When Carine Roitfeld left the helm at Vogue Paris, she was left with the predicament of being unable to collaborate with any Condé Nast affiliates, which meant that talents like Mario Testino, Craig McDean, and Patrick Demarchelier — to name a few — were ruled off a long list of longtime photographer friends. But as everyone knows, the words "Carine" and "predicament" are like oil and water, they simply do not mix. So tenacious Carine went out and did what she does best: search for new talent and make dreams come true. Her chosen one was none other than fellow Virgoan photographer Sebastian Faena, a rather seductive Argentinean, with a propensity for hiding behind his dark tresses and showing just a little more skin that is considered “politically correct” in his shoots. Reminiscent qualities of a certain someone, non?
Monsieur Faena hails from Buenos Aires and was already making a living as a photographer at the tender age of sixteen, but went on to study literature and music at Columbia University in New York. After two years at Columbia, Faena left to write and direct the film La Mujer Rota (The Broken Woman), which was eventually produced by Mario Testino himself. The film was claimed to be “a lush, visual masterpiece that harkens back to the golden days of Argentinian filmmaking.” With glimmering reviews as such, Mr. Faena could have continued on with filmmaking, but decided instead to return to his photography roots by premiering in the most prestigious V Magazine, thus establishing his name in the list of legendary fashion photographers. One need only look at the editorials he captured to realize that his remarkable talent is completely deserving of recognition.
In a V Magazine behind-the-scenes shoot with the immensely talented and theatrical Lady Gaga, Sebastian Faena describes his photographing philosophy by sharing, “In the end, when I take pictures, I’d rather create something myself with the person who’s in front of me, than taking a picture of what already exists — I’d rather transform these people into something they’re not.” I don’t think he meant “transform these people into something they’re not” by taking away their personality or in the literal sense, but as in a different character just for the sake of transporting them from reality to fantasy, and that’s the whole objective of a photo shoot.
Carine was already cronies with Sebastian Faena from their work together with V Magazine, but the friendship truly blossomed when she asked him to shoot for her first CR Fashion Book issue, “Obsession.” And obsession it became. Roitfeld and Faena continue to make the magic happen with their unapologetic images. You may remember “The Animal Nursery” in Harper's Bazaar which featured Kate Upton holding some ferocious animals, or the precious “Carine’s Sweet 16,” an homage to Carine’s young modeling days. These works mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and if you got chosen to be Carine Roitfeld’s main photographer, you know you’ve got it made.
Sebastian Faena and Carine Roitfeld photos courtesy of instagram.com/sebastian_faena and models.com