I hold a great affection for photography couple Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Besides the fact that their both incredibly friendly every time I've seen them at the shows, their work continues to be amongst the most thought-provoking and memorable images in magzines today.
To celebrate their life's work, the pair are launching a new book, 'Pretty Much Everything', which is set for release this month and will chart their work for publications like French Vogue and V as well as their collaborations with houses like Lanvin and Balenciaga. For a whopping $700 you can get 666 of their favourite photographs. Recently the couple sat down with style.com to talk about everything from what it's like working with Lady Gaga and why they refuse to work with models under 18 years old.
On how they relate to the models they shoot:
Ines van Lamsweerde : They’re people!
Vinoodh Matadin: People always ask us, what kind of pictures are you doing, and I say, “We photograph human beings.”
Ines Van Lamsweerde: It’s an exchange of inspiration, of trust. You spend a day together and definitely anyone that poses for anyone is in a very vulnerable position. It’s not nothing to let yourself be photographed. We approach everything that we do with as much respect as we can possibly have for the person that we’re photographing. That’s also why in most of our images there’s a big awareness of the person knowing what’s happening.
On why they don't shoot young models:
IVL: We saw this happen to so many models, especially with girls. They start at 14 and everyone says to them, “Wow, you’re incredible. You’re so skinny. You look like a boy.” And once that girl is 18 and her body is finished growing, all of a sudden it was like, “Oh, she’s fat.” The poor girl. She’s just growing. We felt it was unethical to support that. You get judged anyway and it’s not easy. You have to really know who you are first. And at such a tender age—between 14 and 18—you’re figuring out who you are.
On their favourite models:
IVL: It’s all about personality. For instance, we love working with Raquel [Zimmermann] because she’s someone that doesn’t necessarily care whether she’s beautiful in a picture. She has this incredible amount of trust and she’s ready to be anything, because she’s interested in the process of creating an image.
VM: Gisele is the same.
IVL: Shalom [Harlow]. Jessica Miller. Maggie [Rizer]. All of the girls who are in there have that quality. I think that’s what it is. Once they can know themselves well enough to let it go and go for the idea of making something together. What’s exciting for us is when someone is not afraid to be someone else, and it takes character to be able to do that. Christy Turlington is another one. I could shoot her every day of my life. The same goes for Daria. We’re shooting a whole issue on her for French Vogue for February.
On working with Lady Gaga:
IVL: It’s interesting because she has literally 400 ideas a minute. And they’re all great. We’re very similar in our inspiration and she reminds me a lot of when we were young and starting out in the types of things that she’s fascinated by, and having so many ideas and wanting to put them all in one thing. We have learned in the last 25 years not to do that.
VM: When we took her picture for the first time, she said, “This is the first time I see myself as the pure me.”
IVL: The V cover. She cried when she saw it. She never really considered herself a beauty. And we think she’s incredibly beautiful and I think that was a big thing for her to sort of accept that she is really beautiful. That purity in her is what is exciting. She’s an incredible human being and she knows exactly why she’s here. It’s an amazing exchange.
Read the rest of the interview here.