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Photographer Spotlight: Otto Masters

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“I feel these days nothing can be too strange,” says Otto Masters. “Strange is just what people feel to be different. Strange is good. I try to be as bold and individual as I can be. Originality is often rare but putting my own spin on something often creates something entirely different.”

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Strangeness, as you will have read, is not something that emerging talent Otto Masters is likely to shy away from. On the contrary, in fact. The photographer embraces it, shooting accessories, shoes and pocket squares on platters of fruit, or holding a bird’s corpse, wings spread, on his bare chest.

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Masters came to discover his love for photography as a boy. His father was a fine artist, a painter in fact, which meant that young Otto was exposed to artistic endeavours at a young age. When he was a child, he “borrowed” his father’s camera and the love affair began. Since honing his own skills, Masters sees fashion photography as the discipline he would most like to pursue. Extending beyond a mere interest in men’s fashion, this has led to the young talent working with reputable brands such as Urban Outfitters and Fossil. Recently Masters also put his lens to work in the Vivienne Westwood store in Cardiff, capturing still life fashion images for a lifestyle magazine he is currently working on. “We set up a small studio space in the store, using one of Westwood’s trademark wallpapers [as a backdrop] and hung outfits up to photograph. In post-production we removed the supports and hangers to give the illusion of levitating garments.”

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“To me,” he continues, “fashion isn’t just about clothes; it’s about the ideas behind [the clothes]. A great conept or idea has the possibilities to create anything. The possibilities are endless with fashion. That’s what I love about it.” This ethos comes across in the aforementioned Fruit photoshoot. Masters demonstrates his potential and executes a novel idea well, arranging brogues and silk ties, among other things, around sliced oranges, kiwis and melons.

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“The idea started from looking at new prints and colours coming into the SS14 collections [we saw on the catwalks]. I wanted to focus on [the] bright colours and funky prints. I  found some incredible fruit-inspired pocket squares in Moss and that’s where it started. Creating images [using a format] commonly reserved for food photography, there is a great juxtaposition.”

Just twenty years old, Otto Masters is at the start of what promises to be a fantastic career. Make sure to check out his website here: www.ottomasters.com

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