CALL HER MAGIC
Interview: Séréna Lutton
“I am a hypochondriac, I like outer space,
and I love birds.”
Ok. Noted. Let’s dive a little more in Marina Alonso’s dreamy world.
Can you describe yourself in a few words?
Uhmm I hate this. I feel like this is when people answer with their best weaknesses.
I am a hypochondriac, I like outer space, and I love birds.
How did you end up becoming a model, photographer, and also creatively directing some of your own shoots?
Woah long long story. I first picked up a high fashion magazine in 2006. I had to do long waits at the hospital with my dad who was, at the time, being treated for lung cancer. I must’ve been eleven-years-old then. I was amazed by all these high fashion editorials, particularly by Paolo Roversi, Patrick Demarchelier, and Richard Avedon. My reality back then wasn’t ideal and these photos and stories teleported me somewhere else. I wasn’t that interested in beauty or models but the whole creative process behind it.
I started fashion modeling around 2007. Gemma Ward and all these baby faces were dominating the runways and I got scouted by IMG. My first job ever was for Thomas Burberry.
I was ecstatic.
In the following years, I would get scolded by my agents for staying too long after photoshoots, asking way too many questions, checking their equipment, etc.
I got to assist some of my favorite photographers and edit, as well as color grade and retouch for several magazines. I worked in music and managed bands. I lived in London, Paris, South Korea, and South Africa.
In 2016, I landed my very first vogue article which I shot and edited myself. And a couple years later, while living in Australia, I landed a contract with my now family, Billabong.
And here I am!
How would you describe your style?
I do love a good dreamy escape hahaha
What inspires you in your work?
Uhmm there’s lots of different aspects to it. There’s the femininity I’ve always felt slightly uncomfortable with. There’s the female surfers I travel with, their strength and grace. Also, there’s the colorimetry of the films of Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson and, of course, the good old B&W of Avedon.
“Are you ever nostalgic about the present?
It seems like you’re rarely home. What do you miss most when you’re away from home?
Certainly, I’m rarely home. The older I grow the more I miss my mum.
Where is actually home for you?
I was born in Valencia, Spain where I’m quarantined now at my mum’s house. I’ve been based in Biarritz for the past year though.
What is the best lesson you have learned working in the fashion industry?
I’ve learned that discipline and perseverance will take you far. The fashion industry has changed a lot though, it wasn’t what we see these days on Instagram.
At that time, likes and followers were not even a thing — to get booked, we were not taking selfies from our cosy appartments, the reality was more like being fourteen living in a tiny dormitory with fifteen Russian girls, running endless hours through cities far away from home with just a map, all the while being constantly rejected and ridiculed by clients. I have all sorts of horror stories, I’ve slept in the streets more than once. It makes you develop a thick skin.
What’s one piece of advice that makes your life easier while traveling so much?
I know that nothing is permanent so I’m trying to be more present. In my head, I often get stuck in the past or overthink about the future.
Are you ever nostalgic about the present?
We have known you as the face of Billabong for the past few seasons, what is it like to work with them?
Working with Billabong has definitely been the most beautiful part of my life. I don’t know if they know but I feel like I have blossomed since then. Suddenly these women were there, like fairy godmothers, to allow me to create and just let me be and do. It feels like Christmas Day every time I get a call to shoot or be part of a campaign. Sometimes I’m just the model, sometimes I’m the photographer, sometimes I’m both.
Other times I get to direct. There’s never a dull moment in my ‘bong schedule.
Ok let’s dive into a few quick and easy questions:
Early bird or night owl?
In Australia, I always wake up pretty early. I oversleep in Europe, nothing’s open early anyway.
Digital or analog images?
Argh, I do love the look of analog, but often commercial work gets in the way of shooting film. I’ll just be honest and say I love film but mostly shoot digital.
Longboard or shortboard?
Longboard. Female longboarding simply fascinates me. I do love shooting both though.
One piece or two pieces?
What’s in your beach bag?
I don’t think I’ve mastered the beach bag yet. I’d rather leave it home or in the car and play in the water.
The last 3 IG posts you saved?
3 favorite accounts we should follow?
Don’t postpone joy.
Replay our live Q&A with Marina
We covered the following topics:
Being a photographer and model
Working with brands & media
The future of traveling
Most importantly we answered YOUR questions.
We made some tea, got cozy, and got to know one another.