David LaChapelle teaches Glamour Photography via Xpert

Learn FromDavid LaChapelle

About David LaChapelle

David LaChapelle an American commercial photographer, fine-art photographer, music video director, and film director; best known for his photography, which often references art history and sometimes conveys social messages.

Connect with David LaChapelle's life

  • Your books, Lost + Found and Good News, bring together more than three decades of work. How do you see your own evolution over this period of time?
  • Images are often held responsible for generating desire, though. How do you find the right balance as an artist to not feed into the consumerism machine?
  • Your work in general, and Good News in particular, has a lot of religious iconography. Do you see it as religious work?
  • With the decadence of Lost + Found and the divinity of Good News, the outcome feels like an optimistic apocalypse. Do you think we can pull ourselves out of the dark times? Is there good news?
  • Where are you on your path now?
  • You’ve said before in interviews that you want to reclaim the body from pornography, and reclaim Jesus from the fundamentalists. Can you tell us more about that? Are these active goals?
  • I read that you just like to make the weird things in your head. What weird things are in your head now?
  • Your work is full of portraits of incredibly talented people, like your ongoing collaboration with Sergei Polunin, the ballet dancer. Where do you think is the sweet spot for collaboration versus creative control?
  • Interview Magazine seems to be a breakthrough moment for you, can you tell us a bit about what that was like?
  • Did that neighborhood and those artists have an influence on you?
  • Your work’s known to be very political, did that come naturally for you considering some of your own personal experiences and confrontations about sexuality?
  • Unlike a lot of photographers who stick to their niche, why is it that you’ve jumped around quite a bit between art, editorial and commercial?
  • Your work for Diesel has been pretty groundbreaking, especially your photo of the two sailors kissing in 1995. What was it like shooting one of the most controversial ads at the time?
  • Why did you get into commercial work anyway? Was that the plan, or was it something to help support your personal work?
  • How are your commercial work and personal work different?
  • What’s your approach to personal work?
  • What do you want people to take away from your references to Renaissance art?
  • How do you feel about the way mobile phones have affected photography?
  • How do you feel about the direction of fashion photography now?
  • Do you find Instagram productive for photographers?
  • You’re not on social media, why is that?
  • As a creative, everyone deals with a slump once in a while, even doubt. How do you combat those times and find inspiration again?
  • Any advice for aspiring fashion photographers?
  • What is your work about?
  • Any reason why you stay in Hawaii most of the time?
  • What do you do in Hawaii?
  • What are you fighting for?
  • What is your work today?
  • With the fashion pictures that you shot, did you really change something?
  • Basquiat and Warhol were your friends. Were they like you?
  • Were Basquiat and Warhol in the stockbroker art system?
  • Have you showed your dark side in your art, in your pictures?
  • When you are in the islands of Hawaii do you have a lot of time to think?
  • Are you against the Industrial Revolution?
  • Have you left the world of fashion?
  • Is fashion art or not?
  • Who are the artists that you admire in the world of fashion?
  • Who are the artists you value today? Do you think that there are still some good artists?
  • Do you consider portraits important in your work?
  • In your personal memory, who did you really love photographing?
  • Do you think you invented Lady Gaga?
  • What about making movies? Would you like to make one?
  • You are not an artist who is against others?
  • According to you, has the world changed or not?
  • What do you think of the world of Kiefer for instance?
  • What are you planning on doing next?
  • Do you still believe that the camera is the most powerful weapon on the planet? And a tool that can help to save our planet?
  • What is the best moment of the day?
  • What books do you have on your bedside table?
  • Do you read fashion and design magazines?
  • Do you notice how women are dressing? Do you have any preferences?
  • What kind of clothes do you avoid wearing?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Where do you work on your photographic projects?
  • Who would you like to photograph?
  • What did you want to be when you were a child?
  • Do you discuss or exchange ideas with your colleagues?
  • Describe your style, like a good friend of yours would describe it.
  • You’re often called a new surrealist. Do you think this suits you or are you one?
  • Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction?
  • What about architects and designers, any favourite?
  • What are you afraid of regarding the future ?
  • What kind of music do you listen to at the moment?
  • Please tell us more about photography and digital technology.
  • This new shoot fills our minds with visions of glorious, fanciful possibilities in the world. Also, it appears to suggest that every sip of Lavazza coffee can fuel wondrous dreams of fantastic fairylands. Was this your intention, in a nutshell?
  • The production here is so epic, it’s almost like a cinematic opera. Tell us about your first thoughts about how you approached the project. What was your initial vision, and were you able to match it in the end?
  • Was it a natural choice to set the shoot in Hawaii? How much of a home has Hawaii become for you?
  • How crucial is the aspect of natural light for your shoots? How important was it for you to shoot in broad daylight, with rays of light streaming through, or at sundown, or in the first light of daybreak?
  • Tell us more about the breathtaking scenery, the forests and greenery, and the spectacular coastlines that fill up these visuals.
  • There's almost a moment of suspended animation with each character, in each picture. Did you, by any chance, have instances from theatre and classical literature at the back of your mind, when you conceived some of these shots?
  • The visual language here is so powerful, it’s overpowering — it’s almost impossible to describe the depth, the colour and intensity in each picture, in a way that would seem satisfactory. What words would you use to describe your own visual language?

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