5 Of Our Favorite Model Photographers

Being a model comes with a slew of hardships, but it can be one grand opportunity to travel the world, interact with the globe's movers and shakers, and witness beauty in quantities and extremes we plebeians could never even imagine. So it shouldn't be surprising that those who are blessed with looking great in front of a camera also know how to work it behind one as well. For these models with these rare opportunities, photography is their passion, and we had the pleasure of picking their brains about their inspirations, their weapons of choice, and how modeling has influenced their art. Read on, because their responses are provocative, engaging, and anything but bland. 
Advertisement
Gigi Stoll
model-photographer-gigi-stoll-portraitModel turned professional photographer Gigi Stoll grew up on a horse farm in San Antonio, TX. Once scouted, her agency City Models sent her a one-way ticket to Paris, where she instantly garnered success, shooting campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Revlon, and Avon. What started as snapping Polaroids of friends quickly evolved into a second career, taking her to the far reaches of the world such as Morocco and Peru to shoot medical missions.
How did you get started with photography?
"An old friend gave me a Polaroid camera. I started shooting my model friends and taking portraits during my travels as a model. I went to a Tattoo Convention in Amsterdam to document a family of artists,The Leus, and then I returned to NYC, and one of the images ended up in an Upper East Side gallery. Then, Art Unlimited from Amsterdam approached me to print postcards worldwide. I continued showing in galleries and started selling my nudes to private collectors."
model-photographer-gigi-stoll-1
What is your weapon of choice? 
"A Leica M8. In 2008, I began documenting ISMS Operation Kids, a non-profit children's medical mission that provides free state-of-the-art surgical intervention to children in impoverished and underdeveloped countries. Leica Cameras sponsored my equipment for two of our three missions in Morocco and Peru. I fell in love with the cameras and purchased my own. Before I switched to Leica Digital, my favorite film cameras were Pentax 6x7, Nikon FM2, and Polaroid 195."
What is your favorite thing to shoot? Favorite place?
"I love shooting portraits and nudes the best. I shoot the nudes series every year in a closed studio. The portraits are always on location in the subject's private home, office, or atelier. I find personal environments much more interesting than shooting portraits in a studio, and the subjects are always more comfortable."
How has being a model influenced your photography?
"I know how it feels to have your picture taken. I used to hate it when photographers never said a thing to me on set, no direction, nothing. It is an intimate experience, and therefore, it should be collaborative. I understand how to make the subject feel relaxed. We work together and we have a lot of fun while creating art."
Advertisement
model-photographer-gigi-stoll-2
What is next for your photography? Where do you see it going?
"My dream is to shoot underwear for Calvin Klein or lingerie for Victoria Secret. I am interested in exhibiting my nudes in Paris, London, Barcelona, Berlin, etc. I am also interested in teaching photography. I have taught several times to inner-city youth and it was fascinating to watch the kids discover their own personal eye, which added color to their often bleak realities. Mainly, I plan to continue shooting what I love, documenting for non-profit causes, and traveling the world with Leicas draped across my back. National Geographic assignments would be the ultimate dream."
Julian Schratter
model-photographer-julian-schratter-portraitWilhelmina's Julian Schratter's interest in photography came in spurts, and we're glad it did because his photos are provocatively candid, emotional, and reflect an organic enthusiasm for the art form. 
How did you get started with photography?
"I bought my first SLR just about 1 year ago. I thought it would be a good thing to have for my travels. I packed it for one of my first show seasons and took it to Paris, Milan, Greece... and I don't think I used it once! A few months later, my interest sparked again while living with my old flatmate, Guy Robinson. I asked him a few questions to learn a bit more about this very expensive piece of luggage, but I wouldn't say that I started to really see myself really getting into photography until I shot with Ben Watts. I was on the other side of the lens, but I saw how much fun he was having and I thought to myself, "Shit! I could do that!" and I still believe that I can. I know that it is a long journey to success, but I am truly enjoying it."
Advertisement
model-photographer-julian-schratter-1
What is your weapon of choice? Why?
"A Nikon D90 and a fixed 5oml lens, simply because it keeps things simple."
model-photographer-julian-schratter-2
What is your favorite thing to shoot? Favorite place?
"I love shooting people. I love capturing a certain moment or instant of pure emotion. I do tend to lean towards people of similar interests as mine, so my photos reflect myself in that regard. I find no objection to stopping someone in the middle of New York City and asking to take his or her photo. I've found the most inspiration shooting in New York, but it's a big round world, so no favorites yet!"
model-photographer-julian-schratter-3
How has being a model influenced your photography?
"It seems to be that as soon as my energy shifted into photography and taking the photos, people began to want me in their photos." 
model-photographer-julian-schratter-4
