Contrary to what many people believe, not all professional models truly know how to model. When I engage with photographers around the country they express how easy it must be to photograph 'real models'. Alas, they do not realize that it is not always that easy. Some professional models really are just 'pretty faces' that stand awkwardly in front of the camera and I must work to pull an engaging glance or compelling pose from them. I've been lucky enough over the years to work with many great agencies who train their models and with young men and women who take their careers seriously. Yet often when I work with agencies I'm working with some new faces, possibly models that have only been in front of the camera once or twice before. This is not always bad, and in fact some of my favorites images I have collaborated with these young men and women to get really elegant and striking images.
It is, however, an amazing breath of fresh air to work with a seasoned professional model. Azmarie Livingston was just this. She knew her angles so well that nearly every pose she struck was worth a beautiful image. She moved from great pose to great pose, and I couldn't wait to snap the next shot. She varied her expressions to be engaging and reflect the mood of the shoot. She kept up her passion the entire set, eager to team up to create powerful images. As you look through the images, I think you can see her creative energies in each shot with the wide range of poses and expressions that work together to tell a beautiful graphic story all about this amazing woman. You may have heard of Azmarie before from her appearance on America's Next Top Model, or from her solo music career, or her appearance in the movie Precious. I first met her after a NY Fashion Week runway show that she walked earlier this year. She has great poise and presence, and was definitely inspired by her look. She is cool, laid back, and ready to work hard.
On this shoot our overall mood board (direction of the shoot) was to keep it clean, with graphic poses and shapes, black clothing. LSC provided wardrobe that fit the mood board brilliantly. A stroke of genius, however, came from my hair and makeup team. Together they came up with those striking hair shapes and patterns. That was definitely NOT my idea, but I think it really took the shoot up a notch and this is why it is so great to work with other amazing creative professionals. I love when the pieces start to come together on set and you can really watch the concept take on a new life and exciting creativity before your eyes. Azmarie was just some amazing icing on the cake and I definitely have to say my job was extremely easy that day! I kept my lighting simple (two lights on the white background, one on the subject) to keep the focus on Azmarie's great expressions, posing and top-notch styling.
We were happy to see this shoot grace the pages and front COVER of The Alchemist Magazine's Edge issue! Enjoy!
Click the photos to enlarge:Click images to enlarge
Profoto Telezoom Reflector (main light)
Profoto Softlight Reflector (fill light below)
(2) Profoto Zoom Reflectors (on white background)
Look 1: Pearl vest, Twist shirt, Eleen Halvorsen pants, Philippe Audibert necklace, Laruicci ring & cuff, Phoenix Keating ring, Privileged shoes
Look 2: Mark Zurnino jacket, Annabelle NY fur vest, Eleen Halvorsen shorts, Stylist's own necklace, Body Binds wristlets, Philippe Audibert cuffs, Monies ring, Stylist’s own leather leggings, Burberry boots
Look 3: Jose Duran dress, Stylist’s own neckpiece, Sugar Scout cuff & ring, Laruicci earrings, Carolinna Espinosa shoes
Look 4: Avelon vest, D&G shirt, Eleen Halvorsen pants, Venessa Arizaga necklace, Philippe Audibert cuffs & glove, Brian Atwood shoes
Look 5: Horace jacket, Body Binds dress, Eleen Halvorsen dress, BCBG necklace, Charmed Circle ring, Sugar Scout bracelets, Coco & Breezy eyewear, Privileged shoes
Look 6: Blank NYC top, D&G belt, Liz Claiborne necklace, Phoenix Keating skirt, Alexander McQueen shoes
Look 7: Eleen Halvorsen top & skirt, Laurel DeWitt chaps worn as armpieces, Venessa Arizaga necklace, Charmed Circle cuff, Elizabeth & James shoes