Coco: So Behati, you're well known as a model and now even as a designer with the pieces you've created for Victoria's Secret. How long have you had this secret life as a photographer?!
Behati: Haha my secret life has been blossoming for more than a year now! I only shoot film, mostly black and white, and I use a Nikon F10 and also the Contax G2 Jamie got me for my birthday!
Coco: Why do you choose to use old school film and developing? You know the rest of the world went digital 10 years ago, right?
Behati: Yeah, I know, but film cameras just came out in Africa! I try to keep up with my country Coco, we're 10 years behind!! No in all seriousness, I love film. Helmut Newton's pictures are amazing and that's what I want! I think digital in some ways took away a photographers freeness. Not knowing what you have and seeing the pictures when you develop them is really nice. Every one comes out different and I love the feel of film, the way it looks.
Coco: It's sort of a dying art, do you find yourself asking older photographers on set a lot of extra questions?
Behati: Yeah all the time, and they love helping me because most of them used to shoot film and now do digital because its cheaper. As soon as they see my old school camera they grab it! I've learned a lot on shoots from everyone - Matt Jones said I should come assist him just to learn how to do light reading and stuff... or, maybe I forced him in to that haha!
Coco: Haha! Either way that would be fun! Do you remember the first picture's you ever took?
Behati: Yeah they were in Tompkins Square Park in New York. My first roll of film was of Jamie and Boyd and an eagle eating a squirrel!? haha, epic. Most of that film came out too dark and you can barley see there faces, but it was fun!
Coco: Eating a squirrel!? Sounds terrifying! Makes me wonder what the last set of pictures you took was?
Behati: The last picture's I took were of you at you're wedding! They all came out perfect, I could not be happier!
Coco: James and I loved them too! They feel so classic and timeless. So, other than brides and dead squirrels, what are your favorite subjects to photograph and why?
Behati: Mostly people. I take random portraits of people I meet on the street and of my friends just being silly! I love very simple black and white shots that are very raw - no make up, hair or fashion - just the person and what's happening in that moment! I think thats very real and beautiful!
Coco: I loved our photo shoot together for that reason. There was no hair and makeup fussing, no stylist and directors giving conflicting orders. Just you me and James.
Behati: I loved shooting you guys. As your friend it's amazing to see you with James and so happy. To be the first one to shoot you both so was very special, that whole day was memorable and a lot of fun!! I remember buying a scooter right after we shot it and all of us riding from 86th street all the way to my house on 11th street. I was exhausted! Haha. I'll always remember you and James in the park, being so in love!
Coco: Yes, hours upon hours of public displays of affection in central park! Haha. James wants to know if you think he has what it takes to take his modeling to the next level...
Behati: Oh for sure, he was super duper amazing. He took direction very well, from both of us haha! He'll be the next big thing!
Coco: He'll be happy to hear that. So is there someone other than the Conran's that you'd love to photograph but haven't had the chance to?
Behati: I once saw Keith Richards in a hotel having dinner. I so badly wanted to go up to him and take a portrait but I just couldn't get myself to go over there and disturb him! Id also love to take a portrait of Tilda Swinton. It would be amazing to travel with a band or skater kids and document a whole year of their lives in old school rock and roll black and white grainy pictures!
Coco: You should kill two birds with one stone and just follow Keith and The Stones around for a year! I'm sure they wouldn't mind the company...
Behati: Not a bad idea haha!
Coco: Speaking of which, we noticed you lugging a LOT of equipment around for our shoot, all by your little self. When are you going to get yourself an assistant?
Behati: Haha yeah that was very heavy, I think its time! Thanks to James for helping me carry everything around - while he was on his scooter - with you on the back of it as well! If you know of any potential assistants shoot me an email haha ;)
Coco: I'm guessing a couple of our readers would love to take that position! We will send contact information your way! Any inspirational last words you'd like to leave Oh So Coco readers with?
Behati: Love will save the world! xoxo
Coco: I agree! Thank you for the wonderful day Behati, I think you're wonderful and can't wait to see what you have in store for us all next.
If you'd like to see more of the pictures we took that day, I've posted 50 of them on my Official Facebook page. Feel free to check them out and leave Behati a comment!