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About Karina Taira

Japanese-American Karina Taira was born in San Francisco and grew up in the States, yet remained close to her Japanese roots and family, several of whom provided her with artistic and creative influences. Her relationship with photography started early, by age six she was taking pictures of her friends, and putting together fashion shoots. Around the age of 15, Karina got more serious about fashion photography and started printing her images herself in the photo lab. While completing her education between in Paris, England and then Stanford University, she carried on photographing fine art projects.

By 19 she was working professionally as a photographer, while studying at the Art Centre College of design in Pasadena, California. After a year off to work freelance as an assistant then a photographer in Tokyo, she had a full portfolio and started working in Los Angeles and New York in parallel to college. After graduating and moving to New York she quickly began working for major magazines, agencies, and clients.

Her distinctive and award-winning Diesel Fragrance job in particular helped launch her career into fashion beauty, going on to shoot campaigns for Dior, Bill Blass, Guerlain and L’oréal. A lot of these jobs for perfume, cosmetics and luxury goods clients brought her to Paris. Her work having a very French aesthetic to it, Paris became her hub quite early on, but also to London and Milan, Tokyo, where she worked on major editorial work (Vogue, Contract under Life Magazine, XS, I-D).

In 1998 she decided to further her talents into directing commercials, she self-produced her first spec commercial, which coupled with her already strong photography portfolio quickly won her jobs. Her first commercial directing job was for Boucheron for their new pearl fragrance and two years later she had two commercials short-listed in the perfume category in Cannes.

Since then she has directed dozens of memorable commercials, not only for beauty and cosmetic clients (Boucheron, Cerruti, Covergirl, L’oréal, Lux, Nivea, Guerlain…), but also sensuous spots for Nestlé, as well as launching into car commercials (Alfa Romeo, Toyota). Today her bases are Paris and Rome, but travels frequently throughout the continents, as her work as a director and a photographer has been highly successful internationally. (source:
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