Natalia Vodianova was cast in a few shoots for the May issue of Vogue China as the feature model. She is one of my favorite models so I was really excited to see her in a double feature. I always find a youthful quality to her shoots in her innocent beauty and it is interesting that she still has that at 28. I find her very natural in her poses, her face, her body, and in the way she engages with the camera and that is one of the things I always try to look for when I shoot, or at least make appear as natural as I can. Her eyes are so engaging and that intense connection is one of things that make her so captivating. I feel as if the photographer wouldn't really have to work with her to get a picture, rather he is capturing and preserving a moment that she is already in.
I was a little surprised to see how similar the two shoots were. I think I would have loved them both equally if I had seen them published in separate publications, but because they are so similar and published right next to each other, I found myself comparing. The second shoot by Paolo Roversi won for me in terms of aesthetic. I thought the color tints in the first shoot were distracting, but maybe it was only because I was comparing it to a "cleaner" shoot where my view of Natalia was unobstructed. The light color tints don't bother me but the dark green and magenta colors in two of the shots seemed unnecessary. The lighting in each of the shoots is absolutely gorgeous, especially in the second one because it is apparent (without any tinting). I guess I just didn't see enough of a difference, stylistically and conceptually to have two separate shoots. They could have easily been combined into a large spread easily enough or changed one enough in terms of styling, backgrounds, tone, or poses to constitute two separate ideas. That isn't to say that there isn't a difference between the two shoots, because there definitely is, but I just didn't think it was dramatic enough to bring in two different photographers and call them different shoots.
Natalia Vodianova by Peter Lindbergh in Dancer in the Dream - Vogue China - May 2010
Natalia Vodianova by Paolo Roversi in The Seated Beauty - Vogue China - May 2010
Picture credits from fashion gone rouge