Helena Christensen vs. Peter Lindbergh

Posted by Stephan Moskovic | October 16th, 2009

How interesting would it be for two industry titans working in different trades to have a dialogue with each other?

We put that theory to test with this kick-off Q+A between legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh and the iconic model Helena Christensen and the results are pretty spectacular. Tune in as Ms Christensen investigates the inspirations and the passion behind that Lindbergh imagery.

MODELS.com presents One Iconography: Helena Christensen interviews Peter Lindbergh, curated by Christopher Michael @ One Management.

Photo of Helena Christensen by Peter Lindbergh, 1996, courtesy of Peter Lindbergh
Photo of Peter Lindbergh by Donata Wenders, Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, 2002, courtesy of Peter Lindbergh

See more One Mgmt interviews on the One Management Blog

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Helena Christensen: Most of your fashion shoots tell little magical stories. Do you ever dream these stories?

Peter Lindbergh: Nothing comes from dreaming. My dreams, if I ever remember them, are so complex, that I wouldn’t try to turn them into a story for a fashion magazine. There are too many rules you have to follow. Just the fact, that every new picture needs a different outfit, will make a lot of ideas impossible. I think you can use your Dreams to create images, when you don’t have the limitations of Fashion photography, and you work for yourself or your gallery.

HC: My favorite story that I ever did was the one we did together for Italian Vogue with the little alien. Where did this particular idea for the story come from?

PL: The idea to shoot this story was born in my dentists waiting room in Paris. Someone left a small pile of tacked together Xeroxes on the table, with images and notes from UFO watchers all over the world. One of them was Mr. Kienzle, close by the El Mirage Dry Lake. I was fascinated by these images, mostly just reflections on the Sky, I guess and decided to do a Martian Story. That was exactly when you passed by my studio for the first time to show your pictures. I was stunned…..by you!! The perfect new face for the story just walked into my studio! The only thing left was to Write a Story, with a beginning and an end, and fly to L.A to shoot it.

HC: You have a way of photographing women that make them seem like strong, fierce and independent women. Is this important for you to convey about women to the viewer?

PL: To define and to propose a very personal view on Women, has always been very important for me. I think that this is the most important and exciting part of fashion photography. When you look back, every Decade has defined a certain type of women, basically through the work of one or two photographers not to mention the work of designers, editors, hair and make up etc. During each decade, there is a lot of experimenting going on, by many photographers. To come back to your question, only these photographers who had the sensibility “to put the pieces together”, to define the women who represents a certain decade, are the ones we still know.

HC: What kind of light do you prefer working in?

PL: Every light has its own beauty….

HC: Mention 3 contemporary artists you would like to exchange your art with for theirs..

PL: Michael Heizer, Gerhard Richter, Joseph Kosuth.

HC: What has been your favorite location over time to photograph in and why?

PL: My favorite locations to work, you should know, are the deserts and dry lakes, large and unromantic beaches, movie studios backlots, and down town Los Angeles. I like any place which adds something interesting to a Story I have on my mind…

HC: Why do you think photography is such an interesting art-form?

PL: I wouldn’t say that photography is an especially interesting Art form. It is just one out of many, and by accident the one I fell into and stuck with, because I can express myself perfectly with these little black machines…

HC: What is the most amazing visual or moment you have ever seen that you didn’t photograph?

PL: When I was twenty, My mother looked into my eyes for quite a moment, she was dying…


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26 Comments to “Helena Christensen vs. Peter Lindbergh”

  1. Ambiguous says:

    Helena’s face is a showstopper………….WOW!!!

    very very rare, mysterious and alluringly sexy…………..

    and Peter Lindberg….Amazing. Thank you!

    10 women is one of my prized possesion.

  2. sandrine says:

    very moving words by Mr LINDBERGH!

  3. Shaina says:

    Mr. Lindbergh never ceases to amaze me. I’m always learning from this incredible photographer and person.

  4. Nick Ponton says:

    Continue the good and strong work Stephan + Betty!

  5. Gustavo says:

    i hope Mr Lindbergh makes a sequal of ‘Supermodels’.

  6. CT says:

    Peter is a living legend but you wouldn’t know it if you met him bc he is very down to earth & friendly

  7. Amanda says:

    Helena will always be a beautiful woman. I feel that Peter captures it perfectly too. A great pair …

    – Amanda

  8. Astor says:

    this is a great interview guys, keep it up

    She is my favorite Supermodel of All Time, So incredibly beautiful!

  9. ALVARO REYES says:


  10. Jonathan says:

    Perfect, perfect !! <3 Peter

  11. Photobug says:

    Great interview! Very inspiring, truly two legends

  12. Daniel says:

    Peter is my all time favourite photographer and the one i have always admired. Helena’s picture is pure and gorgeous. Thank you for the interview!

  13. Alice says:

    Helena is simply stunning!!!!! definitely the BEST models ever!!! she & other few supers are the REAL super models who stand out of the crowd!

  14. Peter Lindbergh never ceases to amaze me, his pictures are always so strong and so deeply human.

    “Images of Women” and “Untitled 116” are neverending sources of awe and inspiration.

    Thank you Mr. Lindbergh.

  15. TpC says:

    P. Lindbergh seems very grounded and certain.

    Thanks for giving us a quick glimpse into the mind of a brilliant artist.

  16. Irene Pena says:

    Thanks for posting this.It´s great!These are two amazing fashion icons.Peter L. is such an inspiration.

  17. photgPL TotalAccess says:

    Peter surely can capture the Momnent

    and Helena delivers

    imagination and construct is Ngenius

  18. GP says:

    Mr. Lindbergh makes her models look real and beautiful in many ways, he is a legend.
    Helena is a fashion icon, she still look amazing after years of on and off modeling. Love her style all time.

  19. They make a amazing working pair. I have always been greatly inspired by them!

  20. Bryan Haynes says:

    Wow, two of my favorite artist in the same room having a conversation about photography.” I think I’m now complete!” The interview was very enlightening; especially Mr. Lindbergh’s stories, about the Italian Vogue shoot with the little alien. Subsequently, having Helena Christensen as an interviewer was simply delightful! As a photographer, I could only hope to work with a muse as angelic and refine as her! –Continued success to both of them…
    Bryan H.

  21. Bett Edward says:

    Good work from PL,he is one of the very rare photographers and Helena Christensen is truly sensational fashion model

  22. fiona cribben says:

    They are truely both legends, very interesting interview, thank you!

  23. hi im pakistani fashion photographer

    i love certive photography i have alot adea about new consept sp i like models .com

  24. Lindberg..wow so much from the zone where head meets his heart…it may take a shrink to help us peel back the layer and get him to look in with a spy glass.

  25. Kwaku Kufuor says:

    CT is right. I got the chance to meet Mr. Lindbergh in 2005 when I worked as a studio assistant. He was shooting two editorials and an ad which lasted for about two weeks. After the shoot was over, he personally thanked EVERY single person who worked on the shoot and in the studio. Amazing guy.