Check out this post for the launch of a new model agency.  I think their whole website is fresh, and fun and creative.  Right now, so many photographers I know are struggling with concepts of "branding" and image.  I love the way this agency has turned that on its head, with models no less, and stripped away the artifice.  There is a lot of fun stuff on this website. 

I like the model "rankings", adn that fact that Kate Moss is #2.  That is some serious longevity, given the average "lifespan" of a model.

What should I wear?

Maggie suggested I share some of my secrets with you.

I photograph Maggie at least once a year, usually with the kids in Canada. Going to visit her is a highlight of my summer. Maggie is like sunshine and Eason always says it is just unfair how photogenic she is.

We decided to shoot in the afternoon when we could wrangle the whole family before heading out to dinner. Maggie put on her favorite summery white dress and I took a few shots to warm up.

After a few frames, I stopped. I knew this wasn't the best I could do. Even though she looked really pretty, I asked her to change. I felt the white was washing her out, the square neckline was taking attention off her face, and the dress wasn't flattering her figure much.

And this is what happened next:

A year later, this is still her Facebook picture. Needless to say, I think she liked it. Her favorite dress just wasn't the best dress for her, for this photo session, and she appreciated my input which helped her see what a difference a darker color made. Another tip I gave her that day....keep your arms away from your body....better for your body, better for your arms. That tip works well for most people...PARTICULARLY brides in strapless dresses!

We call this "Workin' It!"

Love you Maggie!!

From my time in Moscow, old photos re-discovered.

In November of 1995, I arrived in Moscow, Russia, as a new bride. In the previous three months I had moved from New York City, married in Florence, lived briefly in Milan, and now relocated indefinitely to Moscow with my British husband. Just after we landed, we went to a Guy Fawkes party at the dacha of a colleague of my husband. I remember the burning effigy in the back yard, the kilts worn by a few of the men, and the four feet of snow on the ground. Moscow is not an easy place to live.

I lived in Russia for two more years, and during that time, tried to continue working as a photographer, even though the simplest things, like getting a roll of film developed, were unbelievably challenging. I would shoot a roll of color negative film, take it to Itar-Tass (the news agency), and get bits and pieces of contact sheets (in black and white) in return. One roll would be contacted on two or three sheets of paper.....whatever they had, it seemed.

I shot this fashion story near the end of my time in Russia. It was a scorching summer day, and we had to shoot Fall fashion. These photos ran in the first or second issue of Marie Claire. It was the first major international fashion magazine to arrive in Russia. Vogue came later. Most of the pictures they used in the magazine were taken from other editions and the text was translated to Russian. This was a rare photo shoot that took place in Russia, with a Russian team of models, a makeup artist and a stylist. The art director was French, as I recall. I remember casting the models and having them try on the clothes for the story to make sure they weren't too thin. Several of them were!

The great part was how easy it was to shoot in a great location like the Pushkin museum (blonde model in black/camel story). We shot all day there in a sort of stealth way, and only got kicked out at the very end of the day. The priests at the monastery where we tried to shoot the brown/navy story were much tougher. They wouldn't let us shoot inside their walls at all, so we just had to work with what we could find in the street.

I thought these photos were gone forever, lost in one of my six or seven moves since that time. And then they just appeared, in a box marked 'tearsheets' on the shelf of my newly organized office that has been a work in progress for the last few months. I keep finding lovely old things that were all part of my life before everything could be stored or shared on the internet. Back in Moscow, I was lucky when I could get a dial tone and use my AOL dial-up email for 30 minutes. I would write massive letters to friends back home (8-11 time zones away), log on to send a letter, and usually wait a day or two for a response. I am glad the systems have improved, though I would argue my letter writing was better back then.

New Fashion Line by my seen on!

With and Wessel is the beautiful new clothing line started by my good Norwegian friends Cathrine and Stian.  They have barely launched, and already they are on as "The New Favorite Basic"!  Wonderful!  Cathrine is one of the most talented photographers I know (and have had the pleasure of working with), and I am so excited to see this new venture.  I love seeing my friends follow their dreams. I can't wait for my first pieces from the first collection!

How I Frame It

I am often asked to show how my fine art images look when framed. This is one of my favorite techniques: 'The Plexi Sandwich', I call it. The image is mounted directly onto a thin sheet of aluminum or plexiglass, or sintra board (different prices, similar effect) and is then laminated with a sheet of 1/4" plexi over the top to give it a sleek, modern look, and a stiff enough body to be supported with aluminum braces across the back. These braces allow the image to 'float' about an inc off the wall.

Yes, I can frame things a thousand different ways, or not at all. But this is my favorite. I hope the explanation helps!

'Oil Paint' in my hallway. 4x6'

'Gibson Surf' in my living room.  3x5'

Behind the scenes. The aluminum braces.