Joe’s Jeans Ads, Old & New

Joe’s Jeans unveiled a new ad campaign this week featuring Paz De La Huerta, a born and bred New Yorker, which instantly makes me love her, plus she is a cool and interesting actress and I am dying for The Linda Lovelace Story she is in with Malin Akerman to come out (or at least start shooting)… totally off subject but definitely worth mentioning. Anyway, I shot a few of the Joe’s Jeans ad campaigns in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and always find it interesting to see what they are doing. When I did my first meeting with Joe Dahan in 2007 he looked at my book of tear sheets from magazines I had worked for and the image above of Karolina Wydra from a 2001 Russian Harper’s Bazaar shoot caught his eye. It made perfect sense because it had that infamous backside he loves to put in his ads but it also had a subtlety we all liked for the campaign. At our next meeting Joe decided he wanted a nude girl walking down the street in LA. William Hamilton (their old art director) and I had to find a way to say that shooting a nude girl walking down the street may not be the best idea especially since we live in an age of internet porn where nudity is just not that interesting anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love lots of skin in my images I just think it has to be shot a certain way. If you can convey a certain sexuality, desire and strength without having to use a lot of nudity it makes for a stronger image and it’s not the nudity that’s an issue but how it’s done. In that regard, I’m impressed with the new campaign because there is no nudity in it at all. Somehow in 2007 we were able to get what we had originally wanted because thank God the day of the actual shoot began with a complete disaster (which I have always thought of as good luck). We showed up at the location in Echo Park where we had scouted the perfect wall to shoot in front of only to find that our location scout had forgotten to get permission to shoot there from the fire marshal so we sat and waited all day for the permit to appear after hair & make up was done. By 4 pm the permit still hadn’t arrived so I finally said f*** it, let’s pack up our gear and find the next best thing which turned out to be one of the photo assistant’s studios downtown. While my assistants hustled to unpack everything again at the new location and set up lights inside the studio I started shooting our model Barbara outside in the alley. I shot maybe 30 shots total of her alone as dusk descended. Natural light, just me and Barbara playing out the inspiration shot above which Joe had decided in the end he didn’t want but I was still obsessed with and determined to get. As we got into our groove I asked Barbara and Maria, the other model, to start posing against the wall outside. It was almost 6pm by then, my assistants grabbed a few lights from inside and set them up in the alley as I continued to shoot. The entire first campaign I styled & photographed for Joe’s Jeans turned into four billboards in LA & NY and took a total of 2 1/2 hours to actually shoot. And that is how we got the images below…




Funny side note, Paz just signed with One Model Management which is where I met Karolina ten years ago when Scott Lipps first opened the agency. Karolina and I had lunch today oddly enough, which is also why this was all on my mind, and she reminded me that she was one of seven girls on that original model’s board along with Liliana Dominquez, Jamie Bochert and Rie Rasmussen

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