Published on November 19, 2013 | by Hollie Bracciale


LCF students photograph ‘real beauty’

The group of ten women photographed by LCF students for Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign.

The LCF team weren’t allowed to use darkroom tricks to enhance the pictures. [Elina Pasok]

Three LCF students have led a photo shoot for the latest instalment of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.

A panel of experts chose three MA Photography students to photograph ten women who had never modelled before. The team was not allowed to edit the pictures.

Elina Pasok was chosen as photographer, Paula Gongora Salazar as photographer’s assistant and Vlad Gherman to create a behind-the-scenes film.

Dove’s campaign, which started in 2004, features women who don’t fit the ‘usual’ model image for their advertising.

To find photographers for its latest shoot, Dove asked students at LCF to submit three photographs following a brief, to accompany a statement on how they defined real beauty.

“[According to market research] only four per cent of women consider themselves beautiful,” said Pasok. “I was happy to work on this project, to show that in order to be beautiful and feel beautiful, one doesn’t have to be pressed by society and media. Beauty is within and confidence is the key.”

The ten women for the campaign were selected in a competition run by home wares store Wilkinson, where the final photographs are now on display.

None of the women chosen had modelling experience, and as no airbrushing was permitted, the shoot was quite different to how the photography students are used to working.

“It was my team’s job to help them feel relaxed and open up on set, show their personality and transfer it to photographs,” Pasok explained.


Pasok found the photo shoot to be quite intimate and formed a rapport with her sitters. “All my energy was used to get the models personality out and make them smile with their eyes”, she told ALN. “We had great vibe on set, and I believe I managed to show authentic smiles and real beauty shining through.”

Paul Bevan, course leader of MA Fashion Photography is proud LCF has been involved in the campaign and thinks Dove’s next one should involve real men too.

“It was my team’s job to help them feel relaxed and open up on set, show their personality and transfer it to photographs.”

Elina Pasok

“As well as a successful marketing strategy for Dove, the wider agenda is for ‘real’ women to see and feel beauty in themselves … and not measuring themselves against images of manipulated beauty,” Bevan said. “I’d like to run a ‘real man’ campaign with Dove, and pose equally pertinent questions around images and representations of men, and notions of masculinity.”

The Dove campaign follows on from their self-esteem project targeted primarily at younger girls.

“Arts and media can change the world in a good way,” said Pasok. “Especially if more companies like Dove start working on human rights and self-esteem issues, fighting media-evoked anxiety in young girls that can affect their careers and life.

“When great professionals work on these issues, we can change the world for better.”

Watch Vlad Gherman’s behind-the-scenes video:

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