DPP Home Profiles Ellen von Unwerth: Master Of Not The Girl Next Door

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ellen von Unwerth: Master Of Not The Girl Next Door

Ellen von Unwerth blends art, fantasy and fashion in her striking imagery

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DPP: Were all the characters professional models?

von Unwerth: ust the main girl. The only thing was that she had to be over 25 because the shoot was for advertising alcohol. The other people I found there. The work of Bellocq was an inspiration. I never like to copy anybody, but I like that atmosphere and the way he portrayed women. I never exactly copy a picture; I think that's boring. I'd rather do it myself and have a surprise—that's the interesting thing about photography.

DPP: Were you using natural light?

von Unwerth: Mostly, it's natural light. There's another that I lit to make it red and fiery. Mostly, I use daylight.

DPP: Even though it's a still photograph, there's a lot of energy, a real-life feel. Which other photographers have inspired you?

von Unwerth: Helmut Newton is great. I only worked once with him when I was modeling because I wasn't his type of woman, but he was great. I also love Lartigue and a lot of reportage photographers such as Sebastião Salgado

DPP: That's interesting because your style is really a cross between them, in a sense—reportage/fashion.

von Unwerth:  That's true. The sexiness of Newton, the realness found in reportage and then the kind of lively, charming side of Lartigue. That's what I love.

See more of Ellen von Unwerth's work in the book, Fräulein, from Taschen.


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