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Delicate designs and quirky sets: photographer Malin Ngoie's inspirations

The Swedish children’s fashion photographer on paper clothes, purple rooms and how to capture that perfect shot


Posted: 10 February 2012
by Helen McKay-Ferguson

Tell us about your family…. I am very privileged to have three lovely children – Maija seven, Elise 22 months and Emilio five months.



Do your children ever feature in your shoots?
Maija has featured in a lot of my pictures –  the best one probably being a shot I did for Junior magazine in Sweden when she was around five. She was sticking her tongue out at me as she would have rather hung out with Grandma than being photographed by her boring mother agaaaain...

How did you discover your love of photography? I got my first camera from my father when I was about five years old. It was a 35 mm and had a red trigger button, I loved snapping away on it.  And the excitement of getting the pictures back in the post couldn't beat anything! 


What’s your earliest childhood memory? My father was part-owner of a two-seater airplane and we used to spend a lot of time on the weekends in this little privately-owned aerodrome. I remember trying to desperately get my father's attention while he was busy talking with a few other guys. Having failed I decided to bite him in the leg. But unfortunately I bit the wrong guy's leg! Both this man and my father were very cross with me!


How did you get into photographing children?
 I started photographing adult fashion and after having my first child I moved over to children's fashion. I love the fact that you can be even more creative photographing children and that you never know what you might get. It is a great challenge.


Where do you look for inspiration? My own children, everyday life, people, props, the list is long…


What’s your top tip for capturing a great shot? Patience! It’s  also great when a child actually wants to be photographed, rather than their parents wanting them to become models...

Tell us more about the beautiful images accompanying this article…
Paper Story was shot in an old warehouse in Hammersmith. I worked closely with the lovely stylists Natalie Chesterman and Stella Nicolaisen. The white clothes were made out of paper by Stella. We had the outfits planned around the paper clothes – Natalie selected some clothes from retail stores that would work well with the paper clothes that Stella had made. We had to choose two well-behaved eight-year-old girls that we knew would be able to wear the delicate clothes without damaging them. 


And can you tell us about some of your other favourite shoots?
 For one story, we painted Maija's whole room dark purple! The floor, the walls, the radiator, the curtains and the toys. The babies were less impressed; I think it might have scared them a bit that everything was purple!
I also shot my first little film a while ago, La Vie En Rose. I really enjoyed making it and realised that the moving image is not so different from still images.



Who are your favourite designers for children? I love How To Kiss A Frog – the clothes are just beautiful. And I also love Kiko Kids, ilovegorgeous – the attention to detail is amazing – and Mini A Ture.



Describe your style... I love working with props, and I love the vintage and retro feel. I find it very rewarding to create a set and then see it work in the pictures.


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Malin Ngoie, children, fashion, photography
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