Still life with Roses & Snails

On a rainy Saturday in Provence, I awoke to the distant rumbling of thunder sparing with the town’s bell tolls marking the hour to awake. It was market day in my village, I had no choice but to brave the rain and I’m glad I did for it led me to these melon toned roses that set my day on a new path and brought to life the natural curiosities all around me…

My Favorite Beauty Products

Years ago I committed to wearing as little makeup as possible and with that came an obsession with great beauty products. I do think beauty starts from within, how you feel about yourself, the joy you have inside you, your confidence. Then let’s be really honest, what you eat and drink and your genetics play a large role. When I take a break from alcohol my skin just becomes instantly more glowy. The rest is just making the best with what you’ve got. These are the beauty products I swear by after years of trying everything from fancy expensive miracle creams, to french beauty brands, all natural remedies, beauty press trips, and getting the real dirt from beauty editors who know all. This is what I buy… and sometimes cry when I run out of.

The Face Products I swear by

Vintner’s Daughter – I think of this as taking your daily vitimens for your face. Made from the world’s most nutrient rich botanicals and essential oils it’s a face serum / oil that leaves you healthy, glowy and not like an oil slick. I found the scent to be quite strong, just FYI, but in a good floral way.

Crème de la Mer – La Mer’s classic moisturizing cream has a cult following for a reason. I have very sensitive skin, very rosey cheeks, and this is the absolute best for balancing my face. A little goes a long way, it’s very thick and creamy, so one jar will last a while which is good because the price tag is brutal. But like my mother always said, it’s cheaper than plastic surgery. 

Binu Binu Hibiscus Cleansing Balm– I actually use this specifically for removing eye makeup. It’s so soft and nourishing it is better than any dedicated makeup remover I’ve ever tried and make from natural goodness! 

Shiva Rose Pearl Milk Cleanser– I love oil based cleansers after years of stripping my skin and agitating it. Why I’m loyal to Shiva’s is because of the subtile natural exfoliant which I like to think are just millions of tiny pearls. This cleanser leaves your face feeling softened and hydrated after washing. 

Algenist Algae Brightening Mask– I do face masks a few times a week and always on Sunday, this mask is hands down my favorite. I’ve been a fan for years now, leaves my skin balanced and glowy. 

May Lindstrom Botanical Facial Mist– A pure luxury item but I think of this as therapy in a bottle. When I spray this jasmine garden mist on my face every morning and evening I am instantly transported to a magical garden, I call it my Monet’s Garden spray, and it really, truly makes me feel joy and inspiration every time in my soul. 

French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish– I keep this little jar in the shower and use it every time to scrub my lips into plump softness. Smells SO good. 

Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner- Another product I’ve bought time and time again because it is both a lip conditioner and has a very subtle natural pink hue I like to just wear as lip stick too. 

I am always trying new products for example, I love the oils from Buly 1803 but not loyal yet to one particular variety. I always try something new each time I visit their shop in Paris.  I also try different facial mists that I apply repeatedly throughout the day in summer and winter to stay hydrated. Since it’s for maintenance, it does not need to be as luxurious as May’s. The one I use most often is Mario Badescu facial spray and at a whopping $7 the price is right for mass consumption.


The makeup kit for a minimalist

Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere- An anti-aging face illuminator I SWEAR by. I only use it on the bridge of my nose, cheek bones, bow of up lip but that’s how I get those crazy highlights in my #ProvenceSelfPortraitSeries on my face. 

Bronzer- I actually use Tata Harper‘s Very Bronzing Contour which I LOVE but they are not going to make it anymore and so I can’t link and I’m spiraling into despair of it. I need a good natural, creamy recommendation!  

Chantecaille Faux Clis Mascara– From the description it sounds like whoa but it’s actually the most lovely, natural, elongating but light mascara I’ve ever tried and it smells like roses so… duh. I think I’m going on 3 years exclusive with this. 

