Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The chick and the egg

I shot this image for dkVogue, a furniture retailer specializing in Danish classics from Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner, Poul Henningsen and others from the mid-century modern design movement.

My client gave me this simple directive: "We want a model wearing nothing but the chair."

As an architectural shooter, I have absolutely no experience with anything like this so two things made me nervous. Is it possible to take Jacobsen's iconic 1956 Egg chair (probably photographed thousands of times over a half century) and do something new with it? My other worry was since this client wanted to show a naked woman using the product, could we do something beautiful instead of just...well, naked? I wanted to make an image that Arne himself might approve. (Too late since Jacobsen died in 1971 but you get the point.)

Architecture geeks like us are usually challenged with shooting a room from a small corner or showing off the expensive crown moldings. I'm also used to working with tungsten lighting, not strobe. My exposures are usually 30 seconds, not 1/125 like a fashion photographer. I'm trained to wait for the sun, not the makeup person. (We didn't need to wait for wardrobe since the chair was already there.)

Still getting her hair done was Czech model Hanka Janouskova who must have been no older than 22. From Hanka's portfolio, I could see that she had worked extensively with talented, established fashion photographers from around the world. So, I confidently introduced myself as the photographer while secretly hoping she knew what she was doing because I certainly hadn't a clue.

Well, despite her youth, Hanka's fashion experience and professionalism made my job easy. With each pop of the strobe she would change positions, each elegant pose showing what we needed to see while hiding what we were not allowed to show. She was the perfect match for a photographer with zero fashion experience.

Continuing my current excursion from architectural photography, I have added a Lifestyle section to my updated my updated portfolio site. Most of these new images were shot at resorts and spas around the U.S. and Caribbean.


Aaron Scott said...

Awesome! I think I saw this photo in a magazine at school... I love how Hanka's legs extend the curved lines of the chair. And also how you used light to wrap around the uhmm, wrap around furniture :) Great job! Also, the one eye visible is a nice touch.

sixfive said...

great great shot! You nailed it. The one eye is perfect and it's the right pose to blend with the chair.

Anonymous said...

fun to see the ANT chair picture. ther was a similar motif back in the 60th. see http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/news/christine-keeler-arne-jacobsen-007018

Love the Egg picture and its balance.


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