Los Angeles Photographer Featurette – Sela Shiloni

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Sela Shiloni

Los Angeles Photographer Featurette – Sela Shiloni

Meet Sela Shiloni

A big part of The Room Downtown is creating a photo studio that will support and champion the LA photography community.  And what better way to do that than to feature some wonderful photographers themselves!  Moving forward, we’ll be featuring an amazing new photographer in Los Angeles who we think YOU should know about, every month.

First up is Sela Shiloni (see above).  An accomplished portrait, fashion, and editorial photographer, Sela always seems to be rolling neck deep in some of the best comedians, musicians, actors, and models in Los Angeles, bringing to bear a modern and vibrant sensibility to his work.  Focusing mostly on portraiture, his current oeuvre still takes a wild ride through a variety of emotional and stylistic landscapes.  Some feature women and men in posed sculptures of cooling sensuality, grass or velvet or leather or darkened shadows embracing their form.  Some are much simpler, slice-of-life pieces; A hand on a face, a bearded smile against the waves, a gentle lean and a smirk.  Others still are more cartoonish or grand.  A carefully wrought trio of nudes caught in some lazy-sunday bacchinal.  A face drenched in gluttonous drippings of paint or glitter.  A forlorn wizard from a child’s drawing, wandering a beach.  A banana…USED AS A GUN!

What unites the work are two things. The first is an incredibly smart and bountiful use of color; pushing blues and hot pastels into shadows and highlights, just before the point of losing any sense of natural aesthetic. The second is the direction of his subjects. Generally, when looking directly into camera, it’s an attack. Above and beyond intimacy or vulnerability, the eyes seem to say, “Here I am. Now fuck off if you don’t like it.” When looking away (again, generally) his subjects are often lost in thought or caught off guard. A little sleepy, a little off balance. Goofy or clownish or wryly self-aware. The sensibility is comedic, winsome, and hip. This ability to display both a cool ferocity and a comical sense of bon vivant may be what attracts such a diverse crowd of LA’s finest.

Now, enough from me.  Here are some of Sela’s thoughts on his work and life as an artist and photographer.

So, what got you into photography in the first place?

I wanted an easy senior thesis project in high school, so I borrowed my friend’s camera and did the thesis on portrait photography.

What advice would you give to someone just starting to get into photography?

Learn how to use Adobe Lightroom.

Tell us about one of your favorite shoots!

I did a shoot in a Korean mall. We were being followed by no less than two security guards the whole time. It was a fun, but more importantly taught me the importance of being able to shoot fast.

How would you describe the relationship between you, your camera, and the subject during your average photo shoot?

I talk to my subjects a fair amount during shoots. Normal conversations, just so it’s not so rigid. My relationship with my camera is that we’re dating and I’m thinking about asking her to be my girlfriend.

Have you ever faced a photo shoot or client or situation that was particularly challenging? How did you overcome it?

I’m doing a thing right now that’s tough because the client and I are having some disagreements about the coloring of the photos. There’s nothing much I can do, though, because it’s their project. I just have to put my feelings aside and remember that for every difficult job, there’ll be fifteen shoots that I’ll do for fun and have complete creative control over.

What’s your current dream/fantasy shoot? 

Taika Waititi in a palm tree shirt, sitting on top of a palm tree.


See more of Sela’s work at www.selashiloniphoto.com and follow him on Instagram at instagram.com/selashiloniphoto

Photographers: Sela Shiloni, Jennifer Becerra

 Models: Jamal Douglas, Ele Woods, Jody Steel, Edgar Momplaisir
TAGS : Los Angeles feature photography, Feature Photography LA

Also published on Medium.

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