1. What’s the most misunderstood thing about shooting fashion and beauty?
Many outside the industry believe in the big break. For most people, there is no such thing. It’s a lot of hard work, time and networking. The more you build your team and put the effort into expanding your network, the more you will grow. One big shoot or one big campaign isn’t the magic solution that guarantees success.
2. Have or would you ever shoot weddings?
I shot weddings for about 10 years and I found them challenging, exhilarating...and utterly exhausting. You must think on your feet while managing many people at the same time as mastering so many different technical aspects. While I did enjoy them, I found myself more rewarded in shoots where I had more creative and technical control.
3. What do you miss about your childhood, and look forward to about growing older?
While I had a fantastic childhood, there is nothing I pine for. I was an old soul from early on. I even had a breakdown at age 12 for feeling like I hadn’t accomplished enough in life. I am much more comfortable as an adult—it took me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I’m loving that feeling. The things I loved about childhood (constant learning and exploration) I’ve done my best to channel into my adult life.
As I grow older, I am excited to experience life with more wisdom and to gain more wisdom. My knowledge helps me experience the world in a more fulfilling way and to filter these experiences into my own work and creativity. My life feels fuller and I interact with people and the world in deeper ways.
Photo © Lindsay Adler
4. What’s your favorite takeout meal?
Undoubtedly, Panera’s mac and cheese. I hate fast food, but I love mac and cheese. Cheese and chocolate are some of life’s greatest joys.
5. What’s your advice for editing skin without overdoing it?
Don’t expect there to be a quick solution. Anything that looks amazing always took a lot of time. My advice for skin editing would be to always aim to maintain skin texture. As soon as the texture goes away or is blurred, it looks overdone and cheap. Check out frequency separation and localized dodging and burning techniques to get the best results.
6. What’s one of your weirdest habits?
I was told my weirdest habit is that I don’t drink coffee and I live in New York City. I’d say my weirdest “habit” is that I never cook. Haven’t cooked a meal from scratch more than a handful of times in my entire life.
7. Who or what has been the biggest influence in your photography?
I think it is important to have several influences so you aren’t just emulating a single person. That being said, I have a deep love of the work of Sølve Sundsbø, and early in my fashion photography career he was my greatest inspiration and creative soul mate.
Photo © Lindsay Adler
8. You’ve been shot by some other big photographers in the industry—what’s the value of being on the other side of the lens?
I think being photographed is one of the most important lessons you can have as a photographer. It teaches you empathy for your subjects and you come to understand how vulnerable that position can be. You also learn what a photographer can do to put you at ease and bring the best out of you—it may be the words they say, a tone of voice, the hand movement for direction. By being photographed, I’ve also shown (to my clients and others) that I value good photography, which is very useful as I ask them to do the same!
9. What’s one of your photographic goals for 2017?
My goal is to become known more in the commercial realm for my cinemagraph work. My team and I will be promoting this heavily, and I’ll be creating lots of new work to promote this skillset.
10. What were your first words, and what would you want your last words to be?
My first word was “juice.” I loved apple juice as a baby, and it’s still my beverage of choice on flights to this day.
I want my last words to be “I love you,” meaning I’m with someone I care for deeply. Leaving the world with love is all I could ask for.
Lindsay Adler is a fashion photographer and educator based in New York City. She’s penned numerous books on lighting, posing and shooting full-figured subjects, among others.
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CreativeLive Video Tutorial: Seeing and Shaping Light, Taught by Lindsay Adler