A multi-faceted creative with a focus on styling and photography, Angie Vero is an exciting visionary based in Miami. The Florida native pursued her childhood love of art that transformed into a thriving career complete with large-scale portrait projects, working with rising fashion labels, and self-expression through stills. Inspired by the art of femininity, humans and vibrant colors, and so much more, Angie started to make a name for herself as one of the city’s most exciting young photographers.
Blending hints of both nostalgia and femininity into her work, Angie has extensively worked with womenswear label Kiki The Brand, a sustainable fashion line offering hand-made lingerie, dresses, bikinis, and much more. Her ability to capture the female gaze and advocate on the behalf of underrepresented perspectives of women in photography through back on the stereotypical narratives that exist. Angie is committed to developing a unique point of view that effortlessly meshes vibrant yet soft hues with the dreamy and surreal world surrounding her. Although still in her early years, Angie Vero is a name that you can certainly expect to hear, if not see her work, in the future.
For Behind The Lens, we spoke with Angie Vero about the female gaze, incorporating Hispanic culture in her work, and advice to women in photography! Check it out below.
What initially got you into photography?
I’ve always been into art and painting when I was younger and in high school, I used to do ceramics and painting. I’ve always been a creative person and I think towards my junior year of college, I would start modeling for my friends. Then I took a trip to California and I picked up a disposable and I started from there, from then I was like “let me take it more seriously.” I feel like at first I was very uncomfortable at the fact that people would call me a photographer but I think I’ve kind of grown into it.
You’ve shot a lot of talented creatives, particularly women—how do you get your subjects to get comfortable in front of the camera?
Sometimes I have clients who are kind of shy or they just want to practice modeling, but I try to be really open and make them feel safe. I want them to know that it’s something very natural and I don’t take too many photos so I can see how they react. For the most part, I think it’s about making them feel comfortable before you take the photos that way they don’t feel intimidated by me or the camera. It definitely gets easier the more you do it and I typically see how people naturally pose and then I’ll tweak my camera to fit how I want it to look.
Some of my clients will tell me that they don’t really like taking pictures with male photographers sometimes. The chemistry is kind of weird sometimes and I get it, but I try to make them feel like I’m not going to judge them. I was told that I take pictures from the female gaze so a lot of them come out soft, but there are a lot of men that take amazing photos too.
What kind of story do you hope to tell with your images?
Unless it’s a real explicit message then I would, but I just want the photos to have more of a feel to them than a story. I try to transform the person I’m taking pictures of into something else.
I would say that my style comes from anime, comic books, and old movies. Also from other people of course, looking at their pictures gives me inspiration. It’s definitely easier with social media and now you can see that there are different things that people are creating every day.
As you grow as a photographer, are you seeing your style or interests change?
I can see my style changing a little bit, I still do more dreamy and girly photos but I’ve been more in tune with doing more dark and edgy things. Doing moody pictures is something that I like to do and it makes me feel good doing something the complete opposite of what I’m used to it. I’ll either do something dark and bloody or the complete opposite where it’s dreamy and cottage core or surreal.
I do love taking pictures of people but I would love to take pictures of architecture and landscape stuff. In Miami, there’s a lot of super bright colored houses, and they kind of remind me of Central American and Hispanic culture so I love taking pictures of that too.
With that being said, does Hispanic culture play a role in the way you create?
I would say maybe a little bit! I know setting-wise, I love to take pictures with vibrant buildings in Little Havana. It feels more home to me and I feel more comfortable. I was taking pictures of someone in a convenience store and it felt nostalgic because I would be there all the time.
If you could recall, what has been one of the most meaningful shoots that you’ve got to do over the past year or so?
Me and my best friend Zlenelle did a bathroom shoot and it was something super dark and moody for her. It was my first time experimenting with red lights so it was one of the most meaningful of this year. We had a bathtub our friend let us use and we stained it really bad with red acrylic. It was messy but it came out really good and it was an exciting day when I got those back.
What are some projects or brands that you dream of working with in the future?
I honestly love skate brands and high fashion so some of my dreams would be Palace, Prada, Jeffery Campbell. Those are like my dream brands and I would love to do more streetwear because I work with a lot of women’s luxury brands so like lingerie and girly stuff, it would be nice to switch that up and shoot in another style I enjoy. I’ve always enjoyed skate culture and grew up around it. I’ve always been into it and shooting male models more often instead would be interesting.
Can you share any tips for women who aspire to become photographers? Are there things they should steer to or try to avoid?
I personally would say don’t let people take advantage of you when it comes to trying something or if you don’t feel comfortable, trust your gut. You never know what could happen and if you don’t know the person you’re shooting, bring someone with you. Make sure you keep your boundaries set because people will treat you aggressively and will take advantage of you if you don’t say anything.
If you enjoyed our chat with Angie Vero, check out our chat with New York photographer Shawn Shuttlesworth!