At some level, these videos are somehow connected to my craft. Some are beautifully made. Some are educational. And some represent a milestone in history. Some: the dream….
Music Video: George Michael – Freedom
The peak of the Super Model era. George Michael was at the height of his popularity. Pretty much the perfect storm for a fantastic video. Many of the best supermodels ever are here: Naomi Cambell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Tatjiana Patitz and Christy Turnlington. Directed by David Fincher who was 6 years in as a Director for largely music videos. When you look at his professional history it’s truly impressive even from the beginning. By the time he did this music video, he had done over 40 music videos. FORTY MUSIC videos in 6 years! That’s a music video every other month and by big names too!
The Master and The Dream – Peter Lindbergh and the Victoria’s Secret Models
I’m not into hero-worship, but Peter Lindbergh makes it pretty hard no to! Not only is his work so iconic, but he just seems like a great guy whether you’re a man or woman. If you know anything about photographers, you know that’s not a very common quality.
The shoot is part education . The Victoria’s Secret angels doing a Vogue fashion shoot. If you look at his setup, it’s not super sophisticated. Look at his camera: a fairly average DSLR. His studio: you can create that in a garage. So what’s the secret? His skill for one. He’s a master of black and white and it’s usually quite easy to recognize his work. I KNEW who did the ad campaign for the NY Ballet in 2017. It had his signature style all over it. He’s not even using lights from what I can tell! I think he’s breaking the sunlight entering the fixture and you just have this huge light coming in from the beach. Most importantly: you’re only as good as the people you work with! At the time, all of these models were at the top of the game. I’m sure he had all the best hair stylist, makeup artists and support staff you can ask for.
I learned this lesson with the first photo shoot I produced, directed and photographed. Hired ‘a real model’ and also my first makeup artist who is also a master at hair styling. I started serious photography about 6 months prior to this shoot and to say I was nervous about this shoot would be an understatement. Couldn’t be happier with the results. If I was more experienced, I would’ve gotten more photos that I would absolutely cherish. But that’s pretty much it. Still one of my most favorite shoots.
Music Video: Chris Isaak – Wicked Game
Sorry I couldn’t find a better version of this video.. But the next best one had a racist link that people must not have noticed. On Youtube on top of it…
Chris Isaak.. He has a thing for models and this video sure did show that. It was HUGELY popular when released and really made Chris Isaak a name. Directed by fashion photographer Herb Ritts! Yes! I should’ve known it was done by a fashion person… Shot in Hawaii. Of course… This song put Chris Isaak on the map. I even went to one of his concerts in San Francisco when he was big. One of the best I’ve ever attended. And FUN!
Chris Isaak is really just a guy’s guy… Straight and gay. He’s super cool, rocks great hair and loves supermodels. Yup, envious of many men. Helena Christensen was a huge supermodel at the time and was on the cover of everything. A Victoria Secret’s Angel… Speaking of which….
Music Video: Chris Isaak – Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing
Did I mention that Chris Isaak loves his supermodels? This video was pretty much forgotten after Wicked Game even though I still thought it was fantastic. Most of all, it features one of my all-time supermodel favorites: Laetitia Casta. French and one of the only at the time. I still remember the first time I saw her: It was a portrait of her outside a Victoria Secret’s store in the Embarcadero, San Francisco. Like “Wow and wow and wow….” Hey, I was still in my 20s at the time!
Laetitia Casta was also the start of the ‘curvy model’. Not typical. 5’7′”, a size 6 and 34D bra size. So a little on the short side, curvy and busty for a model. Especially then. But she was unique at that time. I think it was VC that really made her big which makes perfect sense: underwear. Yes, many woman loved her busty body. I didn’t even really notice that. I just thought she was beautiful. And shorter than me!
Music Video: Billy Joel – Uptown Girl
Billy Joel was turning out to be one of my favorite singers but he really got lots of notice when he started dating Christie Brinkley during the time of the Super Model. Of which, Christie Brinkley was a part. The song was originally written for him and his then girlfriend Elle McPherson, Whitney Houston and Brinkley. Then the video then became what it was destined to become… Perfect.
David Thompson – An Education and Reality
I always love going back to this video. I discovered it about a year or so after I started serious photography. The public really doesn’t see all the work that goes into a fashion shoot. It’s a team. Sometimes a really big team. Really, there is about a dozen people working on this shoot.
David Thompson has done many a shoot for European fashion magazines as well as fashion campaigns. When I first saw this video, I would play extremely close attention to everything he was doing. How many stops up and down each of the lights were. The aperture he was using on his own camera. But when you break it down, again, it’s not all that complicated: It’s a 3-light setup that you can do in a garage! Okay, to fit the big 3′ x 3′ it would need to be a big garage! But definitely possible. There are so many technical details in the shoot which make the quality first-class. But again, you can do it in a garage. A big garage!
And I love that Phase-One camera!