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interview: photographer & mom diane vasil

Edited by: Stacey Cunningham
on May 9th, 2012
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While most five-year olds listen to lullabies to fall asleep Audrey prefers the rock and roll tunes of ACDC, Stephen Tyler and Loretta Lynn on her mom’s iPod.  Then again most kids don't have a mom as cool as fashion photographer Diane Vasil.  Diane's editorial work has appeared in InStyle and Seventeen to name a few.  Since becoming a mom she has accidentally begun to specialize in photographing children.  In this LookBooks exclusive editorial we spent an afternoon with the mom and daughter duo in their Brooklyn neighborhood while Diane photographed Audrey, whose modeling experience includes appearing in ads for H&M. 

What are some challenges photographing kids?

Diane: It can be the parents some times. Really getting the kids to understand what we're doing and getting the kids not to do cheesy smiles can be tricky.  Keeping them still can be a challenge.  Sometimes you end up just chasing them around and its best to just let the kids be kids, which can work really well.  Modeling agencies have really great professional kids, which makes it much easier. 

What led you to children's photography?

D: Every since I was pregnant with Audrey.  People had told me for years that I should shoot kids, but I always said 'no, no, no... I want to be Vogue.'  Then I got hired on my first kids job when I was pregnant with Audrey.  I came to realize how easy and pure and beautiful they are.  I love doing fashion still, but there's something nice and whimsy that I relate to more after having a child.  Their imaginations, their freedoms are really inspiring.  I've been photographing her since day one; I mean she's pretty cute!  It just came naturally.  Being a kid is dreamy.  When else can you dress like a crazy person and no one looks at you funny.  One day she made me walk her down the street with her wolf mask on and she had a tail.  Of course I took a video, we were just walking to the bank and back.  On the way everyone was just smiling, because I think everyone was remembering when he or she was a kid.  You don’t have all the pressures of being an adult and it’s just nice to be free to be who you are and to experiment.  I let her do whatever she wants.

Question for you Audrey, why did you want to walk with a mask and leash?

Audrey: Because I wanted to be a husky dog.  Wolves and unicorns are my favorite.

I heard you got to name your own dog, what’s her name?

A: Cloud Feather Midnight Moon Red Raven Poem Rolling Thunder but we call her Cloudy.  My mom is kind of a lunatic but I am, too.

D: I never talk to her like she’s an adult.

What’s Audrey’s style like?

D:  She over-accessorizes with ten necklaces a hat and five scarves.  We keep her hat collection by the door for her.  She likes tomboy hats like her fedora, bowler and top hat.  In the summer she switches to bandanas every day.  A few years ago she only wanted to wear dresses to the floor which are really hard to find in her size so I would buy them in size 5 or 6 and now they actually fit her properly.  Around the same time she proclaimed “I will never wear pants again, give them to the needy,” but we just bought her pants for the first time again this fall.  She refuses to wear tennis shoes most of the time but will wear Tom’s shoes for gym class at school and she just got a pair of striped and star-printed Converses that she loves.

I love the Emu boots you’re wearing today, Audrey!  Are they comfortable?

A: Yes, I like the animals.  They’re really soft.

D: I actually buy her Emus because the price is right; they’re well made and pretty darn cute.

Photography by Diane Vasil, styling by yours truly.


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