Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Dubbelda
Photo Editor: Rebekah Shannon
Photographer: Sami Drasin
Heidi: Tell us why you resonate with the magazine’s mission?
Sami: Darling’s mission inspires me to be myself and makes me feel good about who I am. Every story and issue is so uplifting and encouraging. They talk about real life issues and offer deep advice. Darling sees the beauty in every type of woman. They don’t photoshop or alter women’s bodies or faces. There’s so many images out there with this “ideal” body type that is unrealistic. Even though I know it’s not real, it still affects me and the women I’m surrounded by. Darling instead celebrates women for who they are and focuses on beauty from the inside-out.
In your eyes what does the magazine stand for and how do you feel like your work reflects that?
The magazine is real, honest, encouraging, inspiring, and stylish. I strive for my photography to be the same. I love to photograph people in real moments and to show who they really. I focus on capturing unexpected, candid scenes and in-between moments allowing for a more relatable and honest portrayal of my subjects. I connect quickly and easily with my subjects which allows me to capture the truth of them. I love to make people feel beautiful for who they are.
Did you send the magazine promos of your work?
I usually send an email promo to a big list of clients and companies I want to shoot for every couple of months updating everyone with new work. Darling was on that email list, but they actually found me through my agent.
How did the space theme cover come about?
The first shoot I did for them was a fashion story in the fall 2017 issue. The story was focused on Masculine style. I was brought on just a couple of days before the shoot. The photo editor and editor-in-chief had the models, location, & ideas before hand, but they were open to my suggestions for a stylist, hair & makeup. It was collaborative from the beginning. I liked that they encouraged my creativity and trusted me. The Darling team was really happy with the fashion story that they asked me to photograph the cover for the next issue. It was such an honor since I’ve been a fan of the magazine for quite some time now. I met with the photo editor for coffee to go over ideas for the story before hand. Every issue is a different theme and this one was the “Expanse Issue” focusing on our internal space and the space we share and occupy on this planet as women. We had 6 different setups for this story and it was all supposed to look like the model was in space. Everyone on set was very collaborative and encouraging of each other. We all worked very closely and asked for honest opinions and thoughts on what we were bringing to each shot.
I also got to shoot 2 female scientists at NASA JPL for the Achievers section of issue. It was super fascinating to hear about their stories and to capture these incredible, smart women. This shoot was more low-key than the cover story. There wasn’t as big of a team which made it more of an intimate setting