Working with Photographer Arthur Elgort
- Written By:Bobbi Brown
Working with photographer Arthur Elgort was always a dream. The good natured, pipe-smoking man loved snapping pictures on his Leica even more than he liked his full photo set up when we were all ready to go. I was lucky to work with him for American Vogue and a slew of international publications, both in his studio and on location.
Besides there always being a great atmosphere whenever we shot together, his shoots came with a gang of uber talented people to boot. Christiaan Houtenbos, the eccentric crazy-haired Dutch hairdresser, was always on set and he pretty much ran the show. His beautiful wife Marianne, who repped both him and Arthur, always stopped by for lunch. (And let me just say the lunches were catered from the best of the best.)
The vibe was leisurely enough that it never felt like we were at work, and the set was pretty much a family affair. Arthur’s gorgeous dancer wife often came by with one or both of their children. His kids, by the way grew, up to be stars in their own right: Sophie is a talented photographer and her brother, Ansel, is an actor and teen heart throb.
Of course, we always had a supermodel or two to work on. From a young new model named Naomi Campbell to the iconic Grace Jones — there was never a dull moment. I learned a ton from the top Vogue editors Grace Coddington and Polly Mellen, and from designers like Azzedine Alaïa.
For this shoot we had the model Shalom Harlow, a true beauty and a willowy free-spirit, to dance around in beautiful, ethereal clothes. It was a very easy day for Christiaan, as a simple dancer’s bun was the perfect style. The look here could be best described as ballerina princess.
To get this look, start by prepping the skin with a water-based moisturizer to hydrate without leaving behind shine. Match the foundation so that it blends seamlessly into the skin. For full, even skin, apply the foundation with a brush or sponge and use your fingers to press and smooth into the skin. Always be checking it in the light — this shot was all about the skin.
Add a light concealer under the eyes and use a sheer, loose powder all over, applying with a puff and brushing off any excess. Apply a pink blush in the spots where you would naturally flush, including the chest and neck.
Delicately fill in the eyebrows with a pencil to keep the look sophisticated. Add a tight line of black liner and black mascara to the top lashes only. Use a soft ash shadow on the lower lashline to look like natural shading.
For the lip, simply blot on the color. I used a matte apricot shade. (I think I used the iconic Shiseido dual-ended thin lipstick that had matte on one side and a shimmer on the other — Shiseido, if you’re listening, bring it back!)