Klinko & Indrani's
Mating Dance of Fashion TEXT BY MISSY HARRIS • IMAGES BY MARKUS KLINKO & INDRANI
It's a love story really. A tale of art and seduction, love and fashion.
They met on a casting: Indrani as model; Markus Klinko, a
brand-new photographer, less than a month in the shooting game. The
two formed an instant connection and began their love and work
relationship almost immediately. "At that point she had been in the
industry much longer as a model than I as a photographer so I guess
she kind of felt I needed help and started to advise me. That's how
the relationship started. She told me what to do and what not to
do," Klinko laughs. "And then it evolved quickly into a more
That more deliberate partnership has been growing for more than
eight years and has garnered stunning images and worldwide
recognition. The two are self-proclaimed opposites, he the simple,
down-to-earth photographer, she the intellectual
"We always have conflict and that is the nature of our
collaboration and that is the strength of our collaboration. She's
very interested in meditation and religion. I'm more down-to-earth.
I'm interested in pretty girls," Klinko laughs.
"I'm quite simple in my ways of thinking and she's very
complicated," he adds. "So we start from these two extreme points
of view and we negotiate a sort of a centerpoint. That means going
through a lot of conflict—positive conflict."
Indrani agrees. "We look at everything from different points of view and I think that makes our work much richer because we really think things through and really argue our perspectives."
FROM MUSIC TO MODELING
Klinko's perspective is that of an ex-classical musician. He was a world-renowned harpist, with his own record contract, unheard of on his instrument. Klinko worked in the field for 30 years, until an undiagnosed injury to his thumb forced him to give up his career.
"I started classical training when I was three years old,
practicing six or seven hours a day when I was 14, 15. There was so
much tunnel vision during my teenage years. I was very
self-absorbed. But from the basic thinking about photography, I
have a classical aesthetic."
Indrani's background is less classical, less traditional. She
started to model at age 14 as a way to see the world, and have
adventures. "I was just really eager to see the world and it was a
good excuse to travel," says Indrani. "I did that for almost 10
years, so it was really a great exposure to the world and to all
sorts of people."
Some of these people were fashion photographers, allowing
Indrani to experience the industry from the inside, which was
extremely useful. Even more useful perhaps, was her ability to make
changes in her native India. With the money from her modeling,
Indrani was able to open a badly needed secondary school with her
"There are constantly new waves of refugees coming in from
Bangladesh, so the supply of education can never keep up with the
demand. Most of the problems of the world can be solved through
education and self-exploration," says Indrani.
Even though Klinko had almost never held a camera before
entering the business, he had an inside look at the photography
world as well. As a celebrity in the classical music world, he
graced many a fashion mag page. But it was a difficult transition
for Klinko to come from the top of his field in music, to a
beginning role in the fashion world.
"I was kind of very pretentious. I expected things to happen
right away and in the beginning had a really hard time with
criticism. After two months or so I walked into a New York agent's
office and was completely devastated that they didn't want to
represent me and send out the book to Vogue immediately," he
"So it took me awhile to come off that stupid high horse I was on. It was good for me to go through that because it was very humbling. Sometimes I can deal with a model a little bit easier because I've sort of been there in a certain way. I understand the conflict of insecurities, vanities, self-doubt, self-love, and all these things . . ."