Here at KIN, we are all for building with other female creatives and celebrating every woman’s unique journey. Sharing these stories is just the start of an exciting adventure for us. To start off our ongoing discovery, we look to the women we’ve grown up with who we believe are the role models for the next generation. Australian-grown and London-based photographer and founder of ONESIXONE, Stephanie Alcaino has navigated her career from fashion and photography in Sydney to becoming her own #girlboss in London. In this interview, Stephanie opens up to us about her creative process, influences and love for travel.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m originally from Sydney, Australia but in the last 5 years have lived in France and the UK. I’m a photographer and art director mainly specialising in both fashion and travel. I have an identical twin sister who also lives in London and is also very creative.
What led you to taking on photography as a career?
When I was at university I had studied photography and by chance got work as an assistant with a fashion photographer which introduced me into the world of fashion. Although, having said that, my family travelled a lot when I was younger (German Mother/Chilean Father) so I have always had an eye for travel and documenting the world. It’s definitely had an influence on my work and I largely focus on location based photography as it’s what inspires me the most.
How has your upbringing in Sydney influenced your work?
I find that it’s my upbringing in travelling with my family and having such an eclectic cultural upbringing that has had the greatest influence in my work.
What do you love about living and working in London?
I love living and working in London! It’s a crazy city but it’s filled with opportunities. What I love most about it is its culture of promoting and encouraging young creatives to grow and develop. When I was in Sydney, never did I think I’d have the ability to work down in Paris and then fly to Spain and then to Iceland for work etc etc. Im very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had so far!
"Know who you are and be yourself. You'll never be able to cast your own shadow if you’re walking in someone else’s."
What have you been working on lately?
I started a creative agency with two other partners called ONESIXONE in east London. I love photography but I’m also so passionate about helping brands with their messaging and how to visually express that through imagery and design. In this day and age it’s so important to do branding well and I’d love to offer a platform to interpret vision and culture into exciting visuals that translate what a brand is all about.
Where do you get inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
Travel. It’s so engrained into what I do and it’s the fastest way for me to stimulate my creative if I get a block. However on the day to day basis, the two ways I stay inspired is through research (I love finding out what creatives are doing/who is working with who etc), and I run. Whenever I need to work out a problem or a block in my mind I’ll go running for about 10km or more until I’ve worked it out.
Biggest lesson in your career?
To treat everyone as equals. When I was younger I didn’t have the best experiences working for other photographers and would be treated poorly on set. I didn’t stand up for myself. Now looking back, I wish I had. However these experiences have shaped how I approach all my jobs and has allowed me to cherish my role as the photographer as it has so much power to influence the tone of the team you are working with. I’m all about creating an environment that is fun, enjoyable and filled with affirmation. I believe that an environment that makes people feel safe and valued opens the channels of creativity through collaboration and without fear of failure. My aim is to have people leave a set with a sense of value rather than feeling deflated and unsure whether they performed well.
Favourite travel destination?
Kenya. I absolutely adore the place. It has such an incredible landscape and I have such an admiration for photographing the Maasai community.
What do you love doing to unwind?
I love to workout. It’s my way to destress and unwind and lets me deal with any stress that I have been holding throughout the week. But having said that, I also love going for a drink with my hubby as well after a crazy week.
What is slow-fashion to you?
To me slow fashion purposeful and rather than being reactive like most fast-fashion brands it’s responsive and made to last.
Favourite item in your wardrobe?
My favourite item in my wardrobe are my Birkenstocks.
Any advice for young creatives?
Know who you are and be yourself. You'll never be able to cast your own shadow if you’re walking in someone else’s. It’s so important to value what makes you unique. Don’t aim to be ‘the next…so and so’ but rather aim to be the best version of yourself and that will set you up for greatness.
Check out our recent feature of a selection of Stephanie’s personal work from her travel photography series.