English fashion photographer Nick Knight is the model intel Santa Claus that keeps on giving. In today’s video, he asked the painfully cool Kristen McMenamay to talk about shooting with the legendarily lewd photographer Helmut Newton. Foreplay ended quickly. His opener was the one of her completely naked in front of a dingy Monte Carlo car park. Way to start with a softball, Knight. Finally Knight stopped nerding out and just let her take over the interview. She has zero cares about deploying her truth. Here are the ten most important things we learned about shooting nude with Newton.
1. Children are not the end of ambition and fulfillment. You can still be photographed nude. “In the end they’ll be proud.” she said of her kids, adding, “I’m very free with my body at home so they’re used to it.”
2. Black roots and blond hair are ridiculous. When she showed up to a shoot for American Vogue with Newton, he said of her hair, “That’s ridiculous. I’m not going to shoot you. Why would you do that? I can’t shoot you.”
3. He’s an extremist when it comes to grooming. It’s either hairless or full bush. “That pussy, that pussy, I can’t take a picture of that,” he said about her in-between grooming.
4. Helmut Newton’s first choice was a full bush so he had his assistant go to his apartment to fetch a merkin (as assistants do.) But she said, “Ew, I’m not putting that thing on me,” so a makeup artist shaved her in the bathroom with a large razor. “If you look really closely you can probably see a lot of blood.”
6. Even glorious models don’t feel perfect posing in front of a dirty car park in Monte Carlo nude. In one of her most confrontational of nudes, she wasn’t feeling as confident as she looked. “In my head I was insecure. I was still insecure.”
7. Meanie perfectionists like Newton are clutch to have around. “He was a meanie, but I appreciate meanies. He wanted so much to get the right thing.”
8. You can’t reach perfection without crying. “He had me crying, but that was the best picture he ever took of me.”
9. The best compliment you can receive is on the thing that makes you self-conscious. Nice tits? Old news. Scars you try to hide by dying your eyebrows? The most precious gift Newton gave her.
10. Put the megaphone prop in front of your mouth, don’t breathe through it. “I couldn’t understand. I should have put the damn thing down.”