White Excess, Ester Keate.
Carnival Magazine talks to London based fashion photographer Ester Keate about White Excess, the Helmut Newton inspired editorial exploring the interaction between two female models. From a family of photographers, Ester talks inspiration, ambition and gives an insight into her creative process...
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in London, but spent all my school holidays in Sweden where my mum was from. I still try to go to Sweden as much as possible and love to go horse riding alone through the forest there.
Did you study photography or a related course?
I did a year foundation at London College of Communication and then 3 years Photographic Arts BA at University of Westminster. I graduated in 2012. I learnt a lot at Westminster, both technical skills and theoretical knowledge. It was there that I found my love of fashion photography.
Tell us about your work.
I work using natural light whenever I can. I love the way it looks, especially on skin. I shoot both digital and analogue, I love the feel and aesthetic of film and I really like the way that shooting analogue slows you down and makes you consider each shot more carefully. However, I think that some projects call for the look, speed and easy of digital just as others call for analogue. I am a full time photographer and shoot a lot of Look Books as well as trying to shoot my own creative fashion projects as often as I can. I also really enjoy shooting portraits of interesting people and have a few ongoing portrait projects that I am working on.
What do you love about photography?
I love coming up with a concept and then working together with others, or on my own, to realise an image that I have dreamed up. I grew up surrounded by cameras (both my parents were photographers) and so photography has always been my medium and my way of expressing my ideas and feelings.
Which photographers inspire your practice?
This changes all the time, I think its important just to see as much different imagery as possible rather than be inspired by specific photographers. But, the photographers I seem to keep going back to are Helmut Newton, Stephen Shore, Corinne Day, Tim Walker (his portraits more than his fashion), Paolo Roversi, Alasdair McLellan, Josh Olins, Horst P. Horst...
Tell us about the featured photography, ‘White Excess’.
I came up with the idea of an all white shoot a while back along with Lydia Warhurst, the make-up artist that I work with a lot. I was inspired by a Helmut Newton book I was given for my birthday, called "World Without Men", to have two girls in the series. One playing a 'masculine' and the other playing a 'feminine' role. I worked with stylist Maddison Ball, who I had not worked with before, as well as Lydia. I shot this at my studio, it was in fact the first shoot I did in my new studio. The shoot allowed me to get a feel for my new studio and I made use of the studio walls, floors and corners rather than using a set or backdrop.
PHOTOGRAPHY / Ester Keate
MODELS / Lucy & Catherine @ Oxygen.
FASHION STYLING / Maddison Ball
STYLING ASSISTANT / Rianna Bodkin-Jacques
HAIR STYLING & MUA / Lydia Warhurst
(Using MAC Cosmetics & Bleach London Hair Products)
Clothing Credits for ISSUE 02 Feature /
 Lace Skater Dress, Oh My Love / Leather Jacket, Teija / Jeans, Topshop.
 Pleat Shift Dress, Mango / Leather & Silk Mix Top, Teija / Trousers, Mango / Shoes, New Look.
 Denim Dress, Topshop / Bomber Jacket, Topshop.
 Top, Criminal Damage / Shorts, Asos.
 Boyfriend Shirt, Asos / Leather Skirt, Asos / Bralet, Oh My Love / Trousers, Missguided
See more of Ester's work in Carnival Magazine Issue 02 and on her portfolio website.