We’re putting the spotlight on our new favorite fashion book, Plus One: An Outsider’s Photographic Journey into the World of Fashion by Sharon Socol. Trust us, this tome is chock-full of incredible up-close images amassed from years of Socol’s experience as a “plus one” to fashion functions with her husband Howard Socol, the former CEO of Barneys New York. Read on to find more about the amazing lady behind the lens!
1. Shooting behind the scenes in the fashion world, you must have paid witness to some amazing things! Any favorite backstage stories?
One moment I clearly remember was during my time backstage at Lanvin. While moving in and around the action: the make up artists painting faces; the photographers elbowing each other to get pre show photos, the dressers organizing the clothing changes and Alber Ebaz brow tight scrutinizing the final looks. At one point Alber paused and walked away, taking a very private moment. I was very close to him and knew any photo I took would record something personal to him. Catching his eye I knew this needed to remain private and I turned and walked away. Later when our paths crossed he acknowledged my respect for his private moment with his smile.
2. You shoot primarily candid photos—was this always your passion, or did you play around with other styles of photography early in your career?
Yes, candid photos have always been my direction. I am not a conceptual photographer. I do not have the ability to style and create a scene. When I make photographs I shoot organically. Sometimes I see the frame arranging itself and but most of the time I move around instinctively shooting what I observe and feel. I have tried portraits from time to time but I am not comfortable. I often say to myself I should try portraits more because being out of my comfort zone could push the shutter in rewarding ways.
3. You’ve taken pictures all over the world—what location has stood out as a particularly memorable for a shoot?
Bali stands high on my list. I stayed in Ubud for two weeks with friends. It was our base, but we traveled dally throughout the country. Bali’s kaleidoscope of sounds, smells, colors, people, and life routine kept my shutter finger busy. Every evening I was overloaded by my unharnessed responses to what I was seeing and feeling.
4. Any future photo projects you’re hoping to tackle?
I have several projects in mind. One I started last summer asks questions about the life of a young woman and her family in my home town. She impressed me with her dedication to her family and profession (nursing) and her conflict to remain balanced. Another project uses my photography to resolve unanswered actions from my life. An example: correcting the color of my mother’s lipstick when she died.
5. And last—what are you most excited to give and (hope to) receive as holiday gifts this year?
I am most excited to spend Chanukah with my grandchildren. I love giving them gifts that utilize their imagination and in turn they love receiving them. I already got my holiday gift: the publication of Plus One: A Photographic Journey Into The World Of Fashion. I gave this gift to myself by committing to create it and others gave me this gift by sharing their ideas and energy to make it happen.
Photo credit: Deborah Gray Mitchell