with Stephanie Badini, renowned photographer and instructor at the International Center of Photography
© Martha Thornloe
Tell us a little bit about what you do
I photograph special events, celebrities, and people at their very best and ready to celebrate at parties, on the red carpet and at society galas. I love being part of these amazing moments and working with a wide range of clients from the art, fashion, and business worlds, as well as cultural and academic institutions like the Whitney Museum, Christie’s, Cartier, the UN, the NAACP/LDF, and Harvard.
Name three things you can’t live without
First my mother, who is a fantastic friend and confidant and of course my friends, meditation and my hip hop class.
What is your most memorable event?
It is hard to pick just one, photographing the Alexander Wang fashion show during Fashion Week was fantastic. At the shows all of the photographers are at the end of the runway in the photographers ‘pit’ as it is known in the business. It’s aptly-named because you are standing elbow to elbow with the other photographers all vying for great shots. There is a hierarchy to the whole arrangement and a particular technical knowledge required. When the music comes on and the models, who are perfectly made up in gorgeous clothes, walk the runway it is truly thrilling.
Who or what inspires you?
I have been obsessed with photography since my days in the darkroom and I am a very visual person, I tend to ‘think in pictures’. I am always looking at photographs in magazines, on line, and in galleries and museums. As far as photographers go I especially love Irving Penn and Lillian Bassman. Living in Manhattan is both crazy and magical. If I just walk out of my front door in Soho I am surrounded by so many people, so much energy and so much that is inspiring.
Summarize your job in 6 words
People, pictures, parties – capturing beautiful moments.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to go into your line of work?
Photograph all the time. Try to apprentice yourself with an established photographer as I did and you will learn a lot. It is important to have a good technical grounding and also to have a burning passion to make photographs. As with all art forms you have to be a little obsessed with it in order to have the tenacity and perseverance to constantly find a way to make it work for you. I think that when you do what you love it propels you; it is really not like working, all of your energy comes from a very deep place.
All photos apart from headshot, © Stephanie Badini