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IDEALIZED BEAUTY

Shana Schnur is a new face in the world of New York fashion photography after honing her skills at the New York School of Visual Arts. She relies on traditional photographic and artistic techniques with a multi-faceted approach that emphasizes the personality, strength and joy each model expresses.

As a photographer, I like to make elaborate things… things that definitely are not from our everyday experience of this time and which may or may not remind the viewer (in part) of other times or other cultures. The aim is for the model to show—after all the hair /make-up /styling is done—a kind of idealized beauty which is part from our world and in part from another.
 
We were talking with our hair and make-up artist Amanda Sela and after throwing around a few concepts, decided to do a look with hair that was outrageously long but at the same time very clean and controlled. A look that brings these two apparently opposite things together is one that definitely gives off the feeling of being half real and half otherworldly! Amanda was able to pull it off with grace and the final look reminds us of one of my favorite photographs by Richard Avedon.
 
We decided to shoot some photographs in the studio and some in an area that was in the process of being converted to a workshop but was not quite there yet… to see if going with that contrast between the perfectly set hair and the gritty location would be stronger. The location had some interesting lighting: not just the huge windows but a red LED Exit sign that we got to reflect off Anjhula in a unique way. It is a little hard to describe so see it for yourself!
 
Choosing models to work with is a big part of what is involved in fashion photography—and can be hard work—for more reasons than I can talk about here. Anjhula is a pleasure to work with, has a great editorial look and will work to get a shot however long it takes, varying her pose in tiny ways until we say “that was it!” if need be. But most importantly, she always thinks about what we as a team are trying to achieve and takes our vision as her own, doing whatever we need to get the shot and leaving any preconceptions that might not be compatible with that at the door. It is a testament not only to her professionalism and capabilities but also to her character, which I am sure is part of why she has gone far in the modeling world.
 
CREDIT *Behind the scenes photographs: David Manning*  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
13-JANUARY-2012
 
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