every wedding I’ve done has been so lovely and filled with so much joy and happiness. It makes shooting fun – despite it being commonly known as stressful and difficult – because everyone is so happy! How could you not be in a positive mood when everyone around is having such a good time?

One of my favourites was when I was asked to shoot my old Art History/Classics teacher’s wedding from my school. We had joked, “when you get married, I’ll have to shoot it!” It was lovely. I absolutely loved shooting that one.

From someone observing weddings so closely, any tips for the big day?
Relax. Which is hard to do when so much is riding on it. But that’s why you have bridesmaids, etc. People are there to help you – let them! It’s your wedding day. Chill. You’ve done all the prep, all the work already, so just sit back and relax!

And you shot Lily and Scrap for our cover, how did that go? Favourite moment/image?
Loved it! They are a charming couple. Very photogenic. I think my favourite part was when their dog Bear came on set and hung around everybody. It was like a family portrait – so cute!

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