Myla Dalbesio

14th September 2015 | Alice Taylor

‘Myla Dalbesio on how to photograph real women’ featured in Dazed digital:

American artist and photographer Myla Dalbesio is mainly known as a model, or, more precisely, the girl from the 2014 Calvin Klein campaign who sparked the debate on whether a woman of a UK size 12 should be considered a plus sized model. Her courage to start a conversation and to take pride in who she is brought her well-deserved recognition from all over the world. But, more importantly, there is more to Dalbesio’s input in the contemporary visual manifestation of feminism than just her looks. She’s been exploring femininity, sexuality, American mysticism and high school aesthetics through performance art, collage, writing and photography for over four years. Her recent photographic project “Some Girls” is an answer to the two dimensional standards of the fashion and beauty industry, an enchanting example of female gaze and a love note to all the real girls out there.

“What I am aiming to show is something very real,” explains Dalbesio. “It’s a snapshot of current femininity, of beauty that other women can connect with, that has no artifice or pretension. It’s a portrait of a new generation of feminists!” We asked Dalbesio to take us on a tour of her creative universe and share the secrets of how to shoot real girls.


“I had a couple girlfriends (also models) who had been asking me for a long time to shoot together. Once we finally made it happen, I realised how much I loved the experience. Going to a friend’s apartment, having a cup of coffee and catching up, creating something together. I wanted to do it again, so I started shooting more friends, and the project began to evolve and take shape.”


“Most of the girls are friends, someone I know and love, who inspire and understand me, although some of the girls are (or were, I should say) strangers, girl crushes I found on Instagram or knew of from the downtown NY scene. I like that I can use this project as a path to meet and interact with more interesting women. It’s really important to me that the girls I work with are multi-dimensional. I need to be able to talk to them while we shoot, I want to be able to connect with them on a personal level. That kind of connection plays a big role in how the photos turn out. If we aren’t vibing it will show in the photos. When I’m casting I look for confident girls that have something going on, something to say.”


“I try to never pressure anyone into doing something they are not comfortable with, I always ask permission, and if anyone shows slight hesitation I let it go and move onto a different shot. Because I shoot on film and the girls can’t see what it looks like until later, sometimes I’ll take a quick picture on my iPhone to show them what it looks like. If they don’t like it, I don’t shoot it. I also try to be very vocal about what I like about them, what I think looks beautiful. I have an advantage with that though, because I am a woman. Sometimes those kinds of compliments can come off in a different way when they are coming from a man.”

To see the full article hop over to Dazed.

Growing Pains

26th August 2015 | Alice Taylor

An interesting essay taken from the April 2013 issue of Dazed, as part of the Last Shot archive series:

Israeli-born, NYC-based artist Rona Yefman loves to flirt with the line between reality and fantasy. In the mid-90s her youngest brother Gil became her muse as she embarked on an intimate documentation of his unique adolescence, during a period of struggle and recovery for both of them. Isolating themselves from the conflict zone in which they were raised, the siblings created a private dream-world, fuelled by dress-up and psychological games. As they rejected societal and familial norms, their lives became a real-life version of Jean Cocteau’s infamous tale of sibling love and poison, Les Enfants Terribles. Yefman’s project spans 14 years, and includes an intimate look at Gil’s sexual transformation into life as a female, and his eventual re-transformation back to life as a biological male. A chronological photobook of the images, Let it Bleed, published by Little Big Man soon.

“This picture was taken around 2001 in our garden, while our parents were on vacation. As far as I remember, out of boredom we spontaneously took our clothes off and took naked photos under the grapefruit tree – a favourite spot. The  picture was taken with a cable release – it’s hiding under my feet! 

The project, “Gil and I”, is largely about relationships, inventing oneself in the world, and not accepting reality that you don’t feel you fit in. It’s about the connection and the difficulty of growing up. There’s a lot of confusion when you’re young because you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing or how it will turn out. But I’ve learned from Gil that no matter what you can still dance and play and  be together. We created a fantasy world that actually became the reality of our existence. The camera is really a good tool for learning self awareness, and through taking pictures we were discovering ourselves, creating characters, and telling a story. It was about creating a tension between the image and the viewer. For as much as this project is a personal representation of our lives, it’s also about the viewer’s mind and imagination.

The first images were shot in a tent made of bedsheets, where Gil and I spent much of our time. It was like a womb, the start of our journey. Some of the project was shot when during a time when it was not safe to do what Gil was doing – to live as a woman in public – especially in Israel. But our parents just accepted the way she was and supported her.

I’ve never been sure what it means to be a female – I’ve always resisted the traditional gender roles and aesthetic – so I related to Gil and supported her to fulfill her fantasy. But the transformation process doesn’t happen in one day; you have to live through it. The way Gil put it during an interview that we did then was: , “…It’s a bit like breaking apart everything you’ve been raised on, and everything you’ve understood, to really achieve a state of basic chaos, of not knowing anything, even who you are”…

After a while, Gil decided to make the journey back to living life as a male. Ultimately he told me that the prison of the female body is no different than the prison of the male body. 

As a protagonist Gil is a natural. I feel immense appreciation for his braveness, the greatness of his talent and inspiration, his generous collaboration and his endless support. Thanks to our close relationship and continuing dialogue all those years, we managed to do this work. Today, through his life and work as an artist, Gil continues to search for ways to live life outside of this prison.”

Via: Dazed

Tales of Beauty

6th July 2015 | Alice Taylor

‘Tales of Beauty’ by Marco Guerra and Yasmina Alaoui addresses questions surrounding beauty. The duo, who has been collaborating together for the past few years, combined their experience in fashion photography and contemporary art, and tried to answer these questions through the bodies of four curvy women.

The sculptural forms and soft lighting create abstract shapes that are reminiscent of modernist nudes.

Via: Art Sheep


Reality Project

26th June 2015 | Alice Taylor

Some beautiful photographs from the Reality Project, a project by Alma Photos who promote natural, real life beauty and celebrate the variety of the human form.

Here are some self-portraits taken in a photo booth at Fotografia Europea, Reggio Emilia, 2014.

See the full selection here.

Via: Reality Project

Quite Lovely

5th May 2015 | Alice Taylor

Self-portrait photography by Jen Davis in Quite Lovely, the second issue of the The Quite Delightful Project’s luxury erotic magazine.

To see the full essay, pre-order a copy of the magazine; which, along with its accompanying publications, you can enjoy a pre-publication discount if you order online (which you can do here).