Monthly Archives: March 2009

Boston Magazine | Boston BOUDOIR!

I’m a longtime reader of Boston Magazine, so I am thrilled beyond words that the April 2009 issue hit shelves and mailboxes around the metro yesterday, and the online articles made an appearance today [link].

Boston boudoir photographer Rachel Hadiashar

Rachel Baker, editor at Boston Magazine, came in for a boudoir studio shoot as she was preparing for her article about Boston boudoir. She writes the “Fashion Masochist” column for the magazine, a regular piece I appreciate for its humor and wit.

To be honest, I’ve not had many positive experiences with publications – they often seem to take quotes and material out of context to suit their own spin – and one even went so far as to use an incorrect business name! Naturally, I was nervous to see what Rachel would have to say in her write-up.

Luckily, the feature is all positive – with a side dig at the fact that I don’t airbrush my photos (*). So, yay!

Kind of related, but on a different subject, Catherine just sent me a link to this rant about the celebrity “sexy face.” Ha! [ link ]

[ link to the article at ]

Annie Leibovitz

“Her pictures seem to somehow be in league with both her audience and her subjects.”
Ingrid Sischy on Annie Leibovitz

Ali and  I took a date night to our local public library last week. Since then I have been reading up on Annie Leibovitz.  She’s a remarkable photographer; kind of an awkward harbinger using homemade techniques in a world of glamour and high-profile celebrity.  I really enjoyed reading about some behind-the-scenes moments as she photographed well-known people naked, exposed, and vulnerable in their own environment or in the isolation of a photo studio.

I was a little bit disappointed to find that the huge table book Annie Leibovitz Photographs 1970-1990 to be almost exactly the same copy and portrait collection as Annie’s most recent book Annie Leibovitz At Work. Surprisingly, though they look starkly different in size and design, these books are nearly identical.  It’s like hearing someone tell the exact same stories again, only with slightly updated context.  It was nice to see the images huge in the 1970-1990 collection, and the book shows more images in general, but the older book’s format is completely unwieldy. The newer book, At Work, is a lovely size to hold in your hand. It’s a quick read, well-designed and a delight to hold… but the images are tiny and a few that were described in the text did not appear.

Overall, I would definitely recommend taking a couple of hours to read about Annie Leinovitz. It’s fascinating to read about the context from so many now-iconic images, such as the famous photo of John Lennon naked and in the fetal position around Yoko Ono that was taken just hours before he was shot (the cover for the older book). The scandal of Demi Moore appearing naked and pregnant on the cover of a magazine. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder.

As a photographic storyteller, our images will gain layers of meaning and insight as our subjects change, age, and affect the world around them. I’m excited to continue cataloging humanity with personality and wit. You never know when yesterday’s bodybuilder will become an actor and then a governor!

retouching | Sex, Lies, and Photoshop

I am so incredibly happy when people say that my images look like they should be in a magazine. It’s a huge compliment… I always say that I am going for a magazine look, but with personality. With a real human. Without retouching.

Certainly, for boudoir or headshots we will remove a scar, bruise or other small temporary blemish… but what about the sessions where you walk in a regular person and walk out with skinnier hips, longer legs, bigger boobs, etc? Is this even real?  I know half of the women reading this are thinking “yeah, I want that!” but do you really? Do you want images that make you look different from who you are?

How about some natural-looking images that have not been altered to make you more like the mythical perfect woman that media likes to project?  The woman who embraces the idea of natural but flattering… you are my client.  You might not be comfortable and confident about every body part (exposed to media, how could you?) but we love how you are and want to help you see your beauty. Without saying “you’re beautiful… after photoshop.”

Just some random thoughts after watching this NYT op-ed video “Sex, Lies, and Photoshop” by Jesse Epstein.    [ link ]

“I dare one magazine just to publish an entire issue without any retouching.”