Katya Mamadjanian posted her pictures for fun, then someone famous came knocking
By Bianca Heyward
Wearing a Metallica T-shirt with an oversized black knit sweater on top, burgundy jeans, and Chanel ballet flats, Katya Mamadjanian describes her style as “updated grunge”.
For this 19-year-old sophomore studying at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, her appreciation of fashion was not derived from the pages Vogue or Project Runway, but by looking through the lens of her Fuji Instax camera.
“I like fashion photography, and then also, like, little snapshots from my life. Just, you know, capturing little everyday stuff,” says Mamadjanian casually.
Until recently, Mamadjanian did not think a career in photography was in the cards. She plans on majoring in mathematics, but will still continue taking photography classes in hopes that her dream career will take off.
Recently, it got a big push forward in a surprising way.
In 2008, Mamadjanian created a Flickr account, where she has been posting her photographs online ever since. (Flickr is a website where users can upload and share their own personal photographs with the online community. As of June 2011, it had a total of 51 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors, according to Yahoo.)
She had no idea how closely she was being watched until Urban Outfitters, a clothing store known for selling both hip and kitschy apparel, contacted her.
“They (Urban Outfitters) told me that they had had their eye on me,” she said. “It was a total surprise. It was about two weeks ago. They said we’ve been looking at your Flickr account.”
And what exactly has she been uploading since she created her Flickr account three years ago? “Just hurried shots of everyday life that are very much from my perspective and my point of view,” says Mamadjanian. “Whether it be, I don’t know, anything from a bar of soap in my bathroom.”
Her photographs are eclectic, to say the least. They range from black and white, to polaroids, then collages and cut-outs. These images are taken from many different perspectives, and play with light and color in a daring way. They capture her travels, her room, her friends, and herself. She includes a Polaroid photo of her, taken by her mother, where she had written on the bottom in red pen “nice face”. In the picture she is standing, appearing to have her hands on her hips, wearing a grey long sleeved shirt and glasses. Her long brown hair hangs loosely past the shoulders, her eyes closed, and mouth smiling. Continue reading