I am so excited to introduce you to the incredible talent of Sonia Sieff and the beautiful work she’s done around femininity and nudity in one of my now favorite books, Les Francaises.
She nails nudity as an art and the female body as an inspiration. Her images are subtle, provocative, beautiful and complicated which is a rare feat in a world that is either too prude (no nipples on Instagram?!) or too trashy… Bravo Sonia and thank you for your empowering work!
Sonia is an artist, filmmaker and photographer. With work reminiscent of her father Jeanloup Sieff, her latest book Les Francaises is a stunning collection of nude photos – French women free of inhibitions, in familiar places where they felt at home, all un-retouched. Her ability to make you feel both welcome and in awe of her at the same time is a characteristic that ultimately drew me back in. So it felt like the perfect moment to visit Sonia at her own home and tell us a bit more about the intimate moments she captured in her book…
Left: Lubna has a personal story with cinema, and has this cinematic face. She was the last shoot I did for the book. Right: The sweet words Robert Doisneau wrote in my teenage diary. He offered me my first teddy bear when I was born and I chose him as my godfather.
Above: I had to photograph Clotilde pregnant, the most beautiful belly pointing toward Paris rooftops.
Right: I love Loulou in her bath and the resemblance to the leopard printed on the towel!
Above: The body language also appears in portraits, the way a Helene hides and shows reveals who she is.
Above: Helmut Newton wrote this postcard to my parents when I was just born: “Congratulations on your baby daughter, I’ll be too old to photograph her when she is grown.”
Left: This picture shows the poetic attitude of my friend Charlotte in her apartment. Right: My library with magazines, the ballet shoes of my friend who is a dancer at the Opera de Paris, a picture of me as a little girl, Bernard Plossu’s postcard, and pictures with my dad.
Above: I met Laura in Porquerolles at her friend Zoe’s during the summer, she was American, beautiful and loved France.
Above: These are personal pictures on my wall. Starting from the left: my dad’s self-portrait from his 20s ; Robert Doisneau sweet words ; my house in normandy at night ; pregnancy ; a woman’s legs as a clin d’oeil to François Truffaut’s sentence: “Les jambes des femmes sont des compas qui arpentent le globe” from his movie L’homme qui aimait les femmes. And a picture at the cafe de flore I took.
Above: This picture is the quintessence of the book: the marie antoinette pompom and the beautiful body of Josephine with a touch of humour of course!