James Franco attending the University of Houston

University of Houston students in the Fall 2012 creative writing program will see a familiar face on campus — Oscar-nominated actor James Franco. UH says out of 400 applicants, only 20 are allowed in and the Houston Chronicle reports Franco is working on getting his doctorate.

UH confirms that Franco has has been accepted. The Creative Writing Program issued a statement:

James Franco was scheduled to enter the PhD program in Literature and Creative Writing in Fall 2011, but he requested a deferral for an additional year, which the faculty granted, so he is now scheduled to begin doctoral work here in Fall 2012.

Vanity Fair Cover 2011

^James at NYU

From the comedy Pineapple Express

-Atessa Nicole-

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Fashion Photographer-Helmut Newton

This photo was photographed by Helmut Newton–it was published in French VogueLe Smoking, features a tuxedo by Yves Saint Laurent.

source: http://seesaw.typepad.com/dykeaquarterly/issue-1/

Helmut Newton–was born in Berlin (1920) to a German-Jewish family. The oppressive restrictions placed on Jews resulted in his father losing his button-factory. Soon after, his father was placed in a concentration camp. November 1938 his family decided to leave Germany and they fled to Chile. When Helmut turned 18 he was issued a passport and he fled Germany in December 1938. He boarded the ‘Conte Rosso’ (with others who were escaping the Nazis) which led him to Singapore. He got a job as a portrait photographer with the Straits Times.

In 1956 he won a contract with British Vogue, so he left for London. A year later he left for Paris, where he landed jobs with high-fashion magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Marie-Claire.

By the 1970s, Newton became internationally known in the fashion-photography world. This fashion photographer’s style was imitated widely. His photography is known to be provocative, mostly black and whites and some critics bashed his work because they thought it was close to pornography.

Unfortunately, Newton passed away in 2004 due to a fatal car accident when he crashed in the driveway of the famous Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles–which was also his residence for several years.

(source for information: Encyclopedia Britannica)

Helmut Newton

Linea Italiana, Rome 1970’s

Monica Bellucci

Elsa Perretti (1975)

Vogue Paris March 1979

Kate Moss

Mario Testino

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My compilation of favorites –all photographed by Mario Testino

I have always had a love for photography and at a young age I began to collect magazines. If there was one specific picture or spread that I loved– I bought the issue. A few years ago, I decided to look into who the photographers were and one of them kept popping up more frequently than the others—Mario Testino.

If you flip thru any fashion magazine today, you are guaranteed at least one spread or advertisement photographed by Testino. Madonna introduced him to Gianni Versace in 1994, which led to their collaboration for Versace’s next campaign ad. Versace decided to run the new campaign with an introductory page stating, “Versace presents Madonna. Photographed by Testino.” After that, his name was all over the fashion world and his career flourished.

“A life long affair with fashion began at a young age. I always try to recreate the world I had when I was young, which was by the beach in South America. Somebody once described that my photographs are of a girl leaving a club with her dress is falling and she’s been having a great time, and it’s true! That is where I get my inspiration from, my teen years in Rio De Janeiro.”  Mario’s secret–“Being too self-assured is unproductive, it’s better to be a little bit on the insecure side.”

I love the elements (lighting, clothes, camera position, etc.) he brings together to create an image and each element is like a key ingredient which is necessary. I can tell that Mario has the ability to connect with his subjects and capture their vulnerable side–which is what I love seeing most in his photography!

Penélope Cruz stars in Mario Testino’s commercial for Lancôme Trésor, filmed in Paris.

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