What is next for your photography? Where do you see it going?
"Right now I am just going to keep it a passion of mine...PURE. PASSION. PHOTOGRAPHY. I document my photos on my blog. Other than that, I suppose I will just take it one photo at a time..."
Iekeliene Stange
model-photographer-iekeliene-stange-portraitDutch beauty Iekeliene Stange has worked with everyone from Juergen Teller to Steven Meisel. She made her photography debut with her first show in London last fall, and now with two well-received exhibitions under her belt, Iekeliene is showing no signs of stopping. 
How did you get started with photography?
"When I was 15, I would follow my sister with a camera whilst on outings, and harass her constantly for a photograph."
What is your weapon of choice?
"I have been using a Yashica-C and a little Rollei the last few months, but both are at the end of their journey of life now, and desperately need to be replaced."
Advertisement
model-photographer-iekeliene-stange-1
What is your favorite thing to shoot? Favorite place?
"I love to be an explorer and challenge myself to find new hidden places. I like showing the viewer the diversity of the landscape and personages around the globe, sometimes in an illusional, magical way."
model-photographer-iekeliene-stange-2
How has being a model influenced your photography?
"I guess I have seen some great new technical tricks from some of the photographers I have worked with every once and a while, but it has also made me more open to and independent with travel."
model-photographer-iekeliene-stange-3
What is next for your photography? Where do you see it going?
"At the moment, I am building up a lot of work as I feel like I still have a lot to learn and I've yet to find the exact direction I'd like to go into. I am very inspired by all the photographers who work for the Magnum Agency, and really look up to them. Seeing all the work some of them have done in their lifetimes make me feel like I'm only just getting started! I would like to go back to Cuba again to explore it deeper,and I'd love to trek around Central Asia for a while as it seems like such beautiful place. The landscapes must be incredible!"
Marcus Andersson
model-photographers-marcus-andersson-portraitSwedish-born Marcus Andersson is one of Ford Models' leading men, and it's no wonder with his piercing blue eyes, chiseled features, and perfect mop of blonde hair. With a photography studio being built in his apartment, Marcus looks forward to taking his photography to the next level, and attributes his success as a photographer to modeling.
How did you get started with photography?
"I got started about 7 years ago after three years of modeling and traveling to many beautiful locations."
What is your weapon of choice?
"In the beginning, I only captured all the beautiful things I saw with a small digital Canon point and shoot. I soon realized that it was not good enough to do much for anything, so I bought a Canon 30D that I've had for almost 3 years. Then, I got a Canon 5D for 2 years, which I exchanged for a Canon 5D Mark 2 that I still use. I use many different lenses for different purposes." 
Advertisement
model-photographers-marcus-andersson-1
What is your favorite thing to shoot? Favorite place?
"I like to leave my phone at home and just go out and explore with myself and my camera. That's when the magic happens, and all the little things start to come out and feel alive. It's when I am fully present and really take time to look at things their natural habitat."
model-photographers-marcus-andersson-2
How has being a model influenced your photography?
"My modeling has done everything for my photography. I would never have been able to go to all these places or meet all the people I know today. I also never would have been able to afford my awesome equipment or be able to take the time to do what I love."
model-photographers-marcus-andersson-3
What is next for your photography? Where do you see it going?
"When I get back to NY in the fall after my next tour, I'm getting a new apartment with a studio in it with a friend of mine that I work with. We have had two exhibitions together in NY before, and always assist each other when needed. I think the studio will really help us start getting more work and take our images to a new level. We've only made everything on the go, and to have an office/studio to work in will give us more inspiration. I'm a Virgo and I really need clear space to be able to work. That is my biggest obstacle at the moment since I cannot work unless my apt is all in order."
Advertisement
model-photographers-marcus-andersson-6
Emanuela de Paula
emmanuela-de-paulaEmanuela de Paula is relatively new to modeling, but this Brazilian babe is anything but unexperienced. Behind the lens, she captures portraits of fellow models with raw talent and skill.
How has being a model influenced your photography?

"I work most of the time, but when I have time off, photography is the perfect hobby. I'm always surrounded by beautiful people and amazing personalities, and being a model, I can understand both sides—in front and behind the camera!"
What is your weapon of choice?

"I use Leica's new M9 for digital and the M6 when I'm shooting film."
emanuela-de-paula-photography-2
What is your favorite thing to shoot?

"I like to capture moments! I love images that transmit emotion, something that you can look at and understand and feel."





emanuela-de-paula-photography-1
What are you planning next with photography?
"I'm still quite young and, at the moment, I would like to continue to focus on my modeling with photography as a hobby. I want to continue having fun with it, doing what I like, and capturing what I think is REAL BEAUTY!"
Advertisement