16 Questions with Tatiana Gerusova

Exclusive Interview by Natalie Ragusin
Photography by Tatiana Gerusova

Russian-born, Los Angeles based fashion editorial photographer, Tatiana Gerusova, is recognized for her fine attention to the classic woman of opulence. An air of va-va-voom in figure and pinup femme fatale show as the reoccurring frame in Gerusova’s work. A fresh take on the late Helmut Newton’s essence, Gerusova’s models intimidate, compel and can stop any stride in one’s track.

And yet the playful and irrevocably inviting creative direction through Gerusova’s lens, compose these women as powerful, irresistible characters that EN simply cannot get enough of.

Tatiana-Gerusova-CONCRETE-JUNGLES-II
Tatiana-Gerusova-LIPS
Tatiana Gerusova - Renee Olstead

“ If I could, I would assist Helmut, shoot Brigitte,
and smoke with Dali. ”

― Tatiana Gerusova

Gerusova’s porfolio includes mesmerizing black and white film noir sets for Italian Vogue and most commonly, for GUESS, the iconic fashion house of ‘the bombshell’. Paying homage to the reigning 90s supermodels of the GUESS brand, Gerusova puts a twist on the glamazon with a hint of grace a la’ 50s Sophia Loren, temptress Jayne Mansfield and a bit of Bettie Page’s captivating wit.

This fusion of ‘woman’ inevitably draws Eternal Noir to Tatiana Gerusova’s creative concepts, one after another. Discovering the type of woman Gerusova shoots is essential to the product that emits.

Keep reading for Eternal Noir’s 16 questions with Tatiana Gerosova!

Tatiana Gerusova - SHADES OF PARIS

“ I love emotions and playful promises. ”

― Tatiana Gerusova

EN: Do you or your models usually channel old Hollywood starlets in your shoots? Who are some of your favorites­­ Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Rita Hayworth or Jean Harlow? What’s a film that you usually gravitate towards for inspirations?

TG: I do gravitate towards classic old school style, yes! Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Bettie are one of my favorite ladies. That fighting scene between Brigitte Bardot and Claudia Cardinale in Les Petroleuses is what I love to shoot, to be inspired by.

The constant question and comparison of American beauty standards versus other cultural beauty standards, come into question when talking about femininity and the expression of the woman. The Russian native explores this with Eternal Noir and opens up about her freedom here in the U.S.

EN: In your eyes, is the beauty standard in Russia on the same level as American beauty standards? Is it similar or different?

TG: It’s definitely a different story. America has so much freedom to explore and express. Russia has a bit of a closed mentality. I could never feel completely free expressing my love for beautiful women and portraying them in a certain way without being judged. I love to do what I want to do with my imagination regardless.

Tatiana Gerusova - TURNED
Tatiana-Gerusova-MORNING-SUN

“ Black and white shots tell you a story, but color shots show you the connection of the story. ”

― Tatiana Gerusova

Infamous for her black and white siren editorial portraits, it would only be fitting if Eternal Noir dug deeper in the inner workings of how Gerusova photographs. Natural light, natural expressions and natural emotions come into play when Gerusova picks up the camera. As the model follows, the end product can be mistakenly seen as an energetic woman–laughing, enjoying the moment or being a force to be reckoned with in a blink of an eye, or in this case–a click of a camera. How is it so effortless?

EN: It’s extraordinary that you photograph in color and in black and white equally well. What sort of things do you think about when you’re working in color? Any differences?

TG: I always had love for black and white and nothing can change that. But sometimes when you have a certain shot, you just know you want this in color.

EN: Lighting conditions play a critical role in photography — how do you see or experience light? Which areas of the face and body do you like to accentuate with natural light?

TG: I love natural light and try to shoot it any time I can.

EN: Describe the ambiance of how you like to work on location. Do you enjoy music playing? If so, what songs? You’ve mentioned you like it to be a fun get-­together.

