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16-08-2012
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25-08-2012
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Mirte Maas - RMK Fall 2012
Ph: Michael Thompson
Stylist: Paul Cavaco
Makeup: Rumiko Hirose
Hair: Didier Malige



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14-09-2012
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W October 2012
A Modest Proposal
Photographer:
Michael Thompson
Stylist: Edward Enninful
Models: Marie Piovesan, Meghan Collison, Katryn Kruger, Kinga Rajzak, Ollie Edwards, Sean O’Pry, Lenz von Johnston & Cordula Reyer
Make-Up: Dick Page
Hair: Jimmy Paul


Wmagazine.com

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16-09-2012
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Michael Thompson I bow down to thee.

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13-10-2012
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W November 2012
Model Mania
Photographer:
Michael Thompson
Stylist: Edward Enninful
Models: Kati Nescher, Aymeline Valade, Anja Rubik, Saskia de Brauw, Candice Swanepoel, Caroline Trentini, Fei Fei Sun, Liu Wen, Jourdan Dunn, Sigird Agren, Karmen Pedaru, Karen Elson, Karlie Kloss, Daria Strokous, Iselin Steiro, Natasha Poly, Lindsey Wison, Daphne Groeneveld, Candice Huffine, Isabeli Fontana, Jamie Bochert, Meghan Collison & Joan Smalls
Make-Up: Aaron de Mey
Hair: Serge Normant



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13-10-2012
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14-02-2013
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W March 2013
Clean Living

Photographer: Michael Thompson
Models: Maria Bradley, Marte Mei Van Haaster, Kremi Otashliyska & Ondria Hardin
Stylist: Marie Amélie Sauvé
Hair: Jimmy Paul
Make-Up: Dick Page
Nails: Sheril Bailey


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26-03-2013
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Quote:
A Pro Photographer On Shooting Actors vs. Models
by James Lim



It’s been three decades since photographer Michael Thompson shot his first spread for W magazine, yet his talent still lies in his ability to adapt his distinct sensibility to each new portfolio. “I think it’s death when people know what you’re going to do next,” he told the Cut. “It’s always good, as an artist, to second-guess or do something a little different [than what] you’ve done before.” And it’s this dexterity that keeps his images of various subjects like Beyoncé, Jennifer Aniston, and Christy Turlington — one of his favorites — all unified under his simple but graphic cinematic style.

We recently spoke with Thompson, who’s now based in Oregon, about celebrating 30 years of shooting for W, why Turlington may be the best (and nicest) supermodel of them all, and his development from Irving Penn’s assistant to striking out on his own. Also, in the slideshow ahead, we had Thompson curate fourteen of his favorite works, culled from W’s archive, and had him recall one grand old time with Kate Moss in the Moulin Rouge.



What do you remember about your first shoot for W?

Back in 1993, I remember doing a beauty assignment for W with makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin. At the time, when he was alive, he was the premier makeup artist. We did a black-and-white beauty story about different types of makeup. The magazine was so new and it was a wonderful time because they didn’t really have a [visual] stamp yet. Whenever you [have this situation], it’s kind of a free-for-all. It’s a nice time to be at a magazine’s beginning because it’s trying to find its place, which means you get full liberty.
It seems W has always been more of an image-based magazine, if you will, as opposed to other publications where the focus is on the actual fashion credits.
It started with Dennis Friedman, who is an integral part of W. It’s one magazine that everything revolves around photography. I’ve always said that W is the definition of what editorial is all about. Usually, you get to do that in a smaller magazine where there are no budgets. W magazine has always been a big magazine but with a small magazine attitude and philosophy.

And you’ve worked with the magazines for three decades. How are you able to continuously challenge yourself with each new shoot?

It comes from a tight relationship with the editor. All the images kind of come off of what the current fashion is, and then it’s pretty much whatever you want to do. It can be [inspired] from music or Man Ray, or something not even from any inspiration and it basically came right off the fashion.

How do you feel you have grown as a photographer?

In the beginning, like all photographers, you don’t just want to do the right thing. I tend to overthink things a little bit. And now, I come into it more in the sense that things free-flow a little bit. When you have something in your mind that you don’t want to stray away from, you kind of miss out on all the things that happen spontaneously. Over the years, I found myself just accepting inspirations, even from my editor to anyone on the set, and then putting my own words to it, and it becomes a kind of collaborative effort. For me, you can end the day with, “I didn’t think it was going to go there, but it did.”

So, you started out as being more cerebral, but later became more into shooting loosely and “in the moment”?

Yeah, it’s funny because I am a person who loves to plan. I’m constantly balancing between overplanning and being loose and easy. I feel when I find that balance between the two, it’s great. If you’re too loosey-goosey, you never really get to the end of what you’re trying to accomplish. You have to have some kind of order. For me, when you’re at the point where it could be a complete disaster, meaning you’re taking a chance, is where I’d like to be, because it makes it exciting.

