I was in Paris when I got a call from Flaunt Magazine to photograph Golden Globe nominated British actress Rebecca Hall, at the ultra-chic St. James Hotel in London. A few days later I was in London, on the rooftop of the St. James’s, having coffee and a cigarette with the beautiful and talented Ms. Hall. Dream come true!
The shows were going on in Paris so it was very difficult to get good clothes from the showrooms and press offices so we decided to focus more on beauty portraits. I was privileged to have Gareth Van Cuylenberg, one of the best hair stylists in London, working with me that day. Instead of creating super stylized hair designs, Gareth suggested we go the other way, giving the hair a loose hand-brushed look. We also wanted to mix some of Rebecca’s own clothes with the designer labels. Ee wanted to capture the actress as she is, instead of recreating her. We wanted something real, something raw, something exclusively Rebecca.
Working with Rebecca was pure bliss. She has no ego and she’s up for anything. The hotel’s interiors were a bit dark, so we spent most of our time shooting up on the rooftop. A typical London afternoon, we had a mix of clouds and sun, making for a nice array of soft and more direct/contrasty natural light. It didn’t feel like a photoshoot but more of a get together of friends. We spent a lot of time chatting, discussing Rebecca’s life and how it was to grow up behind the draped curtain of London theater. I found her to be open, curious, unaffected, and incredibly funny. The girl loves to laugh and makes the most charming sound when she does.
The portrait are some of the last shots from that day. By that time we had all bonded and the energy was great. Everyone was making jokes and being silly, and Rebecca was no exception. I asked her to make funny faces, which she was more than happy to do. Click….I made the picture.
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