Salt-filled air and sun-warmed skin: With her new book The Last Days of Summer: The Photographs of Akila Berjaoui, Sydney-based fashion photographer Akila Berjaoui, who got her start as an intern at RUSSH magazine, whisks us to the most popular beaches of Italy, Brazil, France and her native Austraila to indulge in the most precious moments of the season. Shot with her favorite old analog cameras, the result is 220 saturated photos at once timely and timeless, making for a transportive celebration of the most liberating time of the year – and the lazy exuberance that accompanies it. It also serves as a possibly inadvertent homage to the skant beauty of the bikini. We spoke with Berjaoui about her inspiration and why the last days of summer are the best of all and keep scrolling for a special preview of the book.
What is it about summer that makes it such a special season?
Less clothing, sunshine, summer love, nudie swims, adventures, books, dancing and holidays.
Where is the best place to spend the last days of summer?
The last days of summer are well-spent anywhere from Sydney’s local beaches to the South of France to the Isle of Capri to lazing by a pool in Deia Mallorca. Really, it’s my favourite time of year: those last few days leading into autumn, when the crowds subside, the nights start to cool off a little and you have a million new memories swimming around in your head. You can be anywhere and it will be glorious.
What’s the first thing you look for when you’re about to take a photograph?
What do you love most about photographing women? Do you feel that being a female photographer increases the level of connection, trust and intimacy when photographing them?
It seems poignant that my pictures are sexy and sensual, particularly in relation to the female body, similarly to many of my male inspirators’ works. Being a female photographer women trust me more. Women occupy a high percentage of my subject matter. The female gaze is important to me. I love women and I love our bodies. i want to celebrate and explore that femininity. Im all for more nudity, especially on beaches, which is why I love the freedom of personal expression on the beaches in Spain.
What’s your take on sex on the beach? Kidding. Sort of.
I’m all for it! Obviously.