La Femme Boudoir Photography

Ode to an Idol: Patrick Demarchelier

June 1, 2017

​(Typical Workday)

My mind: Oh man I have so much work to do today.

​Husband: Can you do _______ today? 

Me: Babe, sorry. I'm a little busy, but I'll get to it later this week.

Photog Friend: Yooo want to grab lunch? 

Me: Ahhh I have to finish something up. Next week?

Stomach: I'm hungry.

Me: After this album design. [.... Googles something work related and Patrick Demarchelier pops up in saved searches. Spends next 3 hours watching Behind the Scenes portrait sessions and fashion shoots ​.... ]


We all have those things that, no matter how "busy" you might be, can always distract us. Luckily in my case, this distraction is quite the productive one. Ever since Pinterest was created and allowed me to hoard photographs of all kinds into collections (boards), I've come to recognize quite a few photographers whose work I love and can now recognize simply by style and lighting. No watermark needed. These collections of art I've curated have provided me an immense amount of inspiration throughout the years, and although Pinterest is one of those super distractions that can keep me from designing albums and working on my website, at least I can say that pinning has historically me to photograph more creatively.  

I can also credit my discovery of Patrick Demarchelier to Pinterest, for which I'll be forever grateful. Some creatives idolize Anne Geddes, some Degas, and some David Bowe. I idolize Demarchelier, a French Portrait and Fashion photographer born in 1943 Paris. His father bought him his first film camera at the age of 17, and not too long after he was following his future wife to New York where he began his successful career as a Photographer. He started off photographing for an agency that trained aspiring models, and he was soon sought after by huge brands like Chanel, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Revlon, and L'Oreal Paris. He has since been a celebrated photographer for huge publications including Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar just to name a few. At the ripe age of 73, Demarchelier has photographed and helped to make famous the most beautiful models and celebrities we've come to know. 

Patrick Demarchelier the Great

​Interviews with famous models such as Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Stephanie Seymour deem Patrick Demarchelier as a star photographer, one of the best in the world. Naomi says of Demarchelier, "He's one of the best because his personality, he doesn't pressure the model, he's very sensitive toward you… he's a very calm person, I think that helps to create a great atmosphere for everybody, and it makes everything work for everyone. He doesn't abuse his power, he's very great with it which is the nice thing about such a big photographer; that he's such a nice man." He gave Naomi her first 5 (and most) Vogue covers. Stephanie says of Patrick, "He's one of the best photographers in the world. He has a great personality, he's easy to work with, he makes you feel very comfortable. He's fun, he's fast, he's easy, he's talented, he makes you look good."  Crawford says, "Patrick doesn't have a big ego, so he doesn't feel like he needs to put a stamp on every one of his photographs." Crawford started working with Patrick when she was 18 years old.

When I first learned that many of my favorite images were created by Demarchelier, I fell in love with him for his talent and his eye for bringing beauty to the surface. Now, after listening to interviews and watching so many of his shoots behind the scenes, my respect for him has grown and become so much more validated. Yes, any talented photographer can get great images, but not all of them are good natured human beings who take the time to relate to their subjects. Demarchelier treats them as beautiful, confident colleagues.  He has has become close friends with so many of the models he's worked with, and together they create some incredible pieces of art. These photographs are so much more beautiful to me knowing there is mutual adoration and respect behind them.

Working with fellow women has always been my favorite avenue of photography. I think that's because through shooting a woman's portrait, it becomes apparent how multifaceted the feminine spirit can be and that spirit inspires me personally on so many different levels. In using my camera and conversation to lift up the woman I'm photographing, I'm also lifting up women all over the world as well as myself. When you watch him work, it's easy to see that working with women also holds a special place in the heart of Demarchelier.

Demarchelier's work will forever epitomize the driving force behind my love for photography, and that is Authenticity. 

Visit his website here to see more of his amazing work:

​The following are some of my other favorite photographs taken by Patrick Demarchelier. Enjoy! 

*Warning: Some nudity in the photos that follow. ​ Patrick Demarchelier

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