By Bebe Leone
Portrait design is a witty combination of photography and art direction. Back in the days, having a portrait taken by a painter, was a big deal: a lot of preparation was involved in styling the costumes and hair of each family member. So it was for the set : often the photo was taken inside the family house, the people being surrounded by familiar objects and, most importantly, their house pets. When I design a set, I carefully consider each single component of it: what clothes to style , which objects to include, what postures to suggest. My purpose is simple: each family is different and this must show from the images. To do so, I need to know the personality of the person portrayed, I dig into each family’s own heritage. That is how a charming artist is depicted while boldly holding his ballerina daughter upside down, a beautiful Italian actress poses side by side with her dog mimicking Hollywood divas from the 50s and an incredible family of 14 proudly show their shared passion for golf. Each story is different while the leit motiv remains the same : I like to tell playful family stories where it is shown that a certain ‘joie de vivre’ brings together, despite time lapses and generational gaps.