If you follow popular bloggers like Christie Ferrari (@christie_ferrari), Lisa DiCicco Cahue (@lisadnyc), or Caila Quinn (@cailaquinn), you’ve probably “liked” the work of Lisa Richov (@lisarichov) without even realizing it. On any given day, the 33-year-old fashion and lifestyle photographer shoots such influencers’ escapades, or snaps for luxury brands like Parker New York®, Women’s Wear Daily®, and Oribe®. Her work typically takes her all over New York City — and sometimes cross-country — but regardless of where she’s shooting, she says that the lighting is the most important piece of the photography puzzle. (More on that later.)
Here, Richov shares her best photo tips — from taking them to looking good in them — and more, including career advice and her opinion on cosmetic injectables. We guarantee you’ll be using some of these suggestions for your next selfie!
Spotlyte: A lot of people claim to be photographers, especially in the age of Instagram. You actually went to school to pursue a photography career. What did your first job in the industry entail?
Lisa Richov: After graduating from Antonelli Institute of PhotographyTM; in Philadelphia, my first job was a summer internship at BostonTM; magazine. I photographed a variety of small jobs, images accompanying reviews for local restaurants, boutiques, etc. On the last day of my internship, the magazine offered me a job as an art assistant. As a new grad from photography school, a job at Boston magazine was a dream come true. I gained more responsibility and started shooting images that accompanied larger articles, high-profile events, [and I] assisted wardrobe styling on editorial shoots and more. At many of these events and photo shoots, I met some amazing people in PR, fashion, and photography in Boston who became conduits to my future success.
Spotlyte: How has the fashion photography industry changed since you started? What have you learned along the way about your craft?
LR: For one, the world of print is not what it used to be. Scrolling has replaced flipping pages. Once I began to see the rise of social media marketing, especially when it came to this new thing called “blogging,” I knew this was my way to break into the fashion world. I wanted to know everything about it and how I could use my photography skills to jump on this new trend.
I took a Fashion Business and Marketing course at Parsons ParisTM; to further my knowledge on the changing industry. From there, I started photographing some local fashion bloggers for their blogs. When Instagram became more popular — that’s when it all started happening: my business began to grow, and I knew I had done something right. Through this I learned to always look ahead, think outside the box, and try to be original while staying true to my vision and style.
Spotlyte: What was your biggest breakthrough shoot? How did it change your career?
LR: In October 2015, I met an influencer, Bridget Bahl (@bridget), through a referral on Instagram. [I] shot [her] for a quick 30 minutes in New York City. Three weeks later, she called me and invited me on a multi-brand sponsored road trip across the country with her and two other influencers. The next morning I was in Dallas starting my journey taking photos with Bridget, Zorana Jovanovic (@zorannah), and Tatjana Catic (@tatjanamariposa). The amount of engagement these photos gained at the time was beyond any work I had previously done, and [they] are still some of my favorite photos in my portfolio. That job was the start of it all, and from there influencers in New York City became my main clientele.
Spotlyte: Do you have any advice for people who are interested in becoming full-time fashion photographers or working with bloggers?
LR: Hustle and put in those extra long hours, be kind to everyone, find your unique style — what makes you you. And believe in yourself.
Spotlyte: How have influencers shaped or changed the fashion landscape within the past few years?
LR: Influencers allowed fashion to become accessible, something that wasn’t just in a magazine or on a billboard. They allowed fashion to be relatable and actually tangible with just a “swipe up” and click of your phone. Influencers personally gave me an entry into the industry and have been the foundation of my brand.
Spotlyte: What's the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
LR: If you don’t know how to do something, or if a job seems too big to handle: be confident, and just figure it out. A photographer I used to work with gave me this advice years ago in Boston, and it’s absolutely still relevant today.
Spotlyte: You've worked with so many models — any tips for non-models who are trying to snap the perfect picture? Is it all about lighting? Matte makeup? Spill the secrets!
LR: It’s all about lighting. Anyone who has ever shot with me knows I am crazy about lighting. If you’re shooting outdoors, the sky is a constant light source. The best time of day to shoot is sunrise to early morning or late afternoon. [That way you get] warm light. If you’re going to shoot midday, try to find some nice shade, or shoot on an overcast day. I don’t think a full face of makeup is necessary, but an even skin tone is. If a full face of makeup isn’t your thing, go with some tinted moisturizer and a little mascara.
