Drafted By Aly Laube

For fashion photographer and designer Sam Stringer, there’s a fine line between austerity and beauty.
Her work, which has been published in such esteemed publications as Elle and Niche, revolves around “the dichotomy ofdark and high fashion”, and she’s not afraid to take a classy shoot to a not-so-classy location. What most would consider unassuming (the backstage environment at a fashion show) or downright unsightly (dumpsters, alleyways, and graffiti’d walls), Sam finds charm and style in. Looking at her portfolio, it’s easy to be convinced of it’s allure; she captures the lovely little moments that her competitors pass by for the main attraction.

“Anyone who knows my work knows that I have a very particular aesthetic with my own shoots,” said Sam, in her interview with Metro Living Zine. “I love to mix high fashion with dark, edgy, grungy locations…The more dilapidated, the better!”


Yet, despite her taste for the dingy and decrepit, Sam has produced a great deal of high-end, polished work. Her presence at Vancouver Fashion Week over the past few years has resulted in a remarkable collection of behind-the-scenes photographs, some of which were featured on Elle Mexico’s website to display the highlights of the event.

“My backstage photography has a great deal of my personality and aesthetic in it. I try to capture raw, candid moments from the models because I know how challenging fashion week can be on them, so the photos have very real look,” said Sam. “I try to tell a story with every shot.”


Evidently, she has succeeded. If there’s a trademark to Sam Stringer’s photography, it’s that the subject’s personality shines through in every single piece. Emphasizing the humanity behind the models, rather than simple external beauty, brings them down to the audience’s level, making Sam’s work refreshing, memorable, and in some cases, a little crazy.

Besides, the photos aren’t the only part of her life that can get a little wild. Working as both a designer and photographer is understandably demanding and hectic. “It’s a roller coaster and absolutely crazy busy, but I love it,” said Sam, about working two jobs at once. “The industry is already so fast paced if I were only working in one sector, so having my feet in two different parts is an amazing experience.” To add onto the madness, she’s still in school, and will be finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design this year at K.P.U.. With all of that, on top of the upcoming Vancouver Fashion Week shows, it’s a wonder how she keeps it all together. Nevertheless, when you love what you do, it becomes a way of life.


“To me, fashion isn’t just about the clothes,” explained Sam. “What you wear can go so far in expressing who you are. It can even be an art piece. There are so many incredible people that live and breathe fashion, and I know that for me personally, it is a lifestyle.”

Unquestionably, it’s a lifestyle that she intends to live happily for a very long time. “I have always been in love with fashion, as long as I can remember,” recalled Sam. “I have dreams that I would love to fulfill in so many parts of the industry, but all I know right now is that I want to continue both designing and photography,” she added, ambitiously. For Sam, the next venture is to design custom gowns for formal events, which will be worked on during her final year at school. Yet, regardless of any plans, the her prospects seems limitless. “I’m not sure what city I will end up in, but I am very excited for the future!” she concluded lightheartedly, and we at Metro Living Zine can’t help but agree.