Trust Your Judgment
When you get to work with a model or a supermodel like Elle Macpherson, you can count yourself lucky. She is a complete professional, a hard worker, and even more, has a “spark.” All the great ones have this “spark.”
The first time I photographed Elle was with a long lens. I was about 30 feet away. At my side, Jule Campbell, the lady who originated the entire concept of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, kept nudging me. “Tell her she looks great, you have to keep encouraging her.”
I always feel it’s best to be honest with everybody I deal with. I turned to her and I said, “Jule, why the f*¢% would I tell her she’s great when I don’t like the way she looks or what she’s doing? Why would I want to encourage her when it doesn’t work for me?”
Later that morning, I was trying to get a certain look from Elle and I said, “Forget about anything else, just concentrate on how much you love the camera itself. Focus it all on the camera.”
Damn! When she did, I literally turned around to see who had just walked onto the set behind me—it must be someone she was in love with. She had done exactly what I asked for and yet gave so much that I was overwhelmed.
She surprised me every day with each bathing suit and each location. She had a chameleon-like quality. She looked different every time. The shots you see here ran as double-page spreads. One was a vertical double-page spread; one horizontal.
For the picture with the light stripes, I was told, “Don’t bother, we did one with stripes of light.” On the other picture, I was told, “Don’t bother, we did one with sand last time.” In each case, I was told they wouldn’t run.
They both did.
Trust your judgment. Shoot what moves you. The people who try to stop you really don’t have any idea what exactly you’re shooting. If they did, they’d be doing the shooting.