Spotlyte: Are there any poses that you swear make all the difference in a photo?
LR: Different poses work differently for everyone. Sometimes a pose can flatter one person and make another person look awkward. I try to read my subject’s personality and body type to see what will work best for them. One thing [that seems to work] for everyone though is putting your shoulders back, elongating your neck, [tilting your] chin down, and smiling with your eyes!
Spotlyte: Are there any beauty or confidence tips you’ve learned from your friends who are fashion influencers?
LR: These girls have taught me so much! In terms of beauty and confidence, they’ve showed me how helpful Glamsquad® is when you want to look your best at an event or before a shoot. They also taught me the importance of relaxation, and to take a break and get a massage every once in a while. They’ve taught me to be more comfortable in front of the camera instead of just confident in my talent behind it. These girls have become my photographers; they’re always grabbing my camera and saying, “Let me take one of you!”
Spotlyte: Speaking of women in your inner circle: you have a twin!
LR: I do have an identical twin sister! She is my best friend and we do look almost exactly alike. We share all of the same makeup and we have the same beauty routine — literally. Whenever either of us discovers something new, we let the other one know. We dress up as twins on special occasions, and we always wear complementary outfits when we go out together.
Another thing we share: we have a love for the Backstreet Boys that’s truly “Larger Than Life.” We’ve traveled all over the world for them for 20 years and we don’t see the obsession going anywhere anytime soon. It’s just our thing.
Spotlyte: Is there a beauty product you rely on when the camera is on you?
LR: When I know I am going to be on the other side of the camera, I play up contouring. My favorite palette is Tarte® Tarteist® PRO Glow Highlight & Contour Palette. False lashes are a must. I love Ardell® individuals for a softer look, and the demi falsies for a bit more glam.
Spotlyte: Any other beauty products you can’t live without?
LR: St. Tropez® self-tanner is my biggest must-have. I apply [it] once or twice a week to keep a natural-looking glow. Having some color immediately makes me feel more confident, and I tend to wear less makeup when I have a little tan.
Spotlyte: Walk us through your morning skincare routine.
LR: I start with Olay® Total Effects® Revitalizing Foam Cleanser. Then I apply the brand’s moisturizer with SPF before applying makeup. I love the way [these products] make my skin feel and look — and they’re affordable!
Spotlyte: And your evening skincare routine?
LR: At night, I use Neutrogena® makeup wipes, [the same] Olay cleanser, and Sunday Riley® Tidal® Brightening Enzyme Water Cream. This combination feels like absolute heaven on your face after a long day of wearing makeup!
Spotlyte: What products do you carry in your makeup (or camera) bag?
LR: Always Burt’s Bees® lip balm and Becca® Under Eye Brightening Corrector. Running around all day for shoots is exhausting and this [combination] keeps me looking fresh. Sometimes I carry Laura Mercier® Matte Radiance Baked Powder, NARS® OrgasmTM; blush, and a basic nude lipstick and/or liner if I know I’ll be going from a shoot to cocktails.
Spotlyte: Any products in your beauty routine that you learned about from a client?
LR: My client Sam Crompton (@achiquepeek) [sparked] my obsession with Becca Cosmetics. Now, almost everything I use is Becca. Also, after working with Oribe, their hair products, especially the texturizing spray, are my favorite.
Spotlyte: What is your stance on anti-aging?
LR: My mother is in her late sixties and looks like a 50-year-old goddess. I’ve watched her age flawlessly and always hoped I would carry those same genes. Her advice was to always clean your face morning and night, moisturize, use an anti-aging eye cream, and stay out of the sun. I took all of that advice, except for staying out of the sun. Huge mistake. Now, I take better care of my skin and stay out of the sun.
Spotlyte: What is your stance on cosmetic injectables?
LR: Personally, I am a huge fan.
Spotlyte: Have you tried injectable wrinkle reducers?
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers are used to temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face such as the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetics specialists now.]
Spotlyte: Have you tried injectable filler?
LR: I started lip filler when I was about 29 years old. I’ve also had filler in my cheeks.
[Editor’s note: Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, it has potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetic specialists now.]
Spotlyte: Where do you go for camera-ready facials?
Spotlyte: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
LR: I would absolutely be in the fashion or fitness industry. I just love making other women look their best and be their most confident selves.
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