ーーCan you tell us about yourself? About your background and about your career as a fashion photographer?
Adi：I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, I moved to LA when I was 18 to study filmmaking. I began experimenting with photography after I finished college around 6 years ago. In the beginning, I started as a music photographer, shooting for local live shows and festivals. It was my way of going to shows for free and making friends along the way. I wasn’t fully satisfied. I felt like I wanted to create photos that I can get more hands on creatively, so I dived into fashion photography and it just clicked to me. I used to assist this photographer, Eliot Lee Hazel. I learned a lot by watching him works, especially during my early stage.
ーーYou mentioned that you have assisted photographer Eliot Lee Hazel in the past, but what styles or techniques of his still live in your works today?
Adi：I used to intern and assist for him for a short term, I began working for him because I adored his works. There is a cinematic and ethereal quality to his works that I found fascinating. At that time I was still a complete beginner, so I didn’t have any knowledge whatsoever about photography. I began learning by watching him works and learning the equipment that he used. Eliot uses all analog cameras and films for his works and that is something that I still live by until this day. Also the way he explores the technique that is out of the box and still able to create images that feel timeless is something that I admire.
ーーWhat process did you go through in order to develop this own style of yours?
Adi：I guess my style just develops naturally as I grow as a person. Like when I first started, my style was so different from how it is now and it will always be evolving.
ーーHow do you reflect your own identity into your work and how do you define it?
Adi：I really don’t like putting any definition to my work. I do photography but I don’t want to be labelled as just a fashion photographer with this particular style. I would like to be more fluid and more free than that. I also don’t think my work defines who I am fully as a person, it is a part of me, but my identity is way more than just my works.
ーーWhat does fashion photography mean to you? What can you express through it?
Adi：Fashion photography is a way to create dreams. It is the form of photography where I can create whatever fantasy and ideas I have. You can get away from reality and you can have so much freedom in fashion photography. I think that’s what I enjoy the most about it.
ーーWhat is the creative starting point for each of your shoots?
Adi：I usually just plant a seed of idea in my mind and I’d let it grow organically overtime. Sometimes I got inspired by an image or a feeling or a tune, and I will write it down. Then, I will sketch that idea on paper and it starts from there.
ーーWhat kind of techniques do you emphasise the most? Especially, in the lighting techniques?
Adi：To be honest, I am not very technical savvy and this is something that I have been working on. I tend to focus more on the idea and the mood itself and the lighting should follow through. I personally enjoy shooting with natural light the most. I think it gives the best mood.
ーーWhere do you gain your inspirations from?
Adi：I got my inspiration mostly from life, from experiencing highest high in life and lowest low in life. That way I know what I like and I know what I don’t like. But I feel like inspiration can come from anything in life, for example: the air you breathe, the water you drink, music you listen to, etc.
ーーIn recent days, fashion photography and art has become more closely related, sometimes even used to provoke messages towards the society, but what are your perspectives on the movement?
Adi：I think photography, of any form is a practice of art, and that is what art’s purpose is – to provoke emotion and way to send messages to the society.
ーーDoes trend or movements in the society effect you in any ways? How do you balance your own style and trend that is on-going?
Adi：Yes of course, I think trend is a good thing as all creative things need to evolve. But the key here is to make works that would look timeless, regardless of the trend.
ーーHow did the crisis of coronavirus impact the fashion photography industry?
Adi：I think the fashion photography industry is heavily affected by the pandemic. All shoots have become nearly impossible to do, unless you do online shoot via webcam. But then again, I think during this time, fashion should not be the focus. I think we need to use our creativity and being productive by supporting each other. But If you need to do shoots, just try to do it at home that doesn’t require other people on set.
ーーWhile long-term effects of the current coronavirus is expected, has anything changed in terms of your perspective towards creations under quarantine?
Adi：Yes of course, to be honest I haven’t been really creating much during this pandemic. I am using this time to get closer to myself, to learn new skills, and to find new inspirations.
ーーWhat do you want to challenge yourself in the near future? Do you have any goals set for yourself?
Adi：Absolutely. I am currently working on developing idea for a future film. I also have a personal photo series that I want to do. Besides that I am in the process of making my first photo book as well as first solo exhibition in Tokyo. So there is a lot to look forward to.
ーーWhat do you see in the future of fashion photography?
Adi：I think nothing much will change, but I think it will take a while to recover and to be able to get back to normal. Many creatives are facing uncertainties in this time. But on the positive look, there will be a whole lot of new ideas coming out after the corona life. Just hope it ends sooner than later.