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Dreams of Venice by Simen Platou

Norwegian model turned photographer Simen Platou has always been enthusiastic about photography, but it was after working as a model in the fashion industry in Asia that he became increasingly interested in the field. “- And by taking a leap of faith, I skipped my Master studies in Finance and decided to go 100% for photography (sorry, mom and dad),” he says. “There’s a whole new wave of photographers entering this world via instant gratification online, and the potential to reach a worldwide audience has been a massive motivation for me to go for photography.

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Today he’s getting a hands on experience of what motivated him in the first place: to reach a worldwide audience with his work. His debut story for Ben Trovato entitled Dreams of Venice, is an intimate, sunny and warm summer story. “It is laid back and casual, but stylish at the same time. The title was chosen because the story represents an imagination of a Venice Beach back in the day. It takes a step away from the polished sides of fashion photography, and show a fun, cute, and real beauty,” he says.

The vibe of Bali, where the story was shot, served as a massive source of inspiration for Simen who says with the almost year-long summer there’s a lot of time for fun and play, and surfing and skateboarding are massively popular. “I’m also very inspired by the whole movement of the merging genres of art, fashion, and lifestyle-photography. The old rules are made to be broken!

The model, Claudia Mirea @ So Wanted Agency, is originally from Romania, and has done modelling jobs together with Simen in the past, while this being the first time he shot the beauty. “Claudia is great in front of the camera, and with few or no instructions, she delivered exactly what I wanted.

Doing the makeup and styling the shoot was French-Vietnamese Maikhanh Bertrand, who also styled Kate Friend’s epic Ben Trovato story on Bali. She did an amazing job once again. “Despite the fact we were doing a “simple” shoot, Maikhanh showed up with 2 massive bags of clothes and accessories (including skateboards). She did a great job, was very flexible, and it seamed we both had a very similar idea of what we were going to do,” Simen tells us.

Maikhanh says “[..] Inspired by 90s skate and beach culture, the styling for this shoot merges oversized menswear with colorful bathing suits, run down sneakers with dramatics shades and luxury leather bags.

“This girl is my dream skater chick, riding with the boys with dope feminine style”

Photography by Simen Platou
Modelling by Claudia Mirea @ So Wanted Agency
Styling & Makeup by Maikhanh Bertrand