Paris-native and photographer Antoine Verglas began his career on the subject-side of the camera, working as the host on popular French television show, Cinq sur Cinq. It was after his time on the show that Verglas began to develop the vision that would eventually define his success in the fast-paced world of fashion photography.
In 1990, Verglas moved to New York City. Equipped with his camera and his vision, he eventually got his big break with a documentary style photo series for French Elle, which featured some of the top names in modeling at the time. His very personal depictions of Stephanie Seymour, Linda Evangelista, Naomi, Claudia Shiffer and Cindy Crawford were indicative of the style that would eventually become the Verglas signature.
It was his intimate take on the women behind the camera that led to Verglas’ spot shooting for the world’s top fashion magazines. Since then, his photographs have appeared in Elle, Esquire, GQ, Maxim, Sports Illustrated and Vogue.
BWB: When did you get the ‘déclic’ that led you to become a fashion photographer?
It was in the mid late 80 s when I started to take portraits of my Swedish girlfriend. At the time, she was under contract with the FORD model agencies after having won their face of the 80s competition. I really enjoyed shooting portraits and beauty stories with her. I was trying amateurishly to best the pictures she was doing with Richard Avedon, Bill King and Oliviero Toscani, to name just a few.
BWB: Born in Paris but now a true New Yorker, what are some of your favorite things about both cities?
In Paris, I love its history, charm, architecture, monuments’ lighting. It’s a clean city, and I love its smell and its various little cafés with terraces.
In NYC, I enjoy its industrial architecture, its speed, roughness, and noise. At the same time, I like how it integrates ethnicities and has such positivism and warmth.
BWB: You are so talented and your photos are stunning, tells us more about your decisions from behind the camera (poses, settings, colors).
It’s so nice of you to say that. There are so many talented photographers out there. Sometimes I decide about a location because of its simplicity and sometimes because of its beauty. As far as my subjects go, I always try to make them feel as confortable and at ease as possible. I just want them to look beautiful and charming. It’s always my goal to get them to express a true look, something believable that moves their audience.
BWB: We also know you love St Barth, and this month is our special issue on sea and water. How do you like to use water in your photography? What do you love most about the island?
I love St Barth for its diversity of landscapes and houses, all on such a small island. It simultaneously has a luxurious modern and traditional colonial feel to it. The nature and littoral has been so well preserved compared to so many different islands. It offers calm, beautiful beaches, relief, great food, amazing lodging and shopping. The best part is everything is within a short range. It’s truly a jewel; it’s like a having a little taste of St Tropez and France in the middle of the Caribbean.
Some great memories: my first French Elle cover with Stephanie Seymour in August 1989, my first Sports Illustrated cover with Rebecca Romijn Stamos in 1999, my trip in a Concorde flight chartered by Victoria’s Secret for Cannes 2001…
BWB: Can you share some of your best memories of your photography career?
I have so many, but here are some: My first French Elle cover with Stephanie Seymour in August 1989, my first Sports Illustrated cover with Rebecca Romijn Stamos in 1999, my trip in a Concorde flight chartered by Victoria’s Secret for Cannes 2001, my 1st USA GQ cover with Tyra Banks special swim, my first Playboy cover with Carré Otis in 2001, and so many more.
BWB: You travel to beautiful places and work with beautiful models… how do you identify your ideal objects of photography?
I love great landscapes and beautiful homes so I want to share their beauty through photography. With people, I love interesting characters, and beautiful individuals who charm me. If I witness something beautiful or interesting, I immediately want to capture it and share it with the world if I can.
BWB: Do you have any new project in the making?
Yes, I do. I am working on a new book, some new artistic collaboration, and some new future exhibitions.