Tuesday, 30 March 2010

the sartorialist's scott schuman







An interesting thing happened after I interviewed The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman - via phone to New York (so very old school). I was telling Jacqui Lewis about it and she relayed this story: a friend of hers was shot by Scott when he was in Sydney. The young girl was only 15 but had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemo so had little hair and was wearing a beanie. After the image was posted many people commented on how gorgeous she looked. "It really made her strong and believe that she could get through this and not every single person looking at her thought she had cancer," Jacqui said.

It's amazing how such a simple thing as being photographed can make all the difference to not only the subject, but can help broaden people's acceptance of what is beautiful too. It's telling that the image chosen on the cover of Scott's book is of a woman who has one leg shorter than the other. It was a deliberate decision to use this photo because he wants the definition of beauty to be more all encompassing. This is why Scott and his blog are not just great - but inspiring.

Which five words best describe you? Driven, curious, artistic, generous and selfish.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Working at a clothing stall at the mall, and I’ve taken a curvy line to where I am now but it’s always been to do with fashion.
What’s your proudest achievement? Making a good community on The Sartorialist where people feel they can communicate and share their thoughts without being ridiculed or made fun of and we are able to have participation on the site from a lot of different types of people.
What’s been your best decision? Just to go for it and trust myself that I was going to become a better photographer and to learn how to shoot things the way that I saw them romantically.
Who inspires you? My girlfriend Garance DorĂ© inspires me. She’s great at writing, great at photography, great at illustrating, but she doesn’t take any of that for granted and she always constantly pushes herself to get better.
What are you passionate about? Continuing to have a relevant blog that inspires people.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Probably to remain calm… when things are going crazy, to remain calm.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I don’t know. I don’t really have anyone like that. I’ve met most of the people that I wanted to meet. If anything, what helps me do what I do, and I talk about it in the book, is if anything to keep a distance from those people so that I can continue to see them in a romantic way, no one ever lives up to your expectations so it’s safer to keep a little distance.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I want to get better. I want to capitalise on all the different things that I’m good at. I want to write better. I want to shoot better. I want to communicate better.
What are you reading? I just bought of autobiography on Lord Snowdon, the photographer.


images courtesy of the sartorialist and penguin

5 comments:

compulsively compiled said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate that Scott Schuman recognizes his ability to improve public opinion regarding beauty and perfection with his art.

Mandy said...

I love the story Jacqui Lewis told, how wonderful...... great interview with Scott Schuman, I just used some of his photographs in my last post.

Shelley Trbuhovich said...

natalie, that was a beautiful introduction, what a gorgeous story; i'll definitely be sharing that one. it made me tear up, just imagining what it must be like to be 15, so ill, losing your hair, feeling vulnerable at an age when everything is so raw. along comes an experience (being photographed by the sartorialist, no less!) and within minutes your attitude is revived and changed. fantastic. a great interview too. x

Natalie Walton said...

Hi all, sorry for taking so long to reply. I love reading your comments and am glad you enjoyed the post. I wanted to do it justice. x

christine @ Scentsy said...

wow I've followed Schuman's blog for years....such a lovely behind the scenes story.

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