Olio E Osso No. 3 Crimson– For my cheeks and lips! Natural, easy, two for one and lasts forever. This is the color closest to my natural cheek blush tone, goes on light. 

Lips- I have been wearing this duo for years, I can’t count how many times I’ve had to reply on instagram what my lipstick is. I start with a base of NARS Cruella which is thick and matte then give a top swipe of MAC Lady Danger which is a really bright orangey red but layered over the deeper NARS base makes a nice classic warm tone. 

Concealer / foundation- I don’t cover my face in foundation but if I’m really going for a polished put together look I’ll do a little bit of very light coverage under my eyes, on any redness I might have at that moment. I’m currently using Clarins BB Skin Detox Fluid but I’m not particularly loyal to it. It’s just light and easy.  

I also use an eyebrow pencil but i’m not particular about a brand or style yet. I just buy whatever whenever I run out until I find something life changing. I’m currently using one by Laura Mercier

The hair strategy

I say strategy because I think the success of my hair has more to do with my technique than products. First of all, I do not use styling products. I use a shampoo and conditioner and then a dry shampoo in-between washings. 

As far as products I’m currently using System Professional personalized haircare after an amazing detailed hair analysis experience. It is a hydrating shampoo and conditioner. For dry shampoo I am using Furterer which has been great. I just found it at my local French pharmacy. I’ve also used Dry Bar’s dry shampoo many times. This is what I want to try next when I am back stateside. 

I wash my hair once, sometimes twice a week. I like to keep a natural balance of my own oils, I like having messy dirty french hair. When I do wash it I let it airdry. Heat is the enemy for healthy hair. Considering I am growing out my hair for my portrait series, it’s about to my belly button, this has been a big game changer in keeping it healthy. I mean, I do miss a good blow out. For those of you who have followed me since my New York days, you know what I mean.

Sylvain le Hen hair pin– This has replaced all other hair tools for me. I use this every single day and even sleep with my hair pinned up with it. After I clean my hair and it’s about dry I’ll wrap it into a low bun and pin it with this. When I wake up the next morning I have soft natural waves. This is also what I use to pin my hair back when I’m working and for chic buns, it’s just the best!

Once a week I will curl my hair using a 1inch ceramic curling iron to make waves ( like this with fresh clean hair, like this with week old dirty hair). I have been using the same one for over a decade! I got it when I was an assistant to the photo editor of a fashion magazine straight out of college and the beauty department had one of their “cleaning out the closet sales” for the editors. The logo has been worn off but it’s seriously the best and I would die if I lost it. I only have to curl it once a week because during the day when I’m working and overnight when I’m sleeping I twirl my hair into a low bun and it maintains the curl this way. 

For the Body

Buly 1803 dry body oil in Damask Rose – As many of you know I am OBSESSED with this product. I use it everyday, sometimes twice a day, and always, always, always to get that highlight in my self portraits. I love it so much I bought three last time I was in Paris to be sure not to run out before my next trip. 

Montale Deep Rose– I currently have six different brands of rose perfume in my vanity! I find one, I buy it, I try it for a few weeks before I make a decision. However, the best rose scent in the world in my opinion is by Montale. Made in Grasse, France it is powerful and true. It’s better for a city scent because it’s strong enough, I actually wear something else in Provence more subtle but this has been my go to for years and will continue to be my favorite scent in the world for roses. The brand actually has many rose scented perfumes with subtle differences so it’s worth a visit to their shop in Paris. *NOTE, I hate with a passion the bottle design, it’s so insulting to the scenes and does not at all match the loveliness of what’s inside which is why I never instagram it sadly. So just look past that. 

Rose de Damas Buly 1803 Perfume– This is my Provence scent. It’s a water-based perfume so you can wear it in your hair, on your clothes and skin without worry of drying them out or stains. It’s a softer, more powered rose scent and is incredibly sensual. 

This is everything I love and use daily. It would be wonderful to hear about your favorite products you are really loyal to and return to again and again!

