Photo by Māris Ločmelis

When thinking about the advertising campaign of their latest product — mascara Deep Matter —, the brand Madara Cosmetics wanted to deviate from the traditional narratives of the beauty industry and indulge in a creative experiment. Photographer Māris Ločmelis took the pictures of the campaign using the historical wet-collodion photo plate technique.

Stories Editorial October 25, 2021

Liene Drāzniece, the chief designer of Madara Cosmetics and the creative director of the advertising campaign, says: «Our initial aim was to capture a direct and authentic gaze, free from cliché expression, superficial emotion or the resemblance of one’s social roles. The wet plate technique seemed like the perfect way to get there. In beauty advertising you often see images of captivating women, trying to seduce the viewer. We wanted to untwine the actual motifs for using mascara or make-up in general, looking deeper into what eye contact, visual appearance and make-up means for each of us, both professionally and individually.»


The main images of the campaign were created by photographer Māris Ločmelis, using wet-collodion process. This technique of analogue photography was invented in the middle of the 19th century and requires great care and concentration. Each plate must be prepared by the photographer shortly before the picture is taken, and it must also be developed before the plate has dried. After preparing the plate, there are only about fifteen minutes to finish the whole process for each shot. The creators of the campaign reveal that only ten pictures were taken on the day of the photo session: «There’s something charming and even a bit rebellious about analogue photography in today’s world of countless carelessly captured and heavily retouched digital images.»

The world-renowned Latvian model Liene Podiņa has been chosen as the face of the Deep Matter mascara. She has also participated in other Madara Cosmetics decorative cosmetics campaigns and is often seen in the world’s most prestigious fashion shows and editorials. The model admits that the process of analogue photography was unusual for her: «This was something completely new for me. I felt like a little child. The camera is different than those I am used to. Māris frames it, and I have no idea of what it will look like. I gained a unique experience today. Exciting and maybe even a little disturbing, because of the unpredictable outcome.»


The creators of the campaign point out that its concept and the result achieved go hand in hand with the brand’s approach to product development — the company strives to achieve high quality by using natural and safe raw materials, without artificial dyes and other questionable ingredients.


More information about the Deep Matter mascara campaign can be found on the Madara Cosmetics website.