Stars love working with celebrity and fashion photographer Patricia De La Rosa. Known for her passionate and authentic approach she has photographed the likes of Kate Hudson, Amy Adams, Carrie Anne Moss; Elizabeth Banks, and Jessica Alba. And while it shows us a glimpse into a hidden part of their character, it also exposes so much about the person taking the photograph.
In my time in the beauty industry I have worked with and been photographed by a number of great photographers and Patricia is one whose love for her art I genuinely admire.
I met Patricia more than 10 years ago, and in that time she has continued to evolve and push boundaries. We caught up in Los Angeles recently.
First things first, where did you start in the industry?
I came from a production background. I started working in the film industry at 19 and was thrown in with the big dogs really quickly - Ridley and Tony Scott and Michael Apted.
But in terms of taking photographs, I was given a camera at the age of 10 by my grandfather and haven’t stopped since.
As with all great artists, the first thing I always want to know is, ‘What inspires you?’
I am an observer of life. I love to find the beauty in everything – even if it looks crazy and not traditional or its not reflective of its former glory; I love that it had a life and tells a story.
As someone who has spent my life working with faces and seeing the beauty in them as they age, of course I wanted to know if her approach applied to a face?
The most important thing is that I make a connection, before I pick up the camera. So when I am working with people I love to hear their stories.
Photography is like a voyeuristic moment that captures a moment in time. I find that openness creates openness, and this is what allows me to take great pictures – there is a trust and a connection and I see a glimpse into their soul. This is why when I shoot, I always focus on the eyes.
Every artist of merit has their own style and this is true of photographers. How would you define you photographic style?
My style is to make heroes of my subjects as when I make the connection I find the hero in everyone.
This is particularly true of women. I like the women that I shoot to be strong; I like to bring out the Amazonian quality that is inside all of us.
You have photographed numerous a models and celebrities over many years, what makes a great subject for you?
As I start photographing I look for their inherent grace and movement and then I start to work with that.
If I am looking at casting, I prefer the quirky looks. I am not inspired by predictable looking faces – I like lots of character and the ability to express vulnerability and intensity.
I believe the true gift of a photographer is what they bring out in their subjects and so I was keen to ask, what she looks for in a person when she is photographing them?
I look for the spark, what makes them laugh, what makes them truly human.
I try to capture vulnerability in a smile, in the eye, or in a laugh.
Skin is mostly airbrushed these days in post production. Given everything can be fixed after the actual shoot, what is your secret to getting ‘perfect looking’ skin?
I like to do as little retouching as possible as I prefer the picture to be created there an then, mainly using light.
This means they need to be in good shape on the day. With the models I photograph, I tell them this is your job. It needs to start from the inside out that they need to get plenty of sleep.
I also advise them to stay away from the sugar, alcohol, salt – anything that brings inflammation to the skin; to eat as ‘cleanly’ as possible for at least two days; and drink a lot of water…as the end result starts from the inside out.
A woman after my own heart! (I have long advocated that you can eat your way to beautiful looking skin with the right foods.)
We turn the conversation to fashion and I ask about the designers she loves to photograph?
For me it is important that the clothes don't dominate as they are there to enhance, rather than speak louder than the subject.
I vastly prefer clean lines in clothes as it reflects my style of photography.
This why I love Alexander McQu
een and Tom Ford, particularly his work with Gucci.
Having said that, two of my favourite shoots were with Jessica Alba (who is great to work with), in Prada in my garden; and Clea Duvall who looked amazing in cobalt blue Valentino.
What I love about Patricia’s work is that many of her pictures are art like, with great symmetry and freedom in the subject? What subjects allow you the greatest freedom of expression?
One of the purest reflection of this is when I photograph dancers as they are artists and the shots become a total collaboration to tell a story.
We turn to passion and purpose and the secret to creating a beautiful life. I believe this is the key to a happy life – finding both passion an purpose – and it expresses itself differently with every person.
I believe in exposing myself to new adventures all the time.
I have to step away and spend time conceptualising to push myself forward periodically. I am constantly reinventing myself and evolving my style and my next creative challenge.
The challenge I have is that I have so much inspiration, that I have to choose the best avenue to express myself next.
And finally we turn to the question I ask always ask when I interview someone…Do you have a beauty secret that you would like to share? I often hear about how people maintain their physical beauty, but Patricia’s response is analogous to her approach to her art – from the inside out…
GL SKINFIT INSTITUTE®