Join the conversation on Instagram on this post

Dear Ophelia

Moving to France I had to face a lot of fears. The fear of leaving New York, fear of failing in France, fear of discovering the limits of my potential, fear of becoming irrelevant, fear of being homesick. For those of you who follow along with my creative adventures in France, you know with the making of this Cinemagraph I had to face a fear of water to get the shot. The funny thing about photography, and any art form, is that when you get an idea in your head you become obsessed with it until you create it. I didn’t care that I knew I would going to have mini freak-outs to do this, my imagination was certain snakes and toothy creatures would devour me in a heartbeat…. BUT creating the thing was more important. What it means to me, what it represents, what it communicates about my human experience is more valuable than being afraid. Which is exactly why I got on the plane through a stream of tears and came to France. 

This cinemagraph is a bit of a French baptism, a creative cleansing. I am no longer who I was before France. I have let myself wash away all my preconceived notions, and now, no matter where I end up on this earth, I will always be able to remember this version of me fearlessly floating weightless in the water that summer evening in the South of France where I met and drowned so many of those fears.

Where the currents will take me I’m not sure of, but the view looking up is lovely and the creatures out to get me are now just friends…

If you’d like to leave a comment, please join the conversation on Instagram here.

Winter in Provence

Life fell into a quiet pace. In the mornings I count the bell tolls while the angular winter light rakes across the crumpled bed covers. In the evenings the cry of the starlings marks 6pm as they dance to their symphony in the sky.

fireplace-provence-cinemagraph-615The distant sound of a person’s footsteps on the quiet ancient streets, the soft ambience of rain outside my aged glass window plane. Most days nothing is happening. The stores have closed for the season, the visitors have gone home to Paris and on many of the restaurants old signs hang saying closed until April.

I go for long walks between the towns, the vista dotted with chimney stacks dancing with smoke. A dusty blue haze settles in before each sunset, a faint reminder of richer blues skies ahead.

It’s better than I imagined, the quiet after years of thriving on noise. Life noise, street noise, work noise. Manhattan just seems to constantly hummm. I used to be afraid of silence but now I find myself in it and it is there in the void where I can paint all the worlds I dream of.

As I work in the short hours of afternoon light I watch as it scans with each passing minute through the room I photograph in. It always seems to start with such gusto and by the time it reaches the last corner before slipping away it slows to a linger like taking that last sip of champagne.

The nights are illuminated by roaring fires and home cooked meals. For years I cursed the winter, I never knew it could actually be so warm. I watch the trees and the vines and the rosebushes rest… and I rest… because with spring awaits new wonders to discover .


For over 10 years Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb has been an exploding sensation of floral delight for passionate, energetic, independent and stylish women all around the globe. They asked us to create a Cinemagraph for this special anniversary evoking the power of rose and the release of that intoxicating scent on a warm summer rain shower they have managed to capture inside a bottle for us to enjoy day after day.

The scent which conjures up provocative femininity and a creative spirit is a modern interpretation of a female warrior, sweet but theatricality strong. A floral dance of freesia, jasmine, and centifolia rose balance with amber and patchouli make this perfume forever iconic.

#Flowerbomb #FlowerbombBuzz #ViktorandRolf

This Cinemagraph was sponsored by Viktor & Rolf

A Provence Playlist

Driving around the South of France is transportive enough visually, but nothing finishes an experience like the sound of music. Romantic, timeless, and sprinkled with French, here is something to take you to this place where oceans of roses bloom and everyplace you go looks like a fairytale

More Playlists!

Autumn Days || Rainy Days || Summer & Wine 

Renoir’s Garden || Winter Mornings

A Story for Harper’s Bazaar

Laurel Pantin Wedding Cinemagraph Harpers Bazaar

Tomorrow in Austin, Texas, my friend and editorial director of The Coveteur, Laurel Pantin is getting married. Everyone has their wedding dress story of finding “the one”, but working in fashion makes choosing that one perfect dress insanely difficult…. so that’s why Laurel bought somewhere around seven options! To play off her indecisiveness Harper’s Bazaar asked us to put together a fun fashion editorial covering a myriad of bridal personalities from traditional wedding gowns to designer Fall 2016 collections and every hairstyle in between….

