Gigi Stoll (www.gigistoll.com) is a remarkable photographer whose work is all about contrast. Shadow selves rise up in her black and whites, as fashion meets high art. Her modeling experience infuses her photography with a certain compassion: she understands all levels of the creative process, and she searches for the unexpected.
Seven questions for Gigi Stoll…
1. You’ve worked all around the world as a model and as a photographer. Where did you come from and where have you been?
Born in San Antonio, Texas on a horse farm.
An agent in Dallas tells me to sell everything and I move there.
In Dallas, I am discovered by a scout for City Models from Paris..
Within a month I have a one way ticket and I move to Paris.
I live in Paris, Spain, Italy, Germany, England, Portugal, Austria,
India. Travel to Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Sicily, Holland, etc. etc.
Move to New York. Become a photographer while still modeling.
A friend gives me a Polaroid camera and I start shooting my friends.
A tattoo family hires me to shoot them at a Tattoo Convention in Amsterdam. One of the images ends up in an upper east side gallery.
Arts Unlimited Postcard company buys images.
I begin shooting nudes for group shows, benefits, art books, etc.etc.
My modeling agent asks me to start shooting their models.
I live in Barcelona, London, San Francisco, Miami, NYC.
Move to Los Angeles to shoot color and celebrity portraits..
Move back to New York to begin various portrait assignments for magazines.
Begin shooting nudes again. Series on shadows & identity.
Official photographer for trip to Morocco in May for:
ISMS Charity – A Medical team treating impoverished children for free. Leica Camera is loaning the equipment for the trip.
The next year we go to Ghana and the following year to Bolivia.
2. Who have you worked for?
As a model: Revlon, Loreal, Clairol, Yoplait, Avon, Swiss Army, Target, Henkel Cosmetics, Eddie Bauer. I am represented by Click Models.
Directors I have worked with: Tom Kalin, Jake Scott, Sam Raimi, Bruce Weber.
Favorite job: Bruce Weber -Ralph Lauren "American Living" Campaign. (TV & Print).
Photographer (portraits) for: French Vogue, Vanity Fair, W Magazine, VMan, Harpers Bazaar, GQ Japan, Surface, Vogue Japan, Paper Magazine, Instyle, Zink.
Nude exhibitions: various group shows from Minnesota, Kentucky, Texas, California, NYC, etc.
Nude postcards: Art Unlimited in Amsterdam.
"The Pinch, Force-Fed, Tail-End, James Twice, Bubblicious"
Advertising: Chadwick Bell (designer), Save The Children
Favorite client: French Vogue
3. What is the concept behind your high art shadow project?
I enjoy shooting all subjects but my love is shooting nudes. They are usually photographed in my living room. These collaborative and creative sessions come together with a variety of subjects, which vary from friends to strangers which come to me by word of mouth.
For a few hours, each subject slowly drops his or her inhibitions. The duality between subject and shadow has been the most interesting. It is at this point that they become different, sometimes telling of the subject and what lies within.
4. Who has influenced you?
Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Lee Miller, Sally Mann, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, etc. etc…
I am inspired by all artistic individualists with powerful views…
5. Do males and females have a different perspective when its comes to shooting photographs? How does this relate to your work?
I think the male perspective is to see, while the women’s perspective is to feel.
As a photographer I am much more interested in the portrait of a person or the study of the body, than the gender or clothes that the person is wearing.
6. Ten things you love the most: photography, freedom, light, nature, friends, animals, travel, cameras, books, yoga.
7. Favorite Cameras: Pentax 6×7, Poloroid 195, Nikon FM2, Yashica T4, Lomo Super-Sampler, Sony T7, Leica M8.
Photos courtesy of Gigi Stoll for use in the Fashion Spot only. They are not to be reposted anywhere else, per Ms. Stoll’s request.
Gigi Stoll’s website is at www.gigistoll.com.