Boris Camaca’s eerie, otherworldly photographs are rooted in social criticism

You may have scoffed at the thought of the world being run by a group of undercover reptiles, but in photographer Boris Camaca’s world, this isn’t far from the truth. His series Reptiles documents a family of lizard-human hybrids lounging around their plush villa in effortlessly stylish clothes. “The idea came from London-based stylist and creative genius Hamish Wirgman. He presented two ideas; one was about time travel and the other was about a group of dinosaur-like people. We opted for the dino concept and built up a story about a family that mutates in order to prolong their lives,” Boris tells It’s Nice That.

The Parisian photographer, who goes by the pseudonym Boris Camaca, was born to a French Jewish father and a Tunisian Muslim mother. His professional path evolved naturally and started off in the same way most photographers begin: “My dad gave me an old camera and I started shooting black and white film. This confirmed the idea I had that an image has to be crafted. My lab work became a process of refining and printing,” Boris explains. The photographer has since worked with an impressive number of publications. The lizard-dinosaur story, which was originally featured in Tank magazine, is just one example of Boris’ innovative approach to fashion photography.

Social criticism pervades the series, which moves beyond mere aesthetics. A group of impossibly rich individuals, whose desperation to prolong their lives and to become stronger and healthier, pushes them to the extremes. It’s a conspiracy theory visualised. “In one image, the father is holding an egg and grabbing hold of his wife while his child is huddled in the corner of the couch. The light is spooky and the composition is very balanced. At their feet is a temple made out of an egg. This is all happening inside a house in Kensington, London’s richest borough.”

Boris is particularly interested in “shooting images linked to a form of social reality”. Inspired by science-fiction, the photographer has captured mermaids, superheroes and is planning photoshoots of “a faceless woman and a ninja girl in the French Countryside.” Despite their mythical content and otherworldly aesthetic, Boris’ images often point to the unsettling darker aspects of our society. A particularly striking example of Boris’ thought-provoking photography is an image of a woman with bright pink eyes who is fanning herself while staring vacantly into the distance.

“I always work with high definition cameras that allow me to see every minor detail of the image. I love being able to zoom into the images and see things that only I will notice; little secrets hiding everywhere in the images.” From voyeuristic close-ups of pedestrians to impeccable overview shots of haunted houses, attention to detail is at the core of Boris’ work. It is this hyperrealistic effect that highlights the authenticity of Boris’ social criticism, rendering his images all the more powerful.

“I’m not particularly into politics but everything, even fashion photography, is political in my opinion. The fashion industry is political. Magazines are political. Fashion images are therefore political as well. There’s always a broader message – or many different messages – that can be found in an image.”

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