There is power in youthfulness. The cosmetics industry is built on it. The world spends billions of dollars to stay, feel, and look young. The same goes for the modeling world. Kate Moss was discovered at 14 at JFK airport, Candice Swanepoel was spotted in a flea market when she was 15, and Lily Aldridge, my personal favorite, began modeling at 16. Unlike other careers where the older you are the more salary, prestige, and respect you can command, being young and beautiful is incredibly marketable in the beauty industries. It is a bizarro world.
It is difficult to capitalize on this advantage when you are also inexperienced. Teens are young adults still learning their way through social situations, family situations, and professional situations. At the same time, I sometimes dread booking young models because I’ve been burned many times when they don’t show up to a shoot. How do teen models deal with the pressures of school, early adulthood, family, and a modeling career?
At just 15 years old, Isabella is currently our youngest model at iLHP. She is extremely professional, mature beyond her years, and yet malleable and open to new ideas like most young people are. She is just starting out in the north east and we had a chance to speak with her after our Terry Shoots last month. With her Candice Swanepoel cheekbones and teenage-attitude stare, this Korean Italian bombshell will undoubtedly have a long and successful modeling career.
In an abandoned quarry thirty minutes south of Boston, I had the opportunity to talk and shoot with Lizzy S., a model, a designer, and a businesswomen. Within the buttoned up North East lives this free spirit originally from Oregon who just started her own brand called Nug Lyf (a play on Tupac’s “thug life”)
The shoot was in the Terry Style and if you notice in Part 3 of our “How to Shoot like Terry Richardson” series, she made a brief appearance in the middle of that article. Sadly, this was also my last shoot in Boston before I relocated to Los Angeles. But this particular location was so full of colorful graffiti and drawings, that it was a gem of a location to cap off my life on the East Coast. Rock climbers seemed to love this place too!
When it comes to fashion and portrait photography, my personal belief is that 75% of the final image comes from the model, 20% from the concept/lighting/makeup, and 5% is actually from the photographer. You really can get three quarters of the job done with the perfect model. Our job as photographers is not to screw up that last 5%, and also to choose the right model.
Camille Hansen is a very special model. Even though this was only her 2nd or 3rd shoot, this 19 year old California girl is a complete natural. She is kind hearted, free, and unafraid to try new concepts (nothing is worse than an uptight and conservative model). She reaffirms my reason for preferring new & less experienced models. They go in with an open mind, they are malleable, and they react to the camera instinctively. Everything becomes more honest and genuine in a visual industry built on smoke, magic, and Photoshop.
I also had to pleasure of interviewing Camille after our shoot. Keep in mind that this set of photos had absolutely minimal editing in terms of correcting for skin imperfections. Her skin is close to flawless. Camille also applied her own make up. A vast amount of time was spent in Lightroom getting the colors, saturation, and hue to look right. I’d say I spent about 15-20 hours just getting the colors I wanted.
iLHP: Hi Camille, tell us a bit about yourself.
Camille: Hi everyone! I’m from the Oakland Hills, but went to school in Hayward all my life. I am currently attending Cal State East Bay while running for their Cross Country & Track team. I’ve been running since I was a sophomore in high school so I’ll be coming up on my 5th year running competitively. It keeps me strong, and also helps me stay in shape for modeling! Pretty much a win-win situation. Continue reading The Runner and Runway Model Camille Hansen→
What do you think of when you hear the word “doctor” or “surgeon?” Somebody in a lab coat or scrubs with a stethoscope around their neck? Try a 5’11” beautiful women with endless legs. I had the pleasure of working with Elle a few weeks ago. She is a surgical resident from Ottawa, Canada, spending her summer at Harvard for her Masters degree. Below is our brief interview. For projects and shoot, you can contact her via her ModelMayhem page.
iLHP: Hi Elle, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself first?
Elle: I’m an African-Canadian and I am currently completing my medical training in Canada. I’m a foodie, music lover and I love to travel whenever I can!
iLHP: Model, MD! What a rare breed! You mentioned you were originally from Ottawa, what drew you to Boston?
Elle: Boston has a lot of great options for graduate school programs which is helpful since I’m pursuing a masters degree. It’s also a fantastic city for its food, music and history which is an added bonus.
Last week, I had the pleasure of shooting Ari, on a blisteringly hot Boston summer day. We strolled around Boston University, our alma mater, snuck into a few open classrooms, and generally had lots of fun. Here is the short interview I did with her after our shoot.
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iLHP: Hi Ari, why don’t you first tell us a bit about yourself?
Ari: Hi everyone! I’m a college senior studying biomedical engineering at Boston University. I’m a gamer, robotics nerd, traveler, and food lover. Emphasis on the food part, haha.
iLHP: So biomedical engineering, beautiful and smart! Engineering is quite a departure from photography, or maybe it isn’t. What draws you to modeling?
Ari: I find it fascinating how a wrong angle or a change in the camera’s settings can dramatically change a photograph. Photography is a lot more technical than people give it credit for. I actually used to be behind the camera a lot and would take photos while traveling in Europe. Now I’m in front of it and it’s every bit as technical.