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.