Interview Series: Danielle DeFoe

A little hustle goes a long way, and Danielle DeFoe is here to prove it. Almost two years after our first interview, we catch up with the gorgeous L.A.-based photographer as she shares hot new images, thoughts and aspirations in time for Saturday’s Showbiz Ball…

LF: Tell me about your recent collaboration with Brett Bailey and Ellen Von Unwerth for Schön Magazine’s September issue.  

DD: I modeled for Ellen’s show “Do Not Disturb” which was shown in London during the Olympics. A few days before was St Patrick’s Day and we took her to Beachers Mad House at the bottom of the Roosevelt. She loves interesting people, and hired part of the staff, i.e. the midgets, to be a part of the shoot. We spent two days at The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo getting crazy and creative, it was a lot of fun.

For Schön we both did separate stories, so there wasn’t a collaboration of any sort. They shot their story with Naomi Campbell at The Box in London and we shot mine in a seedy motel in L.A.

LF: How do you feel about showing your Director’s Cut piece at the Ball? 

DD: The Director’s Cut is special because it really translates this voyeuristic cinematic feeling that I was conveying to the viewer. I especially love the audio it firmly establishes the sense of a “male gaze” where the woman is vulnerable, sexual, and submissive. It reminds me of those early Calvin Klein screen tests. You never see the man behind the voice, which creates this enticing tension in the storyline.

Producer (Teaser) from Love Bailey on Vimeo.

LF: Your photography has steadily evolved from lifestyle fashion shots to highly stylized fine art. Can you talk about the process? 

DD: I graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from a very conceptual school, I also have a strong sense of design, so I love to mix the two. I strive to try to take risks with each new body of work I create. I especially love my mirror pieces because the viewer becomes part of the actual piece and it plays on identity. Participating in art shows is just as important to me as contributing to editorials, it’s great to see how people respond to and identify with my work.

LF: What’s the craziest job you’ve had in the past few years?

DD: Ha. Working with Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. I was assisting my good friend Leila Baboi styling last summer in Miami and NY for MTVs VMA commercials. I can’t even begin to go into it but, all I’ll say is one has zero control and the other has complete control, go fish. That was one of the best jobs I’ve ever done, but also probably one of the hardest. Well worth it.

LF: Two years after our first interview… What makes you tick, what makes you click? What’s been inspiring you lately? 

DD: Positive energy and focusing it inspires me.

LF: Shout out to few models and muses right now… 

DD: It’s always changing, you know how the model world goes.  I like a lot of personality, if you look at my photo diary there are some usual suspects.

LF: Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes…

DD: The most expensive shoes hurt the worst. Christian Louboutin’s, such an obvious answer but there’s nothing like the red bottoms.

LF: Besides your camera, what’s a must-have at each shoot? 

DD: MUSIC, it’s so obviously key but surprisingly can be the least controlled thing on set.

LF: What’s on your playlist right now? 

DD: The Kills, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Rolling Stones, Sun Ra, Muddy Waters, The Velvet Underground, Grace Jones, Lil Wayne, Bauhaus, The Weeknd, The Cure, The Ramones, Jay Z, Diplo.

LF: Latest beauty obsession…

DD: Hiking and running. There’s nothing better than fresh air and sunshine. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

LF: More and more you’re putting yourself out there in front of the camera. What excites you about being the subject? 

DD: I like acting, and enjoy being directed, it teaches me more about the skill. You’re only young once so I feel there’s no reason not to let go and feel sexy. Glamour is timeless.

LF: When are you happiest? 

DD: When I’m traveling.

LF: How fast do you live?

DD: I try to bite my fear in the face, although it’s not always easy.

Born wild. #bathsalts

LF: Where do you hope to take your photography from here? 

DD: To the motherf*cking moon! where we can build a house out of books filled with naked women.

L’Agent Goodies…