Luisa Rino and Evaan Kheraj are kind of like fashion’s take on a superhero duo. Each of them is an amazing talent in their own right, but together the Canadian photographer and stylist make some serious magic. Collectively and together, the husband and wife team have worked with the likes of Nylon, ELLE, Refinery29, Flare, Nomia, Obakki, the Hudson’s Bay… to name a few. Oh and a few famous faces like Emily Haines, Tom Felton, Evangeline Lilly and Arizona Muse. They recently began splitting time between their hometown of Vancouver and New York City so we caught up with them to find out how they make time for a little romance on two time zones with such crazy schedules. Plus, they spill on their musts in NYC.
HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET?
LUISA: We met in 2003 just after Evaan had graduated from his new media program. I was the fashion editor at NUVO Magazine and he came in to meet about a photography assignment. I didn’t think much past the job assignment but Evaan’s side of the story is much more romantic.
EVAAN: I was working as a video editor at the time and my roommate was working as an events photographer for NUVO. She was moving away to Alberta and asked me if I would want to shoot events. She got me the interview at NUVO. I met with Luisa and showed her my portfolio which consisted entirely of travel images. At that time my dream was to shoot travel stories for National Geographic and I hadn’t the foggiest idea of what the world of fashion entailed. I pretty much fell in love with Luisa the moment I met her. I just remember thinking my portfolio didn’t have a single event photo and that I was probably making a fool of myself. Anyway, I went home that day and told my roommate that I was going to marry Luisa. My roommate laughed and said in my dreams. Well, dreams come true.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
LUISA: We both have pretty hectic schedules so the fact that we get to work together means we get to see each other and spend some time together during really busy times. In terms of the final product, there is a level of trust and collaboration when you really know each other. But I would say we feel this way about our crew as well. We’ve all worked together for many years and we understand where to help, how to make something better. It makes for a really supportive atmosphere.
EVAAN: That’s easy, I get to see my wife. I am always happier when she is around. I’m lucky.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART?
LUISA: I don’t know that I’ve ever thought about that. We resolve any disagreements quite quickly and I have all the confidence there can be in Evaan’s skills and his vision. We’ve worked together a long time now and on so many different projects and problem solved a lot together. He has an incredible sense for what will work and what won’t. We rarely disagree.
EVAAN: I don’t think there are challenges. We work well together and that’s always been the case.
HOW DO YOU LIKE BICOASTAL LIVING?
LUISA: It’s fun, best of both worlds kind of thing. I can only be grateful that we get to experience these two incredible cities regularly.
EVAAN: It’s amazeballs. Vancouver and New York are two world class cities. You have the stunning beauty of the Pacific Northwest and of course in NY there is always something going on. I have learned to sleep on a plane with ease so the time zone shifting doesn’t bother me. You have to go where the work takes you and New York has been an extremely satisfying step in our careers.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU’RE IN NEW YORK CITY. L
LUISA: It’s been there forever but I really like starting a relaxing day at Café Select. Then, because I’m always on the hunt for deals, I’m pretty much scouring the sample sales.
EVAAN: You can almost always find me wandering the halls of the Met on any given weekend or strolling through Central Park. I take my camera everywhere. My days usually begin at Oatmeals in the West Village which is a fabulous breakfast spot. They have every kind of oatmeal under the sun and the staff there makes you feel right at home. They even have a bowl called The Canadian. My job is fairly tough on my back and shoulders so once a week I head on down to Little Italy and get a good ol’ fashioned Chinese Chair Massage at The Relaxing Station. It’s a hole in the wall sandwiched between a mediocre Tourist-alian restaurant and things-your-clueless-aunt-buys souvenir shop. It feels like you are getting mugged while getting the massage but I exit there feeling refreshed and ready to tackle another 20 blocks and at $13 bucks for 15 minutes, it’s easy on the pocket book and keeps me ready for the next shot. The best coffee I have had is at the OST Cafe in the East Village. Best French toast can be had at the Irving Farms Coffee Roasters in the Lower East Side. It’s made with challah bread and it comes dripping with maple syrup, a fork and a big napkin. For dinner hot spots, I am digging Lovely Day in Soho which serves up some amazeballs Thai food.