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sean thomas, photographer

Shooting Malaika Firth, pretty in pink, for The Future Fashion Issue, Sean Thomas reflects on the day, and what it means to take a portrait of somebody you believe in.

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Edward Weston said this of his photograph titled Nude, 1925: “I was shaving when Anita Brenner came, hardly expecting her on such a gloomy, drizzling day. I made excuses, having no desire, no ‘inspiration’ to work… but she took no hints, undressing while I reluctantly prepared my camera. And then appeared to me the most exquisite lines, forms, volumes, - and I accepted - worked easily, rapidly, surely."

I love this.

So much goes into making a series of pictures like the ones here of Malaika. I’m forever grateful to those who make my job easier. Stylists, hair, makeup, manicurists, producers, photo labs, retouchers, editors and supporters - i.e. friends and family.

And last but not least, feeling sure is no problem when you’re lucky enough to shoot with someone like Malaika. She is such a beautiful young woman - so full of life and an absolute joy to work with. I asked her to sing one of her favourite Beyoncé songs to me after we had spent the day together and was completely blown away. Not only is she gorgeous, but so talented and inspiring. Taking from Weston again, Volumes! I can’t wait until I get the chance to take pictures of her again. Though hopefully, next time, I'll be taking portraits of her at the beginning of her career as a famous singer.

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