Behind the Lens: Danielle Ayee

Danielle Ayee Photography Spread

Pink. A pale red colour. A combination of rose and white, or orange and white that often reflects a sensual, affectionate, artistic person.

“Pink is my favourite colour for sure,” admits Danielle Ayee, or Dani as she’s called.

Pink is a woman wearing white garter belts, fuchsia lipstick and holding a pistol in a claustrophobic room wallpapered with kitschy print. Pink can also describe a woman who plays with a multitude of concepts behind a camera lens, which is exactly who Ayee is: A young woman armed with a DSLR.

Ayee is a second-year photography student that is keenly on her way to a career in fashion photography, her niche. Her interest in the fashion world didn’t begin with Tyra Banks’ dramatically catty, Americas Next Top Model, or even with Heidi Klum’s search for the next top designer on Project Runway. Before taking to the camera, Danielle successfully completed Sheridan’s make up artistry certificate, but wasn’t particularly attracted to the career prospects it presented. After then jumping to Ryerson University’s highly-competitive fashion program, Ayee didn’t want to focus so much on the garment making. Her next stop landed her in Sheridan’s photography program.

So, why photography? Or fashion for that matter, I asked.

“Everything can be told in an instant,” she says of photography. Well, can’t a painting or drawing do that? I countered.

“An artist’s painting can be more biased. It ends up depicting what they see in front of them. A camera instantly captures the exact emotion during that exact second,” she retorted. Perhaps it’s Ayee’s love of the Polaroid that makes her impatient to capture and view the moment.

Her creative background is accentuated through her ethnic background, which she claims influences her work. She’s a fusion of Chinese, Puerto Rican and Jamaican. So how can this be portrayed through a lens? It’s simple. Juxtapose ideas and images that create confusion or delight, which was done in her project, “Self-Portrait Characterization.” Ayee’s influences are an assortment of individuals, such as fashion designers, photographers and Sheridan’s animation students.

From Cindy Sherman’s ambiguous portrayal of women, to the highly tailored world of haute couture, or even David Hou’s fashion images (whom she did a photo shoot with), Dani has her own ideas. She wants to visually narrate the instantaneous, yet reflective nature of the mind through cultivating unconventional interpretations of beauty in the world of fashion, all from behind the lens.

–BRIGITTE BUCK

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    • Anonymous
    • February 3rd, 2010

    i love her.

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