I work a lot with women in photography: an obsession with the female form that started when I painted my first nude siren aged 15.
A lot of you know that as well as photographing I also style and do the makeup and come up with the creative direction for my shoots and my clients always ask me for beauty tips. I usually reel off a great products and a list of tricks I learnt from dancing for posture or from oil painting for makeup but stumbling across Audrey Hepburn’s poem that she wrote when asked what her beauty tips were I started to think about the important things.
As a photographer you are using your client/subject/muse as the tool to create something beautiful. Yes you can do their makeup well, you can dress them beautifully and find an amazing location, but really? You have to inspire them. You have to inspire them so that they can be part of the inspiration and there is no way you can do that without humanity and genuine passion and goodwill towards your subject and the eventual outcome.
Audrey Hepburn’s poem reminded me that there are many tricks and specific tools that we can all list but understanding the bigger picture and our place in humanity should be remembered for truely heartfelt work that will help and entertain and contribute.
Here are the words of that great lady:
AUDREY HEPBURN’S BEAUTY TIPS
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed: never throw out anyone.
Remember if you ever need a helping hand you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.