To see the full story visit Harper’s Bazaar!


Behind the Scenes: Amazon Fashion Cinemagraphs


A behind the scenes look at the Cinemagraph campaign we created for Amazon Fashion’s partnership with the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund designers to make their designs available to consumers like never before.

The Fashion Fund was created as an initiative to support emerging American fashion talent where one winner is awarded a cash prize to continue to grow as the future of fashion. Created in the fall of 2004, this annual competition supports the most promising talent which has been proven with previous winners including Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler and launched the careers of designers like Prabal Gurung, Marchesa, Rag & Bone and Rodarte.

The competition between the final 10 fashion fund finalists is all documented in a series on Amazon called “The Fashion Fund” and now Amazon is extending their support to these designers by making their pieces immediately shoppable through social media and on

The 10 designers:

Baja East || Baldwin || Brother Vellies || Cadet || Chromat || David Hart || CG || Gypsy Sport || Jonathan Simkhai || Thaddeus O’Neil 

They asked us to create 10 Cinemagraphs, the most we have ever set out to achieve in a series, one per each finalist. The inspiration for the set was a designer atelier but tweaked with specific details to become tailored to each of the designer’s personalities which we gathered in interviews before the shoot. Below is a behind the scenes look at a few of the designer’s sets and cinemagraphs from the series as part of a 2 day shoot at Hudson Studios shot by our friend, photographer Scott Brasher.

Follow along on Amazon Fashion’s Instagram to see all 10 unfold and be the first to instantly shop the looks of these great new designers! 

Amazon_Fashion_03 Amazon_Fashion_04af04Above Cinemagraph with Patricia in an open-back evening dress and Stina in a polo top and flounce skirt by womenswear designer Chris Gelinas. Continue reading “Behind the Scenes: Amazon Fashion Cinemagraphs”

Afternoon in the Garden


On photo shoot sets I prefer for the music to reflect the mood, theme, and emotion of the story being played out. Like a stage being set, all the players move in and out, their energy wrapping around the room, building until that last instant when all becomes quiet and focused and the moment is eternalized through the eye of the lens.

Post-shoot, I edit to the same soundtrack. The notes bringing to life the images again in that living, breathing, creative world we spend our lives trying to capture. Take a walk with me hand in hand with our imaginations, into Renoir’s garden, the inspiration behind our recent collaboration with Cartier, through the beauty of sound and power of dreams.

Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, 18k yellow gold, imperial topazes, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds along with an Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, 18k yellow gold, onyx, diamondsand nude silk chiffon gown by vintage Alexander McQueen from Cloak Wardrobe.

Cartier Étourdissant collection shot at Jack Studios in New York City || Modeled by Emma Bartlett || Styled by Krisana Sotelo || Floral Set Design by Putnam & Putnam || Prop Stylist by Zio & Sons || Makeup by Christine Cherbonnier || Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo || Nails by Angel Williams

Cartier’s Garden



I try to spend my life photographing beauty. It is what brings me the greatest joy and to that which I want cast my gaze upon for eternity. Of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in the world, nothing will ever outshine what nature gives to us. How she makes woman with delicate skin and blushing cheeks, the colors of an exploding flower at the height of its bloom and that exceptional gift of gemstones and diamonds like stars that have fallen from the heavens to earth.

Recently we had lunch with Cartier at The Modern where we were first introduced to to their Étourdissant collection, a beautiful french word for “splendid”. The high jewelry collection is Cartier’s showcase of the most extraordinary, one of a kind pieces that can take the Maison years to create with the finest precious stones in the word. A collection so spectacular it is dizzying, like life itself if we watch with our eyes wide open. As we talked about the collection I was enchanted with the source of inspiration: the south of France, the Côte d’Azur, light and shadows, radiance and hues and the painters from France that created such vibrant works of beauty as a window into a world of natural wonders.

