Artist Spotlight: Alek & Steph

By Albert Smith

Originally published on Advocate.com October 09 2010 4:00 AM ET

Alek & Steph (Stephane Marquet and Aleksandar Tomovic) have brought their European artistry to American efficiency. They make the perfect team, creating the magic as they take images simultaneously with two different cameras and work together on the postproduction. Their photography has been published all over the world, reaching millions. Steph is originally from the sunny south of France (which is a bit like Palm Springs with water and an accent), but then he moved to Paris, took that “Parisian attitude” everyone talks about, and transformed it into something all his own. Alek is originally from Serbia (which is a bit like the San Fernando Valley with an even thicker accent), but then he moved to Paris, met Steph, fell in love, and became a French citizen.

Whether you are talking about Alek & Steph’s blogs, their online magazines, their photography, or even their lives, you are talking about inspiration.

Such stimulation comes from extensive world travels and the vast experiences they have absorbed from countless cultures and from meeting some pretty darn amazing people. Just take a look at their photography and you can sense the inspiration ... and the timelessness.ALEK & STEPH 01 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMThe Advocate: Why are you a photographer?
Alek & Steph: Like everything in life, for us becoming photographers was the result of circumstances. A little luck, a lot of work, and a few sacrifices. Photography is a perfect combination of our love for fashion, travel, and architecture.

What catches your eyes?

It can be a composition, a particular lighting, an innocent moment or over-the-top story. But we always try our best to translate on the photo how we see things! Before starting to share our work, we have never realized how we sometimes can see things so differently from other people.

How do you choose your subjects?
We are lucky enough that our subjects find us, through our website www.alekandsteph.com and blog www.ohlalamag.com. We believe that anyone is a great subject as long as you make a good story out of it. Sometimes less the subject looks like a model, the more interesting it becomes to find the natural beauty.

How do you describe your work?
Ever-evolving, fun, and inspirational.

What makes a good photograph to you?
Certainly not the camera! Very often people contact us to get information about the camera or equipment we use. I (Steph) can use any device from a professional camera to my iPhone. What matters to me is to capture a moment, but at the same time Alek knows how to control the "elements," which is very important when you shoot in a studio. I am more spontaneous and I love using natural light to my advantage, so that is why we make a great team.

Who are your favorite artists? And why?
Steph: I was inspired from a very young age by my grandfather, who was a sculptor and a painter. I am not obsessed by one individual. I respect the work of people who express themselves in any artistic way — it can be a chef, a musician. or a designer. We can be moved by different things depending on our state of mind, and that inspires me.

Alek: I am a great admirer of photography, and I would say that every single photograph I have ever seen inspired me to take my craft to another level.ALEK & STEPH 02 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 03 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 04 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 05 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 06 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 07 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 08 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 09 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COMALEK & STEPH 10 XSLIDE | ADVOCATE.COM