Zuzana Breznanikova

June 20, 2016 by Laura Gomez


Zuzana Breznanikova is a London based editorial and commercial fashion & portraiture photographer shooting both men & women. She is a luxury fashion and advertising photographer who has photographed for some of the world’s most luxury brands including Harrods. Her portraiture is demand both with commercial and private clients. She has been commissioned to photograph some of the most high profile individuals in the world.

She is a member of the Royal Photographic Society and did Fashion Photography Mastered with Nick Knight. She also holds a Master’s degree.

Her fashion editorial and fine art photography work has been published on vogue.it. She is a contributor to Art + Commerce | Vogue Italia collection – artist Zuzana Breznanikova.

Her fashion credits include: Harrods, D&G, Prada, Armani, Ski Dior, Moncler, Rolls Royce, Miller, Fluoro and Bognor.

Her model agency credits include: Elite London, IMG Models, Select Model Management, Storm, Next Model Management, Models1, PRM Models, D1 Models, PRM, Leni’s Model Management and Nevs.

Photo Interview:

Name: Zuzana Breznanikova
Age: Mid thirties but looking younger – really it is annoying when you have your own business – everyone thinks it is funny I want to look older – getting my first grey hair was very exciting!
Birthday: end of January – can’t remember exactly – am terrible with dates but my husband remembers!

College: several and all in London but most noteworthy is school of life – was more valuable than doing my Bachelors or Masters

Favorite Color: Black, blue and turquoise – anyway those are the colours of my main paper rolls at the moment but the most beautiful colours for me are in the nature, as the seasons change. There is so much wonderful beauty in nature.

Favorite Book: Originals: How non-conformists change the world. – yes really that is me. I am non-conformist but whether I will really change the world is undecided 🙂

Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction – the most memorable one anyway.

Favorite Food: I love all good food and try to avoid all processed junk food but don’t always succeed – it really was easier 100 years’ ago. I love a great burger or steak occasionally. It is all about balanced diet, right!

Favorite Quote: ‘Anything is possible’ – yes really!

For how long have been in photography? How did you start?
I have always been drawn to photography and first started photography when I was 16 or at least that is when I got my first photograph published in a national newspaper – although it was of a basketball game. I have moved on since then to more creative genre of portraiture and fashion photography which suits better my creativity. My interests and earlier studies in psychology help my portraiture; in getting to know people I photograph.

How would you define yourself as an artist?

Eclectic – my ideas and imagery evolves during the shoot. I like emphasising natural beauty and the individuality of my subject. Photographing people is my passion – the model is at the foreground for me and I like to be involved in all aspects of the creative process.

Where do you find inspiration?
I tend to get inspired by the models themselves, art or the original concepts behind fashion collections such as Alexander McQueen’s SS16 collection – the Huguenots.

Is Brainstorming not the only creative method use to create new concepts?
I may come up with the initial concept or moodboard for a shoot but it very much evolves during the shoot as my inspiration comes from the person I photograph and from what I see or feel in that moment. I instinctively know how I want to change the lighting and come up with lots of creative ideas on the day – perhaps too many. I get into the ‘flow’ very quickly being completely immersed in ‘creating’ and bringing out the best from the client or model that I often forget the time! I think you know you are in the right job if you get into the ‘flow’ or energised focus like that. If you haven’t heard of the work of Mihaly csikszentmihalyi then you must check it out – for your own happiness sake!

Please could you tell us about photography and digital technology?
For me it is about people and the lighting – the subject is the most important for me and it is the person who inspires my photography including how I decide to light the subject. With years of practice I learned to shoot in a way that it doesn’t need much editing if any.

What type of camera do you use most?
Full frame Nikon. Everyone asks me what camera or lens I use but I think what is more important than the type of camera used is having the ‘eye’. If you give a photographer any camera even an iPhone they should be able to create a great image.

What is your favorite lens?
I use many different lenses depending on what I am trying to achieve. I love prime lenses for outdoors with Nikkor 85mm prime lens probably being my favourite for portraiture.

What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
Advertorial with Harrods for the Good Ski Guide – it was quite a challenging assignment in terms of timings as we had exactly 2 hours to photograph 4 models in 4 different locations around Harrods including in a new Bentleys car – 2 hours including makeup and styling before Harrods opened! There were 2 of us (photographers) on the day and they chose my photographs so I was pleased with the result but it is the one assignment I will never forget.

What are your favourite three images you have shot recently?
I did some black and white portraiture recently which I like at the moment

How important is an awesome website for your business?
Very important as it showcases my photography – I get many clients who book me from the website. I can’t imagine having a business without a website as a lot of my clients see my work on my website or Instagram and book me because they like my photography

What’s the most important quality a photographer needs to have?

Having a creative ‘eye’ and intuition when it comes to lighting and the composition of a photograph, I don’t think that this is something that can be taught. For portraiture good people skills and being able to make anyone comfortable in front of the camera (helps if you hate being in front of the camera yourself so can emphatise with your clients)

Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction?

A shoot I did as part of Fashion photography talent program with Nick Knight. It was a fashion editorial inspired by the model herself – Scandinavian Laerke Simone who we (Zoe – my MUA and I) wanted to shoot for months and she had just arrived in town so it was a last minute half day shoot. Laerke reminded us of a PIXIE a bit – ‘a small bewildered fairy of a Scandinavian origin’. She has naturally icy blonde hair and porcelain skin so we played to her ‘fairy’ like characteristics incorporating movement to add interest. Laerke even moved like a fairy – it was a magical shoot 🙂 Zoe and I worked so well together and we had so much fun. The shoot was not planned and we enjoyed being spontaneous with complete creative freedom on the day being just 2 of us. Vogue Italia published 15 images from the shoot.

List of your clients?
Harrods are probably the most notable one from commercial brands. I am also a contributor to Art + Commerce | Vogue Italia

Who are the photographer’s you admire the most?
Patrick demarchelier, Steven Meisel and Mario Sorrenti

What about architects and designers?

Alexander McQueen

What are your next projects?
I had to sign a NDA so can’t say! But it will be exciting, I love my job!