What do supermodels Candice Swanepoel, Miranda Kerr, Lily Aldridge, Tyra Banks, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio all have in common, besides sculpted bodies and having won the genetic lottery?
They all are, and/or were, Victoria’s Secret Angels. What was once a failing lingerie retailer created by a man too embarrassed to shop for his wife, is now a multi-billion dollar market leader in the underwear and swimwear industry. But more than that, Victoria’s Secret brought glamour, fashion, and supermodels to the masses with their glossy catalogues and high-profile runway shows.
Behind VS’s stratospheric success is a less well known but arguably the most productive portrait photographer today. Kind mannered and well spoken, Russell James has worked with the super-est of the supermodels from the last 15 years and yet somehow stayed away from the limelight. It’s hard to separate where Victoria’s Secret end and Russell James begin, but his images has single handedly defined the brand in recent memory.
In this three part series, we dive into the look of his images, his setup and equipment, then we wrap up with our own photo shoots and interpretation.