Tag Archives: beauty

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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Chantecaille

 

I love Roses.

I love to grow them, receive them, smell like them, and photograph them it’s no wonder the rose is considered the “queen” of essential oils.  You can imagine my excitement when I discovered Chantecaille’s Rose de Mai line of beauty products made extraordinarily with a very special rose gown in Provence, France which blooms only once a year called Rose de Mai and harvested by hand. I love every morning waking up and applying the Rose de Mai cream which feels as if you are rubbing thousands of rose petals on your skin. What is even more special is that the scent is all natural from the actual roses that make up these products and take care of your face with the power of this floral ingredient.

There is something very calming about the smell of roses. When I’m feeling very stressed from a long day of editing and deadlines or after an intense photoshoot, it’s nice to spray Chantecaille’s Pure Rosewater on my skin not only to re-hydrate it but lift my spirits. Rosewater has an interesting history dating back the the Ancient Romans who not only drank Rosewater but bathed in it… obviously I wish I had more Rosewater baths in my life, right?! Aside from just being incredibly luxurious, Rosewater fights depression, insect bites, inflammation, sunburn, and signs of aging. I guess this is as close as we can get to the “fountain of youth”.

Sometimes we are incredibly fortunate enough to get clients we are personally fans of. Last December we were brought into the Chantecaille offices in Soho and briefed on their top secret newest member to their rose collection, Rose de Mai Face Oil, which was just released a few weeks ago. They asked us to come up with an idea, some visuals, on what the Rose de Mai line means to us and how we would visualize Chantecaille into a body of work. You can imagine, I was beside myself- a total dream job! We got to work right away concepting everything from stills, to videos, to cinemagraphs. Later this spring the work we created will be rolled out around the world in Chantecaille’s in-store displays, websitesocial media channels and in press such as WWD.

After the creative was signed off on by every member of the Chantecaille family (this is a family run business) we got to work. First step. Find the perfect roses in the middle of winter which we did through Rose Story Farm and had as many as possible shipped overnight. The studio has never smelled so beautiful! There were roses everywhere, in the windowsill, refrigerator, work table, kitchen counters! Over the course of a three day shoot we made beds of roses, flower crowns, flower hats, flower petal showers, you name it. It was a pure delight.

Of course Chantecaille does more that skincare, they also have an amazing line of makeup made most famously by Angelina Jolie when she reapplied their lipgloss not knowingly on camera at the Golden Globes. So I was VERY interested in hanging out at the makeup station for our shoot to pick up any tips / tricks from Chantecaille’s in house makeup artist Eddie Hernandez. My favorite things: their mascara smells like roses (DONE) and this is my FAVORITE makeup tool now.

Here are some of our favorite moments from this very personal collaboration with Chantecaille~

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Above~ Red Audra Dress

Below~ Chantecaille’s new Rose de Mai Face Oil Chantecaille__02

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Above & Cover~ White Audra Top

Below~ Red Audra Dress

Below~ Delphine Manivet Dress

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Above~ Marchesa Top

Below~ Chantecaille Rose de Mai Cream

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Above~ Katie Ermilio Bandeau

Below~ Elie Saab Dress

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Above & Cover~ White Audra Top

Below~ Delphine Manivet Dress

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Above~ Misha Nonoo Jumpsuit

Below~ Chantecaille Pure Rosewater

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Above~ Marchesa Top

Below~ Delphine Manivet Dress

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Below~ Misha Nonoo Jumpsuit

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Chantecaille Rose de Mai ||Modeled by Teresa Dilger of Silent Models || Makeup by Eddie Hernandez of Chantecaille || Hair by Fred Van de Bunt from Art Department || Styling by Kelly Framel & Erin Framel of the Glamourai || Manicurist Angel Williams || Flower Artist Tammy Becker

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Natural Beauty

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Natural beauty comes in all forms, in the bareness of a woman’s face, the sweeping landscape of our earth’s vistas, the colors of a sunset and in a precious metal that came crashing down to earth 4 billion years ago: GOLD. We talk about gold jewelry here a lot from what it means to us to where we wear it. I’m always inspired by what designers do with these natural elements, how they create magic with something that traveled across the universe and existed here before mankind.

Modeled by my own natural beauty muse Alli Lanier here are 5 new jewelry designers I’m finding inspiring these days to watch~

Temple St. Clair

Temple St. Clair began, like many great works of art, in Florence, Italy in 1986. A city where the namesake designer still draws inspiration from stating, “Each object that I create carries the soul of the history of the artisans of Florence.” With her signature cocktail rings, rock crystal amulets and elegant gold work, this very chic woman has created a line of jewelry that is collected by in-the-know women that appreciate the balance of art, history and craftsmanship.

Above cover~ 18K Gold Classic Horizontal Oval Ring with Blue Sapphire & Diamond Granulation

Below~ Royal Blue Moonstone & Diamond 18K Gold Bella Bangle

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Below~ 18K Gold Owl Face Post Earring with Diamonds

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The Golden Plumes of 1932

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Gabrielle Chanel believed jewelry had the power to transform oneself and to escape. When looking at these delicate 18K gold feathered pieces by CHANEL remade from her 1932 collection, I thought about those two words: Transform & Escape.

I thought about transforming oneself with our masks into good or evil, into the lightness or darkness, or escaping who we are in our day to day lives with jewelry being the stage we write our script to. Dancers have to be one of the most accomplished groups of people in the art of transforming and taking on roles. While in Paris I met one such dancer, Claire Camille, and wanted to bring this delicate collection of golden plumes, as imagined by Coco, to life and transform into characters so delicate you could imagine they’d simply float away together

Float away together I thought… I love the idea of escaping through jewelry. I have this beautiful gold globe designed by Monica Rich Kosann which I adore. When I wear this piece I escape on a million adventures around the world, discovering beauty beyond imagination and expanding on what limited time my eyes have left to see.

You can easily see how we define ourselves, where jewelry can take our imagination, something LoveGold showcases better than anyone. What does the jewelry you wear transform about you? When you truly want to escape, what pieces do you put on? Do you, too, play characters in the theater of life? On this early autumn day in Paris, here is where we drifted off to like a feather endlessly floating in golden light….

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CHANEL 1932 PLUME~

Earrings // Necklace // Bracelets // Ring

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