Blog #151   4/12/16



I consider this image of Julie Healy (Ford Models), photographed for a BlackBook Magazine editorial as one of the most successful beauty photographs I’ve ever done. Here’s why I think so and how it happened.


A few days before the shoot I met with a talented team of three, including hair stylist Algene Wong, make-up artist @HeidiLeeCrow and stylist Nikko Kefalas and explained what I had in mind. We then sat down and discussed what we could do to meld our creative abilities in a unique way.

Including the model and me, five people worked together in an imaginative fashion, sharing ideas and stimulating each other to create the image. Everyone completely understood what I had originally talked about. This kind of collaboration doesn’t just happen.

All the details – the asymmetric Issay Miyake coat, the one red eyebrow and the other almost invisible, as well as the perfectly red lips, the spiky hair pulled up away from her ears—-all came together so perfectly because we were all on the same planet.

When the model, whom I knew to be very bright and freely expressive, saw herself in the mirror she immediately understood visually what I had initially described to her. She then went on to create a series of delightfully original poses that fit perfectly with her hair, makeup, and wardrobe.

It was then up to me not to get in the way with lighting that was all about lighting (i.e., about me) and would have not only distracted from the feel of the image but would have ruined the whole idea.

This image, therefore, comes from the collaboratively creative work of five individuals in concert. The music is perfect.

I think that many things in this world work best this way: in the spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and generous alliance. No doubt single players can make something that is remarkable totally on their own. It happens. I think, however, when a group of people all working together toward a magical goal bring their creativity into a balance with the others, the chances of making something that is beyond any one of them is greatly enhanced.

Yes, as I’ve written many times, I photograph to “surprise and delight myself;“ images can be so much more than me when I have the opportunity to work with others who care as passionately as I do.



I am teaching a 4-day workshop the Palm Springs Photo Festival this Spring (end of April). The workshop is called: “THE INSPIRED EYE: Experimentation, Exploration & Discovery: A Search for the Unexpected.”  

To view more of my work, visit my website.