Violetta Markelou is a Washington D.C.-based photographer, stylist, and visual director known for creating one-of-a-kind visual experiences for individual, editorial, and corporate clients. With a strong fashion emphasis in her work, Markelou’s portraits are inspired by the photography of masters such as Herb Ritts and Richard Avedon.
Markelou’s current body of work focuses on raw portraiture and photojournalism, and she strives to create transformative experiences for her subjects through her photography. Markelou notes that the most rewarding part of the process is when her subjects become disarmed and feel safe, empowered, and able to abandon their vulnerabilities, resulting in the capture of their true essence.
Markelou’s work has been published in a number of notable publications, including The Washington Post, VOGUE ITALIA’s “PhotoVogue,” DC Modern Luxury, Washington Life Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Fox News, and Voice of America. She has also worked on a national campaign for Planned Parenthood. In addition to her editorial work, Markelou offers a range of services through her company, VM Photography & Makeup Studio, including portraiture, lifestyle photography, fashion and style editorial, makeup and wardrobe styling, professional headshots, commercial photography and content, image consulting, and on-site executive and team portraits.
Markelou’s work has been featured in multiple solo and group exhibitions in Washington D.C., and she has been recognized as one of eight “Superfierce” DC-based artists. Her portrait of artist Maggie Michael was included in The National Museum of Women in the Arts’ annual gala and auction, and her “F Cancer” series was included in the museum’s 30th-anniversary gala and auction. Markelou’s “Women of Colour” portrait series, which showcases women who break the stereotypical mold of the Washingtonian professional through fashion-inspired photography with a photojournalistic influence, was exhibited at The Monroe Trust Art Collective to a sold-out opening reception.
In 2014, Markelou was awarded the “Rising Star in Media/Photography” by the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington D.C. More recently, in 2021, she was selected by Washington Performing Arts for their first edition of Creator’s Notebook, a documentary series featuring local artists and small businesses in Washington D.C.
Markelou’s talent and dedication to her craft are evident in the wide range of services she offers and the recognition she has received for her work. With a strong fashion focus and a passion for creating transformative experiences through her photography, Markelou is a leading force in the industry.