From the series "Childhood is like a loaded gun". Photo by Ilze Vanaga

London’s calling?? 0

Ilze Vanaga, Photographer

It's hard to understand where to begin the story. My computer burned two weeks ago leaving me without all bookmarks that I had gathered over the last five and a half years living in London… It felt like loosing a house…Which I have to admit is the funniest disaster on a global scale.

Professionally London has been the best experience ever so far. I went there to study, but got so excited about all the opportunities that I learned from people, city, situations, jobs, what turned out to be my best school.

The beginning is always exciting. There is so much to do, so much to work on, that it does not actually leave you with any spare minute during the day or night. And it is even more exciting that you know that every action you do, opens the door to another ten new ones. Its a little like a drug. You need more because you know the pleasure you get. But one must remember to rest. That is a rule number 1.

The first thing I did when arriving in London was a short course (four months long once or twice a week) in Fashion styling and photography for media at London College of Fashion. It was madly expensive and total bullocks but gave me some understanding of industry and quite a few sources for my further research. Once you know where to look for things you most likely will find them. One good place for research is I met a lot of people through there. Collaborations with other young creatives is what widens your perspectives. There is mostly no money involved just pure initiative but that gives you the freedom to experiment and do crazy stuff that you really enjoy meanwhile finding people from different fields for potential future projects. 

To have an energy and persistence to go for what you believe in – thats luck.

For the first two years I was mainly assisting Production designers on fashion and music show. Britain's Next Top Model, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Ronan Keating concerts, Robbie Williams music video, Margaret Howell, DKNY, GUCCI, TOPSHOP, ELLE4LISA fashion shows on London's Fashion week, and these are just the big names.

How I got into this – kind of accidently. When I moved to London I knew three local people there. An art director Bill, make-up artists Alison and an architect Sam. Sam's very good friend Diana was one of London's main Fashion PR company (Modus Publicity) directors. I went to see her for the internship, but came out with a lot of other worth calling Production company contact details. It took me 3 months calling all of them, calling back, emailing CVs, calling again, emailing again. Eventually I got a meeting with Dan from Push Production. He hired me straight away as a production assistant.