Untitled Document


There are just some faces I can just dive into and spend a lot of time looking at. Licia has one of those faces. There’s a rawness and yet also a subdued intensity to her portraits that’s just mesmerising. It’s a very potent quality for a fashion model to have. -But then Licia isn’t a fashion model. She’s a fashion photographer – and if asked, (like other photographers / models I’ve met) she’ll play down her own modelling to the point of embarrassment – which is a shame.

Lightning in a bottle

Each of the two photographs shown here were taken two in wildly different London locations (one underneath a verdant tree in Hyde Park and and the other against a stone wall in St. Pauls). And yet both carry a similar and unmistakeable DNA – the power and the weight of the look that Licia throws at the camera.

Charisma, confidence, call-it-what-you-will is not always photogenic. It can sometimes bounce off the front of the lens and evaporate in a cloud of self-consciousness. And then again, with others that you wouldn’t imagine it possible of, the very opposite can happen. Quiet, shy and withdrawn, an initially reluctant model’s gaze caught in a telling photograph can writ large a whole multitude of emotions. This is one of the strongest bases for street photography and other chapters of candid picture taking.

The American Indians believed that photographs had the possibility to look into the deep into your soul and steal it away. Understandably this can be a scary prospect for those being photographed – and yet, there are a select few who, like in Nietzsche’s oft-quoted ‘abyss’, can look right back into you through the very photos they’ve been photographed in.

For me, Licia’s one of those. I’m hoping I’ll be able to shoot with her again soon.


Photographer: Mark Esper
Model: Licia
Locations: Hyde Park and St. Pauls, London