Undone Glamour: The Photography of Neave Bozorgi (NSFW)

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Photographer Neave Bozorgi’s work captures the seemingly effortless beauty of his subjects, evoking a sense of undone glamour and sun-soaked easiness synonymous with the urban west coast. I talked with Bozorgi about the evolution of his work since his start in 2011, and where he’s headed next.

Bozorgi says his interest in photography started with the creation of a blog. Initially pulled in by photographs circulating online, Bozorgi began to collect his favorites as inspiration; later deciding to create some of his own. “I used to post photos I found around the internet…until one day I thought ‘hey, this looks fun!’ I had an outdated Canon Rebel sitting around so I started to photograph friends…” Bozorgi says it seemed like the more photos he posted, the more interest people started to show, and this encouraged him to pursue photography full time. As he became more involved with the craft, Bozorgi says he began studying the works of photographers like Irving Penn, William Klein, Ellen von Unwerth, and Helmut Newton.

Establishing a career as a photographer in a relatively short span of time, Bozorgi says he initially struggled with picking the “right” projects  for his style, but that as his portfolio has grown, he’s better able to pick and choose. “In the beginning, I wasn’t really established, and I didn’t know my own ‘brand’ so I would accept projects that I really had no place being involved with. Now, however, since I’ve established a certain look and style, clients know what to expect.” Bozorgi mentions that he’s been fortunate to work with clients who allow him “complete creative freedom” adding, “Some of the clients and people I’ve had the privilege of working with have been people I’ve admired for many years. Even from before I started photography. It’s always motivation to get better and produce better results.” 

Discussing his success, Bozorgi recalls the thrill of seeing his work on a billboard on Sunset Boulevard:

“Last summer I did a shoot for a client who wanted to introduce their brand to Los Angeles by putting up billboards everywhere. I never thought a photo of mine would be up on a billboard on Sunset Blvd right across from Chateau Marmont, but it happened, and it was one of those moments [that] put things in perspective.”

I asked Bozorgi about the process of creating images which focus on beautiful women, often posing nude, and the relationship between photographer and model. Bozorgi highlights the importance of word of mouth in a close-knit industry like photography; “I believe the fact that I have established a good rapport with the models I’ve already photographed, is kind of like a green light for models I approach.”

 

Stating that the work produced is the most important aspect, Bozorgi says, “I think the biggest thing photographers need to realize is that the model is nude because of what you, the photographer, [do] with the camera. It’s not because of your looks, your charm, or your humor. So do not overstep your boundaries, and respect your subject. The more comfortable you can make your model feel, the better results you will get. In short: Don’t be creepy.”

Bozorgi points to the difficulty of shooting nudity, saying, “There’s such a fine line between making it look classy and beautiful vs. raunchy and tasteless.” Believing in the importance of empowering subjects, he strives for beautiful images without relying on heavy retouching; “I still would like my models to be represented well, but I do not want them to look like plastic either.” Above all, Bozorgi strives for images that don’t simply portray women as sex objects, but instead cause audiences “to worship the beauty you have captured in your photo.”

Bozorgi says his accomplishments in photography have been unplanned; the results of following his interests. Looking forward, he says, “I’m still learning a lot from every shoot and I would like to experience photographing in different climates and cultural settings, but that will come in time. I’ll just keep doing what I have been doing…and see where it all goes.” Bozorgi is starting work on a coffee table book of new material, to be published in early 2015.

Bozorgi shoots mainly with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 1972 Canon FTb, but also considers his iPhone as part of “his arsenal”.

You can find more of Neave Bozorgi’s work on his website and Instagram.

All images used with permission.

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7 Comments

Greg Tennyson's picture

He does great work. I've been following this guy on IG for a while now and I'm always impressed with his photos. If you're reading this -- keep up the good work dude!

Sara Smoot's picture

Very talented artist. Interesting article.

Spy Black's picture

Yeah, I dunno...

Peter House's picture

I am always inspired by photographers who can portray such comfort from their models. Wonderful work.

Michael Foyle's picture

Beautiful images. I love the film shots.

Great images. Channeling Helmut Newton .