Violetta Markelou has been empowering her subjects through the lens for the past 16 years.
A gifted visual artist who uses her intuition to disarm each person, Violetta creates a safe space for a new, elevated identity to be born. Utilizing her expertise in both makeup and wardrobe styling, Violetta encourages each individual’s freedom of expression to come through in each photograph. For Violetta, that is Empowerment – Holding space for each person to create their vision with her.
Influenced by 21st century photography masters Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz, Violetta’s work fuses stylized portraiture and raw photojournalism. Her most recent series Inbox Full’ captured the mental health of small business owners as they persevered through the 2020 pandemic. Violetta seized an opportunity to to tell a story of trauma and simultaneously – emotional healing for herself and each subiect
“For me, the photographic process is more about the unseen, than the seen. Tapping into imagination, curiosity and courage, crafting an image is about trust and relationship building ; Capturing vulnerability and strength.”
Her work has been published in The Washington Post, VOGUE ITALIA ‘Photo Vogue, Modern Luxury Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Fox News, Voice of America and a national campaign for Planned Parenthood. Violetta’s work has been featured in multiple solo and group exhibitions in Washington D.C, and included at The National Museum of Women in the Arts annual Gala exhibition.
Awards, Accolades and Exhibition:
July 2021 – Violetta Markelou was selected by Washington Performing Arts for their first edition of Creator’s Notebook. A documentary of local artists and small businesses in Washington DC
April 2019 – Violetta’s work was featured in “Tag Up”, an all female artist showcase featured in UMBRELLA by NO KINGS COLLECTIVE
May 2018 – Violetta’s ‘Portrait of The Artist Maggie Michael’ was included at The National Museum of Women In The Arts Annual Gala and Auction
October 2017 – Violetta was a featured artist at Superfierce ‘The Art Of Resistance’, a month-long exhibition showcasing over 30 female artists at The Blind Whino Washington D.C
April 2017 – Violetta’s F Cancer Series was included at The National Museum of Women In The Arts 30th Anniversary Gala and Auction
October 2016 – Violetta was selected as one of 8 “Superfierce” artists in Washington D.C. The traveling art exhibit debuted at The National Museum of Women in The Arts.
October 2015 – Violetta unveiled ‘Women Of Colour’; a continuing portrait series of women who break the stereotypical mold of the Washingtonian professional. The collection of fashion inspired photography with a photojournalistic influence exhibited at The Monroe Trust Art Collective to a sold out opening reception.
March 2014 – The Fashion Group International of Greater Washington DC awarded Violetta the ‘Rising Star in Media/ Photography’ award.
Photo Empowerment Testimonials
“You only need to see a few of Violetta Markelou’s portraits to be convinced of her enormous talent. Violetta’s photographic gifts of exceptional lighting and camera skills are complemented by her authenticity through which she divines and then captures your essence beyond what you thought possible. In her generous and spontaneous assurances that awkward or uncomfortable feelings are natural, Violetta creates an environment that invites your true expressions. There were so many excellent photos, I had to select a few! Violetta Markelou is a photographer to watch, and is certainly one you will enjoy working with as you choose to update your personal, business and family portraits.“
Violetta is more than just a photographer—she’s a safe space within which any person can unfold and discover unknown sides to themselves. Her encouragement and questions helped me identify the essence of my business and how I wanted my business to be portrayed in photographs. Her confidence and experience gave me the courage to experiment and play. Ultimately, this joy was captured in every photograph of me.
“I have now had the great fortune of Violetta photographing me twice. Being someone that has never put much time and importance into my physical presentation, I found her to be someone that instantly made me feel comfortable and safe. Not only did I love the photos that she took of me, I found both experiences deeply empowering, so much so that both photo shoots helped me embrace and manifest my best self. I really hope that Violetta can spread her perspective far and wide because she is a very magical and profound person.”
“There are simply not enough words to describe the elegance, strength, style and cool, calming energy Violetta exudes in everything she does. I never thought taking professional maternity photos was my style, especially with the medical challenges I faced through pregnancy. With how debilitated I was with morning sickness, taking photos was the last thing I wanted. However, I came upon a vision – instead of soft flowery field maternity photos – I wanted something bold & strong and I knew she could make it happen. My experience with Violetta was transformative. She took my vision to the next level and reminded me that being pregnant is one of the most empowering, beautiful and even sexiest things a woman can experience. My maternity photos are a constant reminder of my strength and endurance through all of the challenges I faced through pregnancy. I am forever grateful for Violetta’s vision and her tireless efforts to empower women in everything they do.”
“What a fantastic experience! Violetta is exceptionally talented and creative, and her work is what initially drew me to her studio. Professional and welcoming, we covered the plan then got right to work, accompanied by a stellar soundscape mix of her own DJ creation! Throughout our shoot, her excellent ability to provide clear direction as well as visual and verbal cues kept everything moving efficiently, and resulted in a collaborative, creative and very fun overall experience. Highly recommend!”
Violetta is AMAZING!! This is the first time I’ve ever enjoyed getting my headshots taken. She made me feel comfortable, confident and relaxed in front of the camera from start to finish. The final shots were better than I could have ever imagined – so good that I wanted every single image.
I cannot recommend Violetta enough as she absolutely went above and beyond – you will not regret working with her. Talented, professional and easy to work with: everything and more one would want from a photographer. Thank you, Violetta!!!
“As someone who does not like being in front of a camera, I appreciated Violetta’s rare gift for putting people at ease. She pays careful attention to detail, made me feel comfortable and made the process fun. Most importantly, I really liked the result.”
“Violetta is AMAZING!! This is the first time I’ve ever enjoyed getting my headshots taken. She made me feel comfortable, confident and relaxed in front of the camera from start to finish. The final shots were better than I could have ever imagined – so good that I wanted every single image.
I cannot recommend Violetta enough as she absolutely went above and beyond – you will not regret working with her. Talented, professional and easy to work with: everything and more one would want from a photographer. Thank you, Violetta!!!”