TIH Models is offering hope to homeless people everywhere.
Tatjana Irina has been causing a storm in the creative industry with her new agency ‘TIH Models.’ Originally from Nürnberg, Tatjana Irina grew up in Bayreuth before coming to London a year ago to continue her photography.
The 24 year old photographer has been working to fight social inequality by working with homeless models. Tatjana Irina has been documenting the breath taking images she’s captured so far on her Instagram. Venture got the opportunity to catch up with the up and coming photographer to find out more about her vision.
Venture: First of all I just want to say what an incredible idea, how this project first come around?
Tatjana: As a photographer I have been working on issues of social injustice and poverty before. The idea to combine it with fashion came up because the homeless people felt uncomfortable being photographed and I just wondered if something like a ‘make-over’ would work.
Venture: How do you begin to introduce yourself to the models?
Tatjana: Straight up. “My name is Tatjana and I am working on building a model agency for people affected by homelessness.” I show them my Instagram and ask if they’d like to be involved.
Venture: Are there any models you’ve really made a connection with so far?
Tatjana: Yes there are! I’d have to point out one person at the moment it would be Mario. I met him on the day, I took images of his friend Nick, with whom he stayed at London Bridge at the time.
It ended up, he became the first guy that got officially booked, and we had a beautiful shooting day for a flower shop. I know where he stays and whilst working with him I know his habits. I know I am the person he speaks to, when he has something going on, which I value a lot.
Venture: That’s awesome you’ve been able to make friendships as well as business partnerships. What first inspired you to photograph homeless people?
Tatjana: Simply seeing the big need to help the homeless community in London.
Venture: What kind of progress have you made so far?
Tatjana: I think mostly personal. The communication is the biggest obstacle, since not everyone has a phone, or it gets lost. So I’d say my biggest progress was patience and endurance.
Venture: When did you move to the UK?
Tatjana: I came to visit last year summer. I just moved into my own place a few weeks ago, after staying with friends/couchsurfing etc.
Venture: Tell me a bit about your life living in Germany.
Tatjana: Yeah I mean it’s great there. I learnt my skills from the photographer Jan C Schlegel, who from day one until now deeply inspired me.
Other than that I worked on other photography projects and some small side jobs. Life there is good I’d say. Cheap!
Venture: Haha, yeah London is known for its brutal expensiveness, so how did you first get into photography?
Tatjana: I started from scratch by learning from Jan. Aged 18/19. He had a 3 months class that time on analog photography.
Venture: What was it like being taught by someone who inspires you so much?
Tatjana: When I saw his images the first time I knew I wanted to learn from him. It has been an honour but a big challenge at the same time. People don’t come that far for nothing.
It is hard work and I haven’t met someone with more dedication than him. He’ll always challenge you!
Venture: He sounds like a good teacher, and finally overall what are you hoping to accomplish with TIH Models?
Tatjana: Change! I know it’s a big goal, but that’s what keeps me going. A big hope for change.
You can find out more about Tatjana’s work with TIH Models on their Instagram.