This thought of natural beauty stuck to me and I let images flood my mind and take me into an afternoon reverie. I became engrossed with the idea of creating Renoir’s garden.  A place of dappled color, untamed beauty, a young girl with iridescent paper-like skin dreaming of all to come in life lost in her thoughts as she whiles away the afternoon. She is innate beauty nestled in a bouquet of nature’s glorious shimmering colors. We watch her, with all the luxury of time, her jewels that seem to float off her delicate skin and glitter in the warm, late afternoon light. She lives in a world of splendor changed only be the gentle breeze that sweeps through kissing her cheeks and carrying her thoughts away.

The house of Cartier has reminded me that we must celebrate beauty, treasure color, create contrasts and seek character for it is the explosion of these things that make the world étourdissant.


Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, platinum, diamonds & pink chiffon gown with flower aplique by Marchesa

Renoir_Garden_Cartier_02 “Art is about emotion; if art needs to be explained it is no longer art.”– Pierre-Auguste RenoirRenoir_Garden_Cartier_03

Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, sapphires, diamonds & a light blue chiffon and sheer lace gown by Maria Lucia Hohan.


“You come to nature with all your theories, and she knocks them all flat.”- Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection ring, 18k yellow gold, opal, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds with vintage Gucci grey silk chiffon gown from Cloak Wardrobe under a rainbow pastel chiffon skirt by Marchesa. Renoir_Garden_Cartier_06

Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, 18k yellow gold, 55.91 carat peridot, onyx, diamonds with emerald green silk chiffon gown by Naeem Khan.


“The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Renoir_Garden_Cartier_08 Renoir_Garden_Cartier_09

Étourdissant Cartier Collection ring, 18k white gold, pink diamonds, brown diamonds, white diamonds in a vintage baby pink silk gown by John Galliano from Cloak Wardrobe.


“I look at a nude. There are myriads of tiny tints. I must find the ones that will make the flesh on my canvas live and quiver.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection earrings, 18k yellow gold, imperial topazes, colored sapphires, black lacquer, diamonds along with an Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, 18k yellow gold, onyx, diamonds and nude silk chiffon gown by vintage Alexander McQueen from Cloak Wardrobe.


“I like a painting which makes me want to stroll in it.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection necklace, platinum, diamonds and pink silk chiffon gown by YSL from Cloak Wardrobe


“Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Étourdissant Cartier Collection bracelet, platinum, sapphires, diamonds & a light blue chiffon and sheer lace gown by Maria Lucia Hohan.


“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” 
– Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Cartier Étourdissant collection shot at Jack Studios in New York City || Modeled by Emma Bartlett || Styled by Krisana Sotelo || Floral Set Design by Putnam & Putnam || Prop Stylist by Zio & Sons || Makeup by Christine Cherbonnier || Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo || Nails by Angel Williams

Some of the Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings that inspired this story:

Femme avec parasol dans un jardin || Girl with Daises || The Bathers || La Promenade || The Lovers || Dance at Bougival || By the Seashore || Nude 1910 || In the Garden || Young Girl Bathing || Reclining Nude || In the Meadow || Young Woman Seated || The fisherman


Renoir the Film

The Marchesa Bridal Capsule Collection for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

There are a couple of things I have in common with Marchesa’s designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. First, my eternal love for a gown moment, and second, the St. Regis New York. For the past two fashion weeks Marchesa has shown their Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 collection in the opulent ballroom that brings to life the fantasy of their designs. Taking the relationship further, they just realeased a Marchesa Bridal Capsule Collection of exclusive and one-of-a-kind couture bridal gowns inspired by iconic St. Regis destinations around the world: Mumbai, Dubai, Punta Mita and New York.

Below is a look at the four romantic visions come to life we photographed in a suite at the St. Regis that left me dreaming of weddings all over again…. New York

Marchesa_StRegis__03 Continue reading “The Marchesa Bridal Capsule Collection for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts”