Raffealla Fernando | A self-made artist to reimagine photography
In the eyes of Raffealla (an internationally recognized photographer), art is how you want to see the world. She has created masterpieces by changing the norms and stepping out of the box.
Passionate about art since her school days in St. Bridget’s Convent Colombo, Raffaella Fernando was a girl who always wanted to do something unique and create art with her innovative ideas. From a very young age, her paintings and art were extraordinary, and nothing could stop her once she received a camera as a gift from her father. Experimenting with her ideas, she was appreciated by everyone for her exceptional photographs. With a motivation to pursue a career of her own, Raffealla started photography and designing and reached success at a very young age due to her undeniable talent and enthusiasm.
Among the many challenges in her career, the biggest challenge Raffealla came across was the lack of female presence in the industry. As a female photographer, she was frowned upon and had to go through many hardships as she did not have a role model to look up to while having to compete with many talented men. Also, Raffaella was questioned many times on her taste in style, fashion, and the concepts she adapted in photography and design. However, her work was appreciated and recognized by many talented individuals in India, during which time she had realized her self-worth and talent. These experiences and the continuous support from her parents were the driving forces for her to overcome these challenges becoming one of the most successful photographers in Sri Lanka.
Raffealla Fernando Photography is Raffaella’s photography brand, under which her most popular brand, the Raffealla Fernando Celebrity Calendar (RFCC). RFCC has been annually published, featuring multiple celebrities across Sri Lanka. Raffealla has been closely working with an interesting team of celebrities while collaborating with makeup artists, designers, etc. Her luxury designer brand is known as ‘Raffealla’, which she claims to define herself the most, and her more affordable designer brand is ‘Mermaidish’. She has also collaborated with a few other designers while contributing to the above brands.
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Raffealla is a proud winner of 13 fashion and photography awards, including two international awards. A highlight of her career was when she became the “Best Fashion Photographer of the Year” at the 5th International Achievers Award 2017 London out of 310 contestants across the globe. She has also made us proud with her World Ranking of the 8th best photographer of the world, competing with 150 other photographers at the BEFTA Awards UK. Another wonderful milestone of her career life is being invited to design for the 69th and 71st Cannes Film Festivals where she could showcase her talent to the world as the first Sri Lankan designer of all. Raffealla also showcased in the London Fashion Week, where her designs were cherished among all. She also reminisces the opportunity she got to showcase one of her collections to the Prince Charles Charity Trust 41st Anniversary as well as becoming a finalist on the New York Fashion Week, bringing pride to Sri Lanka.
The most extraordinary fact about Raffealla is that, given an opportunity to go back to change something in her life, she says she would not change anything. The reason she points out is, that all her actions and decisions (regardless of good or bad), made her who she is today, and she is grateful for what life has offered to her.
Raffaella’s Celebrity Calendar for 2021 will be one of her biggest projects for next year. She is planning to launch her Activewear brand in the upcoming months, which is a collaboration with a few other talented individuals. As unpredictable as life gets, she’s excited for the future of her brand and herself.
Raffealla is a strong believer in her instincts, and she showed the importance of dedication and passion. The young generation needs to be passionate and dedicated, to achieve their goals and accomplish their dreams.