In Uniform Uniform by Loyandford's fall campaign 2012, William Williams photographs Holly Parker as an alien princess on her first encounter with Earth. In a short Q&A below, William talks about his inspiration for the editorial along with his thoughts on the fine balance between acting, directing and photographic art.
How did you become involved with Uniform Union?
I knew of Frank Ford when he was heading Loyandford and dressing icons like Cher, The Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and Angelina Jolie. I’d wanted to work with the brand for a while and when they launched Uniform Union in 2012 I reached out to Frank. I pitched my vision for an editorial for their fall campaign; he loved it and we met for the fitting a few days later.
What was your inspiration for the campaign?
The handmade pieces in the collection absolutely blew me away. My vision and the clothing seemed to work together magically. I wanted to tell the story of an alien princess coming to Earth and standing atop these surreal landscapes and being caught between her powers and the powers of her foreign surroundings. I actually found the locations first and they told me the story before I saw the clothing. It was a match made in heaven if you will. In fact, every piece in the collection sold before the editorial could even be published.
What is your aim as a photographer?
Story-telling and communication is my primary focus as a photographer. In every photograph I try to trap in emotion and depth. I want to observer to fall in love with every image and every story and not necessarily know why. I want to stir emotions and memories in people, to entertain them and inspire their own imagination.
Why did you start taking pictures in the first place?
I grew up with photos hanging on the walls around me that my father had taken around the world. Something about photography in general captured my mind and my imagination. They were like beautiful settings for unwritten books. My mind journeyed a lot as a child through photographs.
When you plan a photo shoot, do you structure everything or do you leave a lot open for improvisation when everyone gets together?
The level of structure in my shoots depends on my client. A great deal of the time there needs to be a lot of structure and planning to bring many talented players together to make it happen. I do prefer structure, but I've always searched for that certain subject or person where you can ride the wave of inspiration and spontaneity and do no wrong and every photograph takes your breath away.
Do you remember the first objects you became obsessed with taking pictures of?
My mother recently found an envelope of my very first photos. Many of the images were of the wooden kitchen floor of the house that I grew up in. I've always loved earthy textures and naturally occurring patterns. I still take and admire photographs today that some people might think were accidental clicks.
You also act and direct. Do you prefer acting or photography more?
I fell into acting midway through film school. I was impressed by the actors that I worked with and how they could command an audience through their craft. I suppose I wanted to wield some of that power myself. There seems to be something special as well as terrifying about seeing yourself on film. I really do enjoy acting and in a way I feel like it is a natural habitat for me. Hopefully this will continue to develop. Directing is very similar to photography and I enjoy creating films more than still photos as a whole, however there is something about a photograph that I can look at over and over again that motion just doesn't capture.
Photographer: William Williams
Model: Holly Parker
Hair: Amie Zimmerman
Manicurist: Tracy Clemens at Opus Beauty