The Portrait Photographer with a Fashion Twist

Elvina Farkas, a creative director, photographer, is a co-founder of a boutique fashion, beauty & commercial production house Anue Studios, based in Singapore. She is also a partner at Virtual Reality Production Company in Australia called Think Virtual Reality.

Anue Management & Studios is a luxurious lifestyle inspired photographic studio and event house. Anue Management & Studios is the heart and soul of videography and photography duo Lucas Milone & Elvina Farkas. They are favourite amongst celebrities and fashion magazines and have shot with international names such as Tao Okamoto; Rita Ora & Georgia May Jagger, alongside Singaporean household names and international fashion brands. The pair collaboratively works for Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel, Esquire, Cleo and Citizen K, amongst many other titles. Their commercial clients include Tod’s, L’Oreal, Sony, OSIM, Amercian Crew and Hermes and many more. Anue Management and Studios aim to provide clients results of ingenuity and quality within all manners of film and photographic production management.

Elvina opted a different path and chose to forgo her higher education and went straight into the workplace after secondary school. She found an opportunity to work as an assistant under a well-known Australian photographer. “Working as an assistant threw me into the creative industry and I suddenly had access to people, life lessons all while earning money from it. It was 4 years of industry experience that no book or classroom could have ever taught me” says Elvina. She has a strong admiration for architecture, design and photography and she draws a lot of inspiration from all three in her daily goings.

Here are some insights about Elvina Farkas shared with team ABT.

What led you to take up Beauty & Fashion Photography?
It was a natural progression. I initially started out shooting landscapes and family portraits in my hometown but after I started working in the Melbourne creative industry, I had all these beautiful and talented friends that had boundless ideas to offer. I would collaborate with everyone I knew to build up a small portfolio, most of it being beauty work since my closest friends were makeup artists. It was my beauty work that got me started with magazines, which then progressed further into fashion work. While it’s important to have an interest in fashion, I wouldn’t say that fashion is what led me to this career. I still consider myself a portrait photographer first and foremost, but with a fashion twist.

How is Anue Creative a niche in the industry?
While there are a lot of production companies in the market already, we created ours on the direct approach of customer service. We take on a very limited amount of projects per year, which ensures our clients get the most hands-on experience while working with us. In a sense, it’s a very similar approach most companies within the luxury market take. We have never spent a dime on advertising; all our clients are with us from word of mouth or by recommendation. I know that our clients appreciate the strict dedication we provide them and their projects.

Tell us about your most cherished milestone
Being approached to be a part of History Channel’s Photo Face-Off as Singapore’s resident judge is definitely a milestone, as it’s something I never thought I could fathom. From a business stand point; growing and expanding our company every year is a milestone in itself!

Is your work guided by any design philosophy?
I don’t think we follow any particular philosophy, I find being aware of your market and current trends are a far better tool to ensure your company stays flexible and afloat. In terms of creativity, rules are made to be broken.

Do you recall challenges from initial days? How did you overcome them?
With any business there are a lot of upfront challenges. For us it was a huge capital outlay with small returns in the initial months. Being in business was a huge strain particular in the first year, so resilience was something I had to learn quickly.

If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
There’s nothing I would have done differently in terms of the path taken, however I wish I could tell my younger self to be more confident and less afraid to negotiate on contracts. It’s a far different story now, but if only I learnt this skill years earlier!

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
I would love to achieve a more collaborative change in the local market. Where groups of creative companies and freelancers could come together in an effort to create impactful pieces of work – if Singapore was able to do that, our little red dot could be more recognised within the international market.