ART@DANZA: Our Photographer from USA - Kira Hagen

"MEET@Danza" features the wonderful artists who contribute to the organisation of our outstanding event. Today we have the pleasure to present you KIRA HAGEN from MINNEAPILOS - USA, currently staying in KÖLN - GERMANY, who will be our studio photographer for the evening.


I started shooting historical reenactments in Russia in 2005, while there teaching English, and eventually started selling images as stock photography for history books and magazines, including "National Geographic Historia". Since moving to Germany in 2015, I've quit teaching English and do event and portrait photography at costumed gatherings ranging from La Jardin du Belle Epoch to regular fantasy LARPs. Now I'm also doing portrait shoots on location and in a small studio, with models and costumers/ designers, and occasional boudoir shoots and alternative weddings.

Highlights of my career - well, getting charged by wild horses and exploring ruined Roman temples come to mind, but that was more hobby photography... For the last three years, though, Bal du Masque at Burg Freusburg has been the highlight of my photography year. It's a larp maskenball, medieval to Renaissance costuming, and I do a portrait studio until 3 or 4 a.m. Everyone is gorgeous and magical, and by the end of the night the pictures have gone from "prom formals" to "vampires attack - but that's sexy!". Many of the participants are not modern model material, and getting a chance to show them their own beauty is a kind of delicious. Illustrating the sides of people they don't really clearly see in themselves normally - the dangerous, the beautiful, the delicate, the ruthless, the wild - is what I love most about shooting costumed subjects. People take a freedom to be more than themselves when they put a mask or costume on. Future plans and goals: I want to branch out from mainly shooting larps and historical re enactments to, well, drier shooting conditions that don't break my cameras, and in which I a less likely to take an arrow to the knee (only happened once; didn't stop me adventuring). I've been working more with the designer Oh! Marisha for the last few years and would like to find other designers to work with, and in general more commercial work is my main goal. 90% of what I've been doing for the last couple years has been events where I shoot social media photos and then do a pop-up studio for a couple hours; I'd like to do a lot more portrait sessions where I work with one subject for a full session, not 5 minutes, and significant retouching or compositing is part of the process. That said, a personal goal is to someday shoot a masked ball in Venice, and currently I'm working on a fine art set of images depicting figures from Greek mythology.

What do I do that makes me different? Hmm... Years ago, after my appendix burst and I was recovering, I dreamed I was doing portrait photos at a faery king's court. Absolutely vivid, with incredible, fantastic subjects. I feel I've been kind of pursuing that since then, using the arts of light and illusion (what else is photography?) to let those who dream of another world show the selves they hide away. I suppose I see myself as a sort of portrait artist to the far outer courts of faery. Or as I've joked at larps, as a war photographer in Middle Earth. ;)

You can find out more of Kira Hagen on the following links:




****Big thanks to Dana Ann Metje, Sinéad Hourglass - Modelpage, and Oh, Marisha for modeling the pictures****

At Danza Luna, Kira be running her portable studio and invite everyone to come get pictures taken. The studio will be open until midnight. Posing is free for everyone, as are a couple web resolution pictures that will be posted on the event page on Facebook (with a Danza Luna watermark). She'll have a small printer running and you can get a 10x15 cm memento print for 10 euros (or 3 for 25), or order prints and unwatermarked digital downloads after the event at gallery code "Danza2019". Kira is happy to work with your shoot concepts and get detail shots of anything you'd particularly like focused on, and can extensively Photoshop pictures as requested.

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