In the Miami model world, a photoshoot with Vivian Arthur (@vivianarthurphoto) is essential. Without knowing who the photographer is, you can spot Arthur’s work from the moment you see the photo. Her niche, absolutely beautiful colorful beach photos make everyone she shoots radiate.
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, she came to the United States to study advertising. After several years working in the fashion industry, Arthur began experimenting with photography. Once realized she had a creative eye, her career pivoted.
Her unique style, positioning and overall aura are what keeps models running back to shoot with her. We caught up with Arthur to learn all about her creative process and special eye behind the lens.
Your photos have such a unique angle, what is your inspiration?
I love bright, vibrant colors and portraying my subjects in angles and ways they don’t typically get to see themselves.
When shooting at the beach do you have a favorite location?
Yes! I’m always at the beach of the Faena Hotel or The 1, at The Edition or the W in Miami Beach; there’s not that many people there and I like the colors of their umbrellas.
You also shoot in studio, which do you prefer?
For me it’s easier to shoot with natural light. I’m self-taught and I started shooting outdoors so that is still my comfort zone.
What do your typical shoots look like?
When I shoot outdoors (typically at the beach), I use the direct light of the sun on my subject. I rarely use a reflector, only if I do backlight. In a typical beach shoot you will see me on the ground a lot laying on my back shooting upwards.
What is your go-to camera for your signature beach shots?
I use a Canon Mark IV
What is your ideation process?
We usually have a mood board in place before the session, but it’s only to have a rough idea of what we’ll do because at the end, the shoot takes its own unique direction.
What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
I would say that my favorite part of being a photographer is definitely getting to know different people all the time. I love the dynamism of it all and how every shoot is unique even when I oftentimes shoot in the same places.
Do you have an all-time favorite shoot?
It’s hard to say, I have enjoyed a lot of shoots throughout the 5 years that I’ve been doing this. I could, however, talk about one of the most memorable sessions: a couple of years ago I always wanted to shoot at the port of Miami with the shipping containers in the back. I don’t know why I had it set up in my mind, I thought it would look cool, so I arranged a session to do that. We took an Uber (model, makeup artist, stylist and a friend of mine) and told the driver to drop us off at the Port of Miami. We walked to an area where the model would have the shipping containers in the back and when I started shooting we were quickly surrounded by security personnel letting us know that we were trespassing and that we could be arrested for being there unauthorized. In that moment, a really nice Cuban man who worked within the area approached me and told me we could shoot in his tractor shop that was a few meters away, so that’s what we did and the photos came out pretty cool.
Who is your dream client?
I don’t really have a particular client or model in mind. However, a dream session is always when the whole team is on the same page and everything just flows easily.
Photography by: Courtesy Vivian Arthur