If you’d catch a certain photographer working without a tripod, lighting and a MacBook you’d probably tell yourself how much of an amateur photographer said person is. Her name is Rotem Lebel a twenty year old from a suburb outside of Tel-Aviv and she’s one of Israel’s sharpest photographers in the high fashion scene and owns none of the above objects. This October I was fortunate enough to be on set with Lebel and several other talented fashion personas that make their vision come to life.
It’s 8AM and everyone is sitting in an apartment in Givatayim an outskirt of Tel-Aviv. The two stylists for the current set are Moran Apter and Tamir Siman-Tov, alumni of Shenkar’s fashion program. Around the floors and tables Harper’s Bazaar and Numèro magazines can be spotted in between the outfits which probably cost more than my college degree. While the camera equipment and outfits are being sorted the main attraction is being dolled up. Eden Paz a model from Yuli Group -an Israeli modelling agency- is being transformed into a Moschino like model by Ela Ran’s talented hands and MAC make-up. Extra value should be given to Eden since she’s a veteran. Yes, you read that right. In Israel it’s a law to be in the army and a lot of models face the decision whether to serve that law or to suffer the consequences like Bar Refaeli per say. From someone who’s served in the army, it’s pretty damn hard to maintain a figure or a thigh gap with army “food”.
This specific photoshoot is a tribute to Moschino with overdone bright colors and shiny Tom Warrens. Through out the photoshoot Lebel communicated on a highly precise level with Paz and captured those timid yet appealing shots and it all felt like a non-cheesy Aqua video. The images do speak for themselves. What’s specifically appealing about Lebel’s work ethic is her commitment to the shot and literally showing the model what and how to do it. For example, there’s her trademark move and slant shot which is quiet hard to execute barefoot but she’ll guide the model how to do it in none other then six inch heels and won’t rest until she’s captured the right frame. While on set with Lebel she’ll need her space to get intimate with the model and make her feel at home. Lebel will bluntly tell the whole crew to take a walk or in her words “FUCK OFF” once they’ve invaded her set’s space.