There's one thing that always binds together Ellen von Unwerth's inimitable photographs: a distinct sense of playfulness.
Von Unwerth is best known for provocative, sexy images that fully capture the beauty of her famous subjects -- Madonna, Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé among others -- she also worked as model.
"I was a model for 10 years and I was so frustrated, I was lively and always had fun ideas but the photographers were always like, just stand there, look to the left, look to the right, don't smile.”
"So when I started to shoot my model girlfriends I did the opposite. I wanted to catch something, a slice of life I always called it. I actually try to make it look like a stolen moment."
Ellen describes this genre of photography of her own creation as "reportage edge," due to its spontaneous rather than staged nature, and she doesn't think that her shots are over-sexualized. "There is always a little bit of humour in my pictures and maybe a little bit of a parody of femininity.”