You saw the mag, you heard the process, now hear from our photographer, Lee Clower. He tells all in this Q&A—like the inspiration for the shoot, what working with Bean and Willa was like and his favorite shoots with Michelle Obama and, yep, Karlie Kloss (!!!).
How did you get into photography?
Both of my parents were very stylish, so I started out as a fashion editor and stylist and ended up working with some of the best photographers in the world. It looked so much cooler to be behind the camera. As I now know… it totally is!
What was your inspiration for the day’s shoot?
Willa’s elegant manner and smile. Sounds too easy, I know, but it’s the truth. Adding Jacqueline Quinn, Kelly Floyd, Mick Szal and Bean to the mix brought all of the inspiration I could ever need.
What was working with the girls like?
The day was really just letting the girls be themselves. I already knew Willa would be a natural to shoot. Adding Bean and the other girls made the day more fun. I just happened to be there with a camera.
Most people only see the final photos. What do you think people might find most surprising about a photoshoot or being a photographer?
It actually takes a lot of people to pull off a great photoshoot.
Any suggestions for aspiring willagirl photographers?
I always advise my interns to follow their passion and allow their inner vision to evolve organically. The technical side of photography can be taught, but passion cannot.
What is an ideal shoot day for you?
I have fun on almost every shoot. Ideally, I am working with and collaborating closely with my team, the models and art directors.
What’s one of the best shoots in your memory?
My patriotic nature mandates that I choose, unequivocally, shooting Michelle Obama at the White House. My favorite moment at that shoot is when she told me to call her “Michelle.” I couldn’t stop smiling all day and neither could she.
I saw that you’ve shot Karlie Kloss!! Can you tell us what working with her was like?
Karlie and I were shooting for The New York Times Style section and she was awesome. We had the penthouse of one of New York’s chicest hotels and hung out, shot and talked all day. She’s just as friendly and smiley as she is gorgeous, with no attitude at all.
Do you have any advice about life, work or photography to share?
I love my job so much that it never seems like work. Everyone should try to get there.
Photos: Lee Clower