Alain Simić Shoots Jewelry For Emerging and Established Designers
(opening photo: Dru Jewelry)
Alain Simić has built a strong following among independent jewelry designers—he captures their distinctive aesthetics and allows their creative vision to shine. He has a flair for developing a brand’s image through his imaginative lens and continues to present jewelry that can range from lifelike to ultra-spare and modern, to editorial shots that have almost a retro vintage quality to them. He has shot naturalistic still life photos and a mod 60’s inspired model campaign for Larkspur & Hawk, black and white campaigns for the ultra hip and modern talisman of Dru Jewelry and clean-lined still lifes and model campaigns for the bold, geometric yet feminine designs of GiGi Ferranti. For all of his jewelry and fashion clients, he takes on the role of producer, director and stylist for shoots. Alain is particularly interested in working the new guard of jewelry designers to develop their individual narratives, stake their place in the competitive jewelry market and get their message out to their customers.
Here we speak to Alain about his background and why focuses his lens on jewelry:
What type of photography did you start out doing?
“I studied journalism at University and began my career as a freelance photojournalist. I worked in India, Nepal, and Bosnia on long-form photo essays that focused on women and children in post-conflict zones.”
Wow, that’s quite a change. Can you tell us a little about why and how you transitioned into more commercial photography?
“The type of stories I worked on took an exceedingly greater emotional toll on me than I ever expected. I sometimes miss working in the field; I miss the people I had the honor of meeting and photographers like Steve McCurry for whom I worked, but it was time for me to explore other forms of my art. Eventually, I moved to New York and became a producer to manage and style and editorial and still life shoots.”
Talk about how you evolved into jewelry photography and why?
“I have always been interested in storytelling, particularly in the power of visual media. When you are working with a designer, you get to help them build their brand and tell their story. When photographing jewelry you can pick up on and reveal all of the nuances that go into the piece as well as the creator’s vision.”
“Additionally, I always loved fashion (I still have my childhood collection of French Vogue magazines), and I developed a real love for jewelry when I was working as a producer. There are details that keep revealing themselves in jewelry. There is also a way in which the jewelry allows for different types of still life and editorial styling. I realized that there is a dearth of photographers who shoot jewelry well, and as I continued to work with pieces and style them, I thought, this is a niche I want to fill.”
How did you find your first jewelry designer clients?
“I launched my own business in 2017 and was blessed with some really wonderful clients early on who were instrumental in helping me grow and learn. Now I get to do something I love full time. I get to be creative and tell stories through photography every day. It feels like such a privilege because I essentially get paid to fantasize and make beautiful pictures “
Can you describe your clients?
“ I work with well-established brands and burgeoning start-ups. I am always sensitive to that and try my best to create something my clients can be proud of. One of my clients likes to say that ‘we punch above our weight class.’ I quite like to think of that way and push to deliver the highest quality for all whom I shoot for, whether it be still lifes or model campaigns or both.”
Can you name some of the designers you work or have worked with?
Larkspark & Hawk, GiGi Ferranti Fine Jewelry, Dru Jewelry, Yoki Creations, Lindley Gray, Gonz+Ros and Nina Runsdorf.
How do you find the right mood/sensibility for you varied clients and help them realize their visions?
“I take great care to listen to the specific needs of each of my clients. I have such a diverse range of designers, aesthetically, that I have to approach every project from a different point of view. My production experience has served me well. I spent much of my time communicating with clients in order to better understand who they are, who their customer is, who they want their customer to be, their brand ethos and who they are as individuals. I find myself now planning out and editing each shoot with the same principles in mind: I think about narrative building, and ask myself whether each shoot speaks to my client’s customer and if it conveys something unique about my client’s brand.”
“All of this is very important to me, but at the end of the day, the shoot has to be beautiful, and if that’s not the case, nothing else matters. I have a great team of hair and makeup artists, assistants, and of course exceptional clients who all contribute and help me take an interesting concept and turn it into a beautiful shoot.”