is a new post in my Model Musing column at lookbooks.com - this week with supermodel blogger Emily Sandberg, you can check out her blog at www.supermodelblogger.com
Model Musing: Emily Sandberg
What does a mime, a life guard, a minister, a mother and a blogger have in common? They are all one person: the iconic supermodel Emily Sandberg. With a long list of abilities, Emily has wowed the world with her modeling skills, which shot her to stardom.
Gracing the covers of the Italian, French and Japanese editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle and having shot with some of the most renowned photographers in the industry, like Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino and Craig McDean, among others for campaigns such as Versace, Fendi and DKNY, Emily has become a household name and makes use of her expertise in her now famous - and infamous - blogSupermodel Blogger in which she shares her experiences as a model, actress and mother with whoever is interested, and the following is huge.
Why do you love this picture?
It’s a portrait of me. It’s very rare that a photographer is interested in capturing the person or personality of a model. Most often - and it goes without saying that this is the basic job description of a model - she must project an image to be captured. It was refreshing to sit in front of a camera and just be me.
Who took it? Were you excited to work with this photographer?
I’d never worked with Annie Leibovitz before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Knowing that they were shooting numerous portraits that day, I expected a factory atmosphere and distracted photographer just doing another job. I was surprised at how present she was and the second I realized that she was “there” I felt thrilled to be seen and captured by her. I respect Annie and have been a fan of her images for quite some time.
How long did this shoot last?
I was in hair and makeup for an hour and then I sat for Annie for an hour. All in, from door to door, it took four hours out of my day. I’d say it was worth every second.
Anything curious about location, environment, weather, etc?
I’ve never seen such an archive. When Annie came over to shake my hand and introduce herself, she had with her a folder containing all of the strongest images from my career. I was sort of shocked and asked her about it. She told me she has a team who keeps a file on most models and actresses for reference materials. Wow.
Who else was in the crew?
Julien D’ys did hair. Nicoletta Santoro styled. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who did makeup.
What were you thinking when it was taken?
I cleared my mind. But in between takes, I was thinking “I hope this is going good for everyone”.
What direction did the photographer give you?
She told me to sit and be comfortable. Interestingly, the photographers I’ve worked with like Steven Meisel and Peter Lindbergh, who are able to capture the strongest images of me, simply ask me to be comfortable.
How was working with Nicoletta Santoro?
She tends to dress me in masculine clothing with clean lines. I love working with her, she’s always been protective of me and progressively definitive of my image with each shoot and each runway show we worked on together.
What were you wearing?
I wore an Ann Taylor blouse and my own necklace.
What was the theme of the shoot?
Ann Taylor was celebrating the golden 50th anniversary as a brand. They chose to do a special campaign capturing portraits of supermodels past, present and future.
Is there anything about the modeling career that you would change if you could?
I would have hired a team of professionals, nutritionists, trainers, doctors, accountants and lawyers right away. I would also have reached out to models that were ahead of me in the process for mentoring.
I learned a lot through trial and error. There wasn’t any strategic planning happening in my career or in the careers of the girls around me. Most were simply trying to survive and figure out what this crazy world was they had happened upon. And then, it was “over”. Everyone, agents, photographers, designers, stylists, editors were all moving so fast, I don’t think anyone really has a sense of the larger picture of a model’s arc of career or how to sustain it or even what to do with a girl after her first cycle through the upper echelons of fashion.
If I could do it again, I wouldn’t try to keep up with the pace, I would set my own.