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The Female Nude

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I am a woman. I am aware of my body like any normal human being. It’s not a surprise, just look at the images served up to us. Everyone is beautiful, happy, young, thin… they have the perfect (insert your own personal thoughts here) stomach, eye brows, waist, legs, hips- sometimes it feels like an impossible treadmill of perfect we will never really achieve because of genetics, because we have real life and real work and can’t spend the amount of time it takes to achieve “perfection”.

But really, what is perfect?

I’ve always be interested in shooting nudes. I started in college. The body is one of the most beautiful, natural things about life. The way it changes, the way it gives life, the way each is our own and that is what makes us special. I wouldn’t take my grandmother’s wrinkles away, or Dad’s loving soft hugs, or seeing my sister-in-law’s body change carrying the amazing twins my family adores. I would not say that I have had body issues all my life, but as I’ve gotten older I had to learn to look in the mirror and teach myself to stop judging the way I look compared to other people.

As a photographer I look for what is photogenic from people to places to the design of a still life. I’m not going to lie, I love tall beautiful thin fashion models. They are like illustrations of illusions of an idea of who we think we are or could be. Fantasy is part of the fun, photographing that fantasy is one of the things that I love most.

However…

There is a place for curves too. Curves are incredible. When our model Jourdan walked in I was honestly first taken back by her personality. Her confidence. Confidence is the one of the greatest quality anyone can possess. She was cool, smart, comfortable in her own skin. She was one of the least self-deprecating models I’ve ever worked with. When we started making photographs a lot changed for me. Not only as a photographer but as a woman. Maybe even more importantly as a woman. Here was a human, not afraid to let me photograph her with nothing to hide behind, no character to portray, no fantasy story to tell, it was just her. In the moment. In the light. Just the way she is.

After this shoot I had a mix of emotions. Her body, so beautiful, so photographic in its shapes and contours was in one word: inspiring. She made me realize that the female form in any shape and size is incredible. To have curves, softness, confidence was true beauty. She represented to me what being a woman was all about. I understood why Renior and Matisse painted the way they did and I saw that beauty too. I was so proud to be a woman and in my personal life, more confident about the size of my chest and softness around my stomach. If wrinkles show the hand of time and the life that was lived, curves show the fertility of it and the raw attraction of humanity.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that women come in many fascinating forms and, at this sitting, I saw beauty in a way that should be more often seen.

Here’s to the beautiful form we call being a WOMAN.

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Play it for CHANEL

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The fashion world is always colliding and collaborating with artists, like two exotic fish constantly swimming around each other in a never-ending dance of inspiration, a black and white yin & yang. When the Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2015 collection came to New York for 48 hours they sent a selection over to our studio for another midnight sitting (after the delicate, one-of-a-kind pieces spent the day in back-to-back appointments with clients, collectors, buyers and press).

Of course, shooting couture on a model would be terribly fun but sometimes I want more of a story… not to mention, the Chanel shoots happen in the middle of New York Fashion Week where every model is busy being sent down the runways multiple times a day.

So we find our own muses.

Last September it was our Botticelli-esque raven, artist India Salvor Menuez on a concrete set piece we created for her, to live like a flower sprouting up between the cracks of distressed urban time. For this sitting, my creative collaborator Kelly Framel, found violinist Margot Moe, already a fixture in the fashion world for her legendary violin riffs over musical partner Mia Moretti’s DJ sets. They’ve brought music from the Lower East Side up to the runways of Fashion Week and into the temple of art by opening for Janet Jackson at the Louvre.

Which brings me back to my point of fashion and art and its never ending dance of inspiration.

So here Margot is, an artist, and there is CHANEL, the most legendary fashion house in the world, a moment of black and white yin and yang tugging and pulling and swirling and and jumping around each other on set like a tangled pair of lovers caught up in the fires of inspiration one never quite able to let the other go.

We sat in the studio in silence and listened to Margot play, the snow falling in a white blanket outside our old industrial windows contrasting with the inky black looks billowing through the set and I thought back to that moment when I was sitting in Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment  last fall, listening to the stories of her intimate dinner parties. She liked interesting people, people who had a story, people who created something and played to their own tune much like Coco herself.

I can’t help but think in another world, she would have been quite pleased to have Margot filling her home and her heart with a soulful tune that would fade out onto the black and white streets of Paris…

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Tell me about some of the current projects you are working on?

I’m in the studio right now recording my solo record, creating a classical music mixtape, and writing an orchestral piece. 

You’re an incredible violinist, how did you get started?

I picked it up when I was four and haven’t put it down since. 

What drew you to the violin? 

It’s a conversation without words.

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The Regal Beauty

For a beautiful moment, a young muse was transformed, developing a sense of mysterious calm. 

This clothing captured my imagination when I first saw the Spanish brand at NYFW. It was elegant and romantic while being ever so avant-garde. Delpozo’s history is as rich in story telling and fantasy as the clothing is today. The house has designed award-winning costumes for ballet and opera, tableware, and jewelry. The original designer Jesús del Pozo’s appreciation for all things beautiful was apparent in every venture he pursued.

You can see why I became so inspired to bring to life this character, this beauty and visually tell a story of a young princess tied to duty with every storm in life ahead of her but with the innocence that can only come from youth, a character I saw within the silhouettes of these pieces, through the eyes of our stunning model and the regal Chopard jewels.

Now creative director Josep Font is reinvigorating this well-known Spanish brand under the name DELPOZO and relaunching with more of a focus on high-end women’s clothing. I’m looking forward to photographing the new collection in just a few weeks when a fleet of models will glide down the runway in a whole new fantasy.  While Font draws inspiration from many varied places, he is absolutely centered on connecting with women. As he said in an interview with ELLE:

Women, like art, have no age.



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