“I try to create the photographs I want to see”: Mayan Toledano on her lasting relationships with subjects

Second to the stage at the last Nicer Tuesdays of the year was Mayan Toledano, who revealed why she “never wants an image to be transactional or quick”.

20 January 2021

At December’s Nicer Tuesdays, we welcomed the New York-based photographer and filmmaker Mayan Toledano to the online stage for a riveting discussion on her recent work. Dialling in from New York, Mayan kicked off her talk by taking us back to the beginning. As a fashion student inspired by stories rather than beauty, she found a mode of expression in the camera. Showing an amalgamation of career highlights to date, she displayed a collage of distinctly characterful portraits shining a light on themes of gender identity, the female body and empathy in relationships.

In a new and soon-to-be-released film titled Smadar, Mayan then shared a sneak peak of the fashion conscious title character, a local celebrity in northern Israel. Shot against the pure Mediterranean skies, the documentary-cum-art-film delves into Smadar’s life and relationships while paying tribute to her statement outfits and inherent sense of style. Mayan concluded her talk with a Q&A, revealing how she edits her images, and later, discussing how she collaboratively works with her subjects to authentically represent that person in a respectful way.

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