Read the interview to Mary Chorman, Ukrainian photographer and stylist, speaking about the fashion industry in Ukraine and her future projects.
– Tell us a bit about yourself and your passion for photography and styling.
I am a 23 years old photographer from Ukraine. I have always been interested in photography and fashion, but I have started to follow this passion not so long ago.
I graduated from in fashion styling, retouch and photography and more courses in general, because I just love learning and expanding my knowledge.
People have always told me to pick one thing but at the end I couldn’t, so I chose to do something which has it all. I organize all my photoshoots. I do the styling, the retouch and the photos. The only thing I do not do is the makeup.
I learned it too but prefered to find another person to do this.
– Where your inspiration, for you photography, is coming from ? ( music, movies, icons, whatever inspires you).
It comes from many sources. The first one is my own experience which is not related to photography. Just some small things like talking to other people, observing nature etc. New life experiences are always inspiring. I feel like , the happier you are as a person the better photographer you can be.
The second one is actually k-pop. I have been following it for 7 years and the visuals are truly stunning. Everything is cohesive from the styling to the music itself. It is experimental and makes me want to try new things.
The third thing is other photographers. I check out a lot of photos daily and if I see something interesting that inspires me to keep improving in my work. So inspiration is everywhere basically, but for me what is more important is discipline and good working habits.
– Tell us a bit about how is the situation of the fashion industry, at the moment, in Ukraine.
A lot of things can be said about fashion but what needs to be talked about more is mindset change. In 2014 the war started in the East of our country. Coming from the East (the city called Donetsk) I had to move to Kyiv. But that was a moment for Ukraine because it honestly changed the whole direction of the culture in some way.
It happened in all the fields. We now have some kind of a Ukrainian movement going on when there is a demand for Ukrainian brands. Patriotism is now a trend here.
And now we have quarantine again, so everything went from offline to online and people do not buy that much clothes as they used to. It is a difficult period for a lot of people.
– Did you work with any small business ? or do you have some which you would like to collaborate with?
Yes, I worked with some small businesses. The last one was a coffee shop. I was doing the photos for their social media. We were working together with a PR-manager. She would give me the list of the photos she needed for the promotion and I would do that.
I don’t have any specific business I would like to work with, but in general I am open to different collaborations, especially with social ones.
– What do you think of sustainable and ethical fashion ? Is it a trend in Ukraine?
I think that is really great, although not enough people know about it in Ukraine. I mean that it is definitely a trend among people working in fashion, but in general the population is not aware of what it is and why it is important.
There are some projects working to popularize this movement in Ukraine. For example “Sustainable Fashion Pad” – Ukrainian platform about sustainable fashion.
I wish more people would know what they can do to help and support sustainable and ethical fashion, but we definitely have a long way to get there.
– Do you have any projects you are working on at the moment, or in the next future?
There is one project I am going to work on soon. I want to explore the topic of growing up (which challenges are coming with it, which stereotypes are linked to it etc.)
I would love to do some social projects in the future. We had one project in Ukraine called “50 гривен” where the photographer promised 50 hryvnias (Ukraine coins) to people who would come to his studio.
He made their portraits and asked how they would spend it. This is a really small amount of money which is important for some people we tend to ignore. That was the idea.
I would love to do something like it.
– Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me on multiple social media. I am on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn. I have the same nickname everywhere “ Mary Chorman ”, which is my real name, so that it would be easy to find me.