When you find that balance, that’s when, people say, the magic happens.

I think that’s with everything in life. When you find a balance, that’s kind of the goal.

Sure enough. What are some differences you experience when you’re shooting a multi-page story of models versus capturing a celebrity portfolio?

Sometimes when you’re working with an actor or actress, for the most part, it’s really more of a technical thing, but you don’t really have much time with the particular person. You never have two days with an actor or actress, so you’re basically working in a one-day time slot. Whereas on a fashion shoot, you have at least two days, if not more. That’s one big scenario. Another thing, with actors or actresses, I would say 99 percent of the time a publicist is on set. They may or may not want to give their two cents. [Laughs.] So you’re dealing more with that kind of communication. Other than that, I treat them both the same. A lot of the times, I’ll have the actor take on a role, just like I would a fashion model. In that way, it’s very similar.

You’re now living in Oregon. Do you miss New York yet?

At the end of the day, you’ve got to go home and be with yourself. There’s a lot of great people in the fashion world, [but] there’s a lot of people caught up in the fashion world, too. I kind of stay away from that and I think it helps, like, I’m not a “fashion-y” person. I kind of have to go away from it and come back. It helps me look at it with fresh eyes, instead of being totally engulfed in fashion 24/7. I think you really need to be able to step away from fashion, and have that balance, so that you can come back and enjoy it.
nymag.com via f***yeahmichaelthompson.tumblr.com

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26-03-2013
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Quote:
Michael discusses some of his favourite works, curated from W Magazine

Part 1

I, Claudia, June 1998



“Claudia [Schiffer] is known as a ‘Va-Va-Voom’ kind of model and here we sort of broke her down. I think it’s death when people know what you’re going to do next. It’s always good, as an artist, to second-guess or do something a little different you haven’t done before. These images were based off of Man Ray.”

Grand Illusions, September 2000



“It’s always a little harder [shooting multiple subjects] because what looks natural? So you have to set the stage a little bit. Usually, I set my frame in the situation of what’s the best angle and then compose people within that. [I used a] 16mm lens because the place was so tiny. This whole story took place in Paris, where we went all over town. I got to see places you don’t really get access to, like the Pompidou Centre and the Notre Dame belltower. This one in particular is in the Moulin Rouge. Kate [Moss]’s looking in the mirror in the dressing room with actual Moulin Rouge dancers in the background getting ready.”

Making a Splash, January 2001



“Hannelore [Knut]’s one of my favorite models. She’s not a ‘fashion-y’ person; I can say, ‘Go lay in the water.’ It was one of those moments that wasn’t planned or anything, I just liked the way it looked surreal, angelic, and it kind of looks like she’s dead.”

Fashion Crusade, July 2001



“[The shoot] was a little more pushed, in terms of the makeup and hair, almost like barbarians, in the sense of these coats and swords [that were used for the images]. The prop stylist, who I still work with today, Tom Bell, just brought in these amazing bones, swords, and composed something that was symmetrical. With this particular story, it was fun to play with the gel lights and colors. When you’re mixing light sources like that, all of a sudden things that you can’t plan for happen and it went well with the whole story. You were basically painting with light.”

Black Widow, September 2002



“[Jessica Miller] embodies this slightly crazy heiress and maybe she’s supposed to be doing certain things when you’re getting money, but she’s not. She’s putting on her mother’s old clothes and playing dress-up. It was like this eclectic, beautiful yet weird image. That’s what kind of great about fashion; you don’t need a rhyme or reason.You can create a mood or it’s all about, ‘You’re not supposed to do that there, so let’s do it!’”

Mod Times, January 2003




“What’s great about working with actors [is that] once you give them that role, they can step into it. Obviously, [this was] inspired by the sixties, but also by Selma [Blair], as a person. The makeup artist was Dick Page and we basically felt she had this Twiggy-ish look, so we went to town on the makeup and hair. In this particular case, there’s actually no fashion in this image and rarely do you see an image like that [used as a fashion magazine cover] .”

Snap, Crackle & Pop, June 2003



“We were in a fantastic mansion in the Upper East Side where a friend of Dennis Friedman collected a lot of the famous images of the Pop Art days. Every room was like a set designer went in and designed it. You were transported to those days [of Pop Art] — the wild white angles, the crazy poses of the models, the very two-dimensional flat imagery of the day. This was shot using a wide-angle lens. There’s a couple of images [from this spread] where I took a magic marker and colored it; put red slashes on [the model’s] mouths, kind of outline things. It was like, ‘Just give me a stack of felt markers and just let me go to it.’”
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26-03-2013
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Quote:
Michael discusses some of his favourite works, curated from W Magazine
Part 2

Dance Fever, February 2004



“That sweat was not put on there, that sweat is being created. It’s like sports photography where I’m just there recording, letting them go through their movements. And the whole trick with this is not setting up the image, [but] creating a space and allowing them to move within that space. At the beginning, it runs slow, but you just do it and move, move, move to the point where I’m shouting out directions with the choreographer. Somebody like Erin Wasson; there’s always a catalyst [on set] for everyone else and she’s one of them. Erin doesn’t hold back at all when she’s modeling. Let’s just say the other people weren’t into it, so [when] you see her, kicking it out, and you’re going, ‘I gotta keep up with that!’”

