I loved to read her short essay “On being photographed by Richard Avedon” in the New Yorker (which is an awesome magazine anyway).
Having seen other high profile photographers doing their jobs via Youtube (like for instance David Bailey photographing beautiful models (in a BBC documentary about him), or Bettina Rheims taking some of her famous nude photos of other females in her studio in Paris), just reading about the experience from the side of the person being photographed is something different, but I think every portrait photographer should read it. Ok, you and me, we’re not Richard Avedon, but it’s still nice to have these stories of and about real artists doing their work, and how their subjects may have felt about it. Or that Audrey Hepburn might have had similar thoughts and feelings like Myla.
For a photographer, the most difficult part is to crack them up, figuratively speaking of course, to look behind the vain and the fear and the masks, and to find a real person. And the only way to achieve something like this is to be professional, aloof but not unfriendly, and to have enough patience and empathy and – of most importance – interest in the person you’re photographing. And it’s real hard to not let it be just a vanity fair, and at the same time, having your subject accept or even like the photograph – as you can also learn from Myla’s article.
So very interesting that I just had to link to it from here – and thanks to Myla for sharing her story with “Dick”.
And as always, thanks also for reading my thoughts.