TG: Yes to music! We try to play something that everyone can enjoy (especially the model as I want her to feel free and comfortable). Usually we just have fun! Stress-free environment is very important to me. I make sure my models just relax, forget about the camera and have fun, dance, jump, act silly, or be a furious femme fatale etc.

Tatiana-Gerusova - Bojana
Tatiana-Gerusova

EN: If you could work creatively with someone from a different era, who would it be and why? May this be Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Dali or a certain actress? Why?

TG: Oh gosh. If I could, I would assist Helmut, shoot Brigitte, and smoke with Dali.

“ I love how it sometimes dictates the mood. I can be in control of the light I have, but when it comes to the natural light, I love to take the risk and capture what it shows me. I love to be spontaneous. ”

― Tatiana Gerusova

Tatiana-Gerusova-guess-vogue

EN: How long have you been shooting with GUESS? And how has this been beneficial with your career?

 

TG: I started shooting with GUESS in March 2016. It was a dream come true as I always loved classic Guess ads since young age. Since then I learned so much, met amazing people, grew as a person and as a photographer. I will always be grateful to Paul Marciano for believing in me.

Gerusova’s recent GUESS ad campaigns with leading women in the industry:

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Tatiana-Gerusova-rachel-mortenson-guess
Tatiana-Gerusova-hailey-baldwin-guess

EN: Are there any unusual or bizarre days you experienced while shooting that you can share with us? What was the outcome and how did you overcome the unforeseen challenges?

TG: Usually it’s very relaxing and fun. But of course there are times when you come to challenges.

“ One of the recent stories involves a very lovely model. We put her in a dryer machine at the laundry factory. Little did we know that if you close the door, the machine starts to spin automatically… (She survived and and is well) ”

― Tatiana Gerusova

A true gem herself, Eternal Noir traveled a bit further to get the day-to-day life of Gerusova–interests, hobbies, personal loves and favorites. It’s no surprise that she has written a book titled Krasotka which is Russian for ‘beautiful’.

EN: How has the success and launch of your book Krasotka (I admire that this means beauty in your native Russian) been beneficial to your work and career?

TG: It was an amazing experience, thanks to Oliver Serrano. He saw something in me way before things got a bit crazy.

EN: What does a typical morning look like for you? Paint us a picture of what it looks like before a shoot? What are you thinking?

TG: Coffee Coffee Coffee (and a little bubbly), and I don’t have a party before the shoot. I want to be free and clear minded, full of energy and love for my team. Ready to have some fun, never really planned, but spontaneous. Whatever the day brings, I trust the Universe.

EN: If you could shoot in any location in the world, ­­where would it be?

TG: Florence and Paris, of course.

EN: What is your favorite piece in your closet­­ may it be the most extravagant or something worn with character? What makes you feel the most beautiful­­ mentally, emotionally, physically?

TG: I love color black so if you see me anywhere, most likely I’m wearing it. Not because it’s dark. For me, it’s always a mystery, a secret, I love black. It also makes my hips look smaller! hahah!

EN: Don’t we love that! Do you have a favorite fashion house or brand? Something modern versus something couture?

TG: Banal answer, I love Guess jeans. Not just the amazing quality… But maybe because they bought me with those beautiful campaigns. I should add Prada and DG, these guys make me happy. No ice cream needed.

EN: Do you have a favorite feature on yourself or on a woman that you like to capture and put on focus?

TG: No I never concentrated on such.

“ I love emotions and playful promises. ”

― Tatiana Gerusova

EN: Is there a favorite perfume that you own? Any Russian beauty novelties you’d like to share?

TG: I love the good smell for sure. Even though Chanel Mademoiselle was/is my favorite smell, I enjoy Patchouli fragrance any time of the day.

EN: If you could give your younger self any advice­­ what would it be? And to another woman?

TG: Oh Gosh, I’d tell myself to do exactly what I did, all the mistakes you have done, all the bad words you used. In the end, I’m here because of the “smart” me from the past. But I’ve learned and I continue.

Thank You!