La Plage, March 2006



“This kind of Katherine Hepburn, strong woman [was the inspiration], but with a modern twist. I don’t think Katherine would be doing this particular image. This strong woman, you don’t really know who she is, but she’s ballsy enough to take her shirt off on the boat. Obviously, Daria [Werbowy] was amazing. You know when you photograph a face like that, you’re done.”

Czech Mate, October 2006



“This started out with me saying, ‘I always wanted to go to the Czech Republic,’ and then everything revolved around that. With Karl Templer, who’s an amazing stylist, we created this art student scenario. I tried to use a lot of the natural beautiful light that came in through the windows. I don’t think I did any flash. And with all those models [featured in this spread], they don’t look like your traditional Christie Brinkley models; [they are] very, very oddly beautiful people.”

Ile de la Mode, March 2007



“Gisele [Bundchen] was right next to us shooting [in St. Barts] for, I think, Victoria’s Secret. We were laughing because we were shooting this strange woman on the beach walking with bright red lips and then you have Gisele in a bikini throwing her hair back. It was funny because you look at Gisele and that’s what people think is beach photography, but we were shooting this person fully dressed, not in this particular shot, with a trench coat, hat, and sunglasses walking down the beach.”

Champion, August 2008



“I knew [Christy Turlington] when I was an assistant with Irving Penn. Thirty years ago, she was probably 18 years old, [Penn and I] went to Paris for the couture collections for U.S. Vogue. Christy, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, all the supermodels were there and she was the sweetest person to everyone, including me. She has that timeless face, where it’s this kind of exotic blend of features; like you don’t know what country she’s from. She also understands photography because she’s been doing this since she was 14 years old. It was shot in a studio, but the light I used was sunlight.”

A Modest Proposal, October 2012



“It’s obviously based off of August Sander’s work. A lot of his images were taken [using] a large format camera photographing in [a] traditional portraiture style in a rural setting. I’ve always loved his work, but now, the clothing here has lent itself perfectly to this kind of imagery. We went out to an old farm in southern Washington, and just set up camp there. Of course, model selection was key; with strangely beautiful, like you don’t know if they’re part of a religious group.”

Model Mania, November 2012



“This was the first time I worked with Karlie [Kloss]. She just has this great personality and here she looks like a twenties flapper. When a girl goes into hair and makeup, I’m photographing somebody else. I like to shoot [these groups of young models] fast because they find [their zone] and they give their energy in this little window of time, say, ten minutes to, at maximum, 30 minutes. They know they have one image to do and they’re going to give everything they have into that image. And as we’re doing the images, it’s going up on the wall, so there’s almost sort of fun competition about, ‘Ooh, so-and-so did that?!’”

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nymag.com (including images) via f***yeahmichaelthompson.tumblr.com

You can find higher quality versions of the above images if you go to The Cut .

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16-05-2013
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W June/July 2013



The Prime of Miss Emma Watson
Photographer:
Michael Thompson
Stylist: Edward Enninful
Make-Up: Dick Page
Hair: Orlando Pita


wmagazine.com

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20-05-2013
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US Vogue July 1996
The Light Brigade
Models: Georgina Grenville; Kristina Krause; Amy Wesson; Shirley Mallmann; Kristy Hume; Unknowns.
Ph: Steven Meisel
Fashion Editor: Grace Coddington
Hair: Garren
Makeup: Laura Mercier



Picture of Kristy - Ph: Michael Thompson; Editor: Anne Christensen; Hair: Serge Normant; Makeup: James Kaliardos
Scans by kelles

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15-07-2013
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Vogue Australia October 1994
The Suit Takes a Dressing Down
Model: Meghan Douglas
Ph: Michael Thompson
Stylist: Patti Wilson
Hair: Pascal Dangin
Makeup: Christy Coleman


Scans by kelles

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22-07-2013
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W July 2004
'Wanderlust'

Photographed by: Michael Thompson
Styled by: Karl Templer
Hair: Samantha Hillerby
Make Up: Diane Kendal
Model: Julia Stegner





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Last edited by Fiercification; 22-07-2013 at 08:08 AM.
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22-07-2013
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W July 2004
'The Showgirl'

Photographed by: Michael Thompson
Styled by: Alex White
Hair: Serge Normant
Make Up: Dick Page
Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones




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