Fashion photography will always be essential, but what happens when an artist pushes beyond the boundaries and utilizes cutting edge technology to create a truly inventive viewing experience. Kenneth Willardt (Exposure NY), the man behind some of the most striking beauty images in recent memory delves into fresh territory with the launch of his stylish tome, The Beauty Book. More than just a retrospective of Willardt’s sexy & star-studded oeuvre, the book serves as a groundbreaking multi-media experiment. As the first beauty publication to utilize Augmented Reality technology, The Beauty Book and its corresponding app take the coffee table book into the 21st century. The hidden videos, interviews or digital effects add another layer to the already elegant imagery making for a project that is truly more than meets the eye.
The Beauty Book will be showing at 558 Gallery
You’ve created so many incredible images over the years – How did you narrow it down what you wanted to appear in this book?
Kenneth Willardt: I finalized the rough layout of the book in one week using LiveEdit.com which really helped me with the editing process. I spent another month finalizing and fine tuning my edit for the book. It took 3 months to develop the app and the augmented reality content. This is just a sliver of some of my favorite images.
What made you want to have an app to accompany the book?
Kenneth Willardt: In today’s world we interact with each other visually through these mobile devices so it seemed an obvious continuation of what we did last year, with Size Does Matter. I wanted to bring the book into the present day and grab people’s attention through their phones which we are all addicted to.
What was it like working on the app portion of the project?
Kenneth Willardt: By creating the app, I wanted to achieve a multidimensional experience for the user. It was a great learning experience to make it easy for the audience to use, while still keeping the integrity of the complex technology, which were used to develop the augmented realty image recognition software.
Magic Media Group has done an incredible job of taking my ideas and making them into a reality. We already moved on to bigger photography project, which is going to include a lot more augmented reality for the audience.
What makes a portrait (or a subject) beautiful in your opinion?
Kenneth Willardt: The most beautiful portraits are always the ones when the subject is relaxed and confident in front of the camera so that they let their spirit and energy come through to the photograph.
Tell us about some of your favorite images within the book?
Kenneth Willardt: I’ve been extremely fortunate, to have experienced many incredible shoots through out my career. But my most memorable ones are by far, all of my shoots in Brazil and in Israel. Both of these countries have beautiful dramatic landscapes and are extremely rich in history.
Tell us a bit more about your involvement with Rescuers Without Borders?
Rescuers without boarders is an amazing NGO, who has been providing love and care through the past 10 years for families in need. It’s an honor to be donating 100% of my royalties from the book, to such a great cause.
Inside The Beauty Book
‘THE BEAUTY BOOK’ LAUNCH PARTY
Willardt with Gigi Hadid and Yolanda Foster
With Kemp Muhl
AUGMENTED REALITY IMAGES
Download The Beauty Book App onto your smartphone, then hold your phone over each image and wait for special content – videos, interactive or interviews to appear