Been working on and off with Andy Spade my whole career. FIguring out the subtleties of this new brand Frances Valentine is fascinating. He and Kate are an amazing mix of things and Frances Valentine, while just finding it's feet, marks a new era for me, really expanding my roll from just photography into more creative direction. Making fashion pictures with more content is my dream, after all, and Andy shares my views on this.
KATE SPADE KIDS AW16
it was great working with these kids for the third season in a row. a few months really changes a kid. totally fascinating.
JACK SPADE AW16
we decided to place the fall campaign in a bar. i spent many a summer dusk stalking the city for good neon signs to speak to the pops of color in the largely dark collection. it was so so great to roam around looking for these, as it turned into a nostalgic ride through my nyc history. we're all rushing around so hard all the time, there's no time to remember. i used to live in these bars. i wonder if generation z goes to dive bars.
julian schnabel's house is at the end of the road at ditch plains. i had always wondered about it. this danish supermodel found me ringing the bell. she was dripping wet and gorgeous from stealing a swim while her three-week old baby napped in the carriage near the front door. i too had a baby, only a few weeks older. we introduced our babysitters and moved on. this is perhaps my favorite part of being a photographer. just observe and record, and indulge my curiosity.
ive done a bunch of seasons work for the Montreal-based shoe company ALDO. Super fun trips to Tofino, Marfa, Palm Springs, Santa Cruz, among others. So fun to figure out the shoe face axis and other fun compositional problems. i have gotten the most out of, and i think contributed the most, to brands with whom we go back season after season. refining, deepening, perfecting a vision. it really feels so good.
mona kowalska is the maker of perhaps my favorite clothing. her shop and line, a detacher has been around for as long as i've been an adult. i spent a couple of decades looking but not buying for the most part, just checking in each season to remind myself what was truly gorgeous and considered in fashion. After admiring her from afar for so long, i was super nervous to photograph her (much more so than i am with movie stars, that's for sure). but of course, she was completely down to earth and cool and easy to photograph. she looks amazing in her clothes, is the real embodiment of her creative ethos. this is out now in BARE magazine.
growing up, all my best friends were men. it wasn't until after college that i realized that men were going to fall short as friends, but i digress. my relationship to jack spade started when andy spade started the line. i have worked and evolved with the brand for many years and my deep history of male friendship has made shooting men a true comfort zone for me. the jack spade man has always been a combination of guys i knew and know. a potent combination of humor, restraint, and sex appeal. casting jack spade is never easy, because a model never does it for me. non-model's spirit and natural shyness is to me a badge of masculine vulnerability that puts a spring in my step.
When Alexandra Kortur asked me to do a portfolio about summer camp for Town and Country, I looked at several summer camp websites. The idea was to go to six or seven camps to do a round up. I quickly became discouraged by the way summer camps had developed. All of them seemed to have huge plastic water park like things in the lake. Kids were "specializing" in things like video gaming and even worse, emailing their parents every day! i promptly began looking for the most old fashioned, luddite camps and decided to visit only two extraordinary places: Walden and Four Winds Westward Ho. As we and our children become dependent on and addicted to technology, summer camp is more necessary than ever. These places remain little utopias, where mean girls are not tolerated, singing is mandatory, and kids forget all about the modern world. I was especially charmed by two activities that i see rarely: reading for pleasure and letter-writing. The experience was preternaturally beautiful to me, which may have been because i was pregnant. friendly tip: don't get on a ferry or a prop plane in a rainstorm when you have morning sickness.
Only Town and Country would let me shoot a fashion story with an octogenarian and her hot gay nephew. Big Fern is an institution in Palm Beach. We had the best time following her around and taking her lead. Her favorite drug store lunch spot, his favorite surf break. And everywhere we went, everyone knew her. There's nothing i love more than figuring out how to shoot fashion on real people about real things.
FREEMAN'S SPORTING CLUB
taavo somer and david coggins are a joy to work with. when they told me they wanted to shoot a campaign based a little on elliot gould in the long goodbye i almost tipped over. that movie (along with eucalyptus trees and avocados) pretty much made me move to LA fifteen years ago. anyway, i digress. we made montauk our surrogate malibu and it was a blast.
Another amazing Town and Country assignment, i was asked to go shoot the Astor estate in Rhinebeck. One of the offspring of the fallen family had written a memoir. When we arrived, it turned out the daughter who had written the book was a majorly orthodox Jew, who had a very grumpy relationship with her parents, who lived on the estate. The scene was a treasure trove of stories and images. Her father had fallen for her mother in Europe and brought back this amazing woman, a Polish artist, to be his wife. She was not acceptable to the Astors, i guess. Anyway, there were very few heated rooms in the house and in one library, i found a dude recording an album. I could have spent weeks there.
i got really into shooting boast, first because working with andy spade and anthony sperduti is total pleasure. but after that, i just wanted to get it right. a tennis brand from the '70s that we all remember that mostly sells in country clubs: my dream was to cast from a different club every season and shoot at the club. we did it a little. clubs are tricky. but i love finding people and shooting them in their natural habitat. and i love figuring out the culture (even if it's made up a little) behind a brand. my nephew is the hotty with the mad magazine. i like to make pictures that make you feel like you could really be there. right there.
KATE SPADE KIDS AW15
ok shooting kids is insane. but really so fun because it's such a delicate balance. i don't like it when kids just look like tiny adults. but i also hate it when kids seem so insanely happy all the time. why shouldn't their emotional landscape be complicated and nuanced? i also have specific taste about dressing kids...but i digress. it was really fun to switch it up and spend some time with a new set of problems.
NEW JACK CITY
jack spade is evolving. i was told it was too niche, too hipstery. genius casting director jennifer venditti found me jon batiste. he's super cool. an amazing character. we are forging a new, more serious brand...more masculine, more grown up. more new york. still sexy.