Inside Out cover and pictorial - Styling by Simone Barter, Photography by Anastasia Kariofyllidis
Have you ever been flicking through an interiors magazine and suddenly an image has made you stop in your tracks? It captures your imagination and for a glorious moment you’re transported into that amazing space with the perfect lighting, the effortlessly balanced composition and the relaxed, smiling owner. Next time an image has this effect, check the by-line - it could well be one taken by Anastasia Kariofyllidis.
I’ve been following Anastasia for a while now, initially through her pictorials in interiors magazines and then via Instagram. Her work has a luminous yet unassuming and almost spontaneous feel, whilst consistently delivering on the fundamentals of considered framework and lighting. Embarking on the sea change eleven years ago from the creative hub of Melbourne, this now Sunny Coast local has been consistently providing some of Australia’s biggest and best magazines with insightful imagery - including the portrayal of numerous Sunshine Coast creatives, their work and their homes. Although Anastasia’s portfolio contains a delectable selection of travel, product, food, landscape and fashion imagery, I must admit it’s her interior shots that are my favourites. Her visual wizardry has secured two of the last three Inside Out covers, and is regularly featured in Country Style, Queensland Homes, Australian House & Garden, Home Beautiful and our local stalwart Salt Magazine - to name just a few!
However her work is not limited to magazine pictorials. She has also collaborated with renowned Brisbane stylist Tahn Scoon, capturing Tahn’s beautiful work for two successful editions of her book “New Vintage: the homemade home”, and has a stunning portfolio of still life imagery which begs to be printed and framed.
With such an impressive body of work and being so constantly in demand across various industries, I was a little nervous about meeting Anastasia. Big reputation equals big ego, right? So very, very wrong.
I have to say that I’ve been fortunate to meet some lovely people since moving to the coast, and Anastasia is right up there with the best of them. We met at Husk & Honey for a quick coffee, and ended up chatting for over two hours! She instantly put me at ease with her warm personality and it seemed we talked about anything and everything - past Melbourne haunts, the winding path of a creative's career, cinema verite (google that one folks!), and even laughing at one point about the ongoing challenges of the rolling renovation! Anastasia has that unassuming talent of being able to openly and honestly engage in a conversation, and you can see that this is evident time and again through her photography. Her subjects always look relaxed and comfortable, establishing the ambience which is then invitingly conveyed throughout the image as a whole. This ability to put your subject at ease - to be interested in their story - is an innate skill and not one which is easily learnt, and I believe it’s a measured part of Anastasia’s success.
Her easy and open nature is also conveyed through her photographic style - as previously mentioned, although meticulously framed and beautifully exposed, her images have a relaxed and almost spontaneous air to them and, to me, a beautiful feeling of inclusion.
With Anastasia’s expanding body of work and her 'in demand' status, this Sunshine Coast based photographer is striving ahead in leaps and bounds. Her obvious talent is unquestionable, however I believe it’s her passion for her craft and her humble yet engaging personality which makes Anastasia a genuine triple threat, in the very best possible way.
What’s your Sunshine Coast story Anastasia? What brought you here and how long have you lived on the coast?
I’ve wanted to live in Queensland ever since I was a child. I grew up in Melbourne and we holidayed in Queensland almost every year. I love the outdoors and warm weather (and palm trees) so it was only a matter of time. I moved to the Sunny Coast eleven years ago and absolutely love living here. It’s full of natural beauty, has amazing people and if I really need an urban fix Brisbane is just over an hour away (I’m sounding like a brochure LOL).
What is your design background, and what inspired you to become a photographer?
I don’t have a design background. I studied Media Studies at Uni but my passion was always photography. I knew I wanted to be a photographer when I was eleven but I allowed myself to be talked out of taking that path at the end of high school as the popular belief at the time was that you couldn’t make a living out of something creative. My path to photography was rather unconventional as I’m mostly self-taught and I didn’t start out by assisting someone else.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I’m not sure how I’d describe my photographic style. Possibly a mix of commercial/editorial rolled into one. There is a bit more of a casual style and feel to editorial photography and that is becoming more widely accepted by commercial clients. I like using very shallow depth of field (small number f stop in layman’s terms) as the blurry background (or foreground – depending on your focal point) give the image a more dream-like quality. I do mostly lifestyle photography. I like capturing images that make me feel good I have an enormous amount of respect for photographers that capture a lot of the sadder things in life but I wouldn’t last a day doing that.
Can you describe the process that takes you from the initial concept to that final shot?
The process from initial concept to final shot can vary dramatically. Sometimes they’re carefully planned by a stylist or art director and other times they’re totally spontaneous with little or no planning. You think on your feet a lot in this job and you get lots of curve balls thrown at you so you really need to work and respond to what’s happening at that precise moment. I always pack more gear than I need and just go with the flow.
Are there any designers/artisans/crafts people that you’re particularly loving at the moment? Any Blogs that are your particular favourites?
I’m loving lots of different creatives but my focus is mostly local. Belinda Herford and Cat Lee for their stunning art, Cass Deller and The March Collective for their superb illustrations, Simone Barter for her fabulous styling and absolutely amazing versatility, Helen King of French and Gorgeous for her classically beautiful antique interiors, Lisa Day of Chapter Two for her funky vintage finds and her artisan creations, Dezley Hughes of Twig and Grace for her artistic floral creations and soulful event and interior stylings and ceramicists Elke Lucas, Shannon Garson and Kim Wallace for their distinctively beautiful pieces. If I was to look further afield for inspiration, it would be in Cote Sud, a French magazine that I’ve been buying for the last 15 years that creates and captures interiors and lifestyle in the most breathtaking and inimitable way. I also love Carolyn Quartermaine, a French and British based interior stylist, textile designer and artist whose creations are just astonishingly beautiful.
I’ve taken a little detour with the blogs I’m reading at the moment. I’ve become quite addicted to perfume blogs, my favourites being Bois de Jasmine, Persolaise and The Black Narcissus. Some of their perfume reviews read like pure poetry.
What would be your social media platform of choice?
My social media platform of choice is Instagram. I have a Facebook account but the interface seems a little nonsensical and counter-intuitive to me and so I rarely use it. Instagram resonates with me as it’s such a visual medium and it’s very easy to use. Most importantly, I find it to be a very positive community.
Do you have any future ventures/exhibitions planned that you’d like to share?
I’ve often thought about doing something more creative (in photography) that would warrant an exhibition but I keep changing my mind about the subject matter! I’ll get there one day I hope.
What are the best things about being your own creative boss?
The best thing about being your own boss is the autonomy and variety. I also feel you get treated like an equal, unlike the hierarchical nature that pervades a lot of organisations. I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Fav Sunny Coast cafe/restaurant/foodie paradise? Ground, Husk and Honey, Kunara, The Spirit House
Fav Sunny Coast weekend routine? I actually like to mostly stay at home since I’m out and about all week; lots of gardening, maybe visits to Yandina Markets, Rosemount Nursery and Sunray Nursery to feed my addiction for more plants.
Fav Sunny Coast icon/landmark? The jetties/little boat sheds along the Maroochy River.
Fav Sunny Coast hangout? Everywhere! I enjoy every corner of the coast and I love mixing it up!