Person of the Week: Commercial Beauty and Fashion Photographer Mario Epanya

Mario Epanya is a Paris based commercial beauty and fashion photographer whose work focuses on diversity in fashion and portraiture.

Born in Cameroon, Epanya started his career as a self-taught hair and makeup artist in 1995. In 2000, he moved to France where he studied and became a professional makeup artist working for the likes of Dessange Paris, and as a hairdresser and assistant for art agencies through which he worked for several high fashion brands.


In 2007, Epanya made the transition to photography and set up his studio, Studioepanya. He began creating his iconic images that are shaping the modern face of African beauty, fashion, and style.

Mario Epanya - Beauty Photography

In 2010, Epanya garnered widespread attention for his creation of fictional Vogue Africa covers celebrating black beauty. The buzz drew attention to the need for greater diversity in the global fashion and beauty industries.

Mario Epanya - Fictional Vogue Africa Covers

Following this, Epanya created an online magazine, Winkler, and held his first photography exhibition, GLAMAZONIA, a series of black and white images dedicated to black beauty, which traveled the world.



BEAUTIFUL - Front Cover CMYK Hi Res

In celebration of 10 years of photography, Epanya will be releasing a photo book entitled BEAUTIFUL on April 24, 2017. BEAUTIFUL is a celebration of black beauty captured through the lens of Epanya.

BEAUTIFUL - Back Cover CMYK Hi Res.jpg

For just over a decade, Epanya has been working to promote diversity in fashion and portraiture, highlighting the myriad shades and textures in black skin tone and hair as well as the variety of body shapes and sizes. His iconic images, shaping the modern face of African beauty, fashion and style have appeared in groundbreaking publications, among them New African Woman and Zen Magazine and in campaigns for the likes of L’Oreal Paris and Maybelline New York.


BEAUTIFUL presents a stunning collection of existing and never before seen portraits featuring everyday women and models of colour and it pays homage to the strong women who raised Epanya, his beloved grandmother, mother, sisters, aunts, and friends – telling the visual story that black is indeed BEAUTIFUL.



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Source: Press release from

Photo Book: BEAUTIFUL will be available for purchase on April 24, 2017, on



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Silksache't says:

    every photos is breath-taking

  2. Kelly Stone says:

    I agree… He’s very talented!

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