The Girl Next Door
Markus Klinko on His Keep a Child Alive Celebrity Campaign
Starring Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys, Katie Holmes and More
by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
What do Alicia Keys, Kim Kardashian, Katie Holmes, Usher, Ryan Seacrest, Swizz Beatz, and Jay Sean have in common? They've all donated their time -- and their faces -- to the new Keep a Child Alive campaign, which aims to support HIV/AIDS victims in Africa and India.
The simple images, which feature the celebs in gray T-shirts with scannable bar codes, were shot by celebrity photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani of "Double Exposure" fame.
To find out more about the star-studded shoot and what it was like photographing a positively glowing and very pregnant Keys, StyleList rang up Klinko for a chat.
StyleList: What was your concept going into this shoot?
Markus Klinko: A simple gray background, a simple gray T-shirt, and no posing. The subjects are just themselves. They all came in without much fuss or hours of hair and makeup. We chose to photograph them in a light that is somewhat celestial because it's all about a moment of reflection. People can scan the bar code and videos and messages will pop up.
SL: What else can we expect?
MK: I don't want to give it all away, but we shot the children of Will and Jada Smith. We shot Serena Williams. We're anticipating that Justin Bieber will be participating. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Personally, I would love to shoot enough people so we can create a book out of it. It'd be very powerful to create a beautiful coffee table book that's about this moment in time where a number of people that are the best of their fields come together for the cause.
SL: Alicia Keys looks stunning. How was it shooting her pregnant and shooting
her husband, Swizz Beatz?
MK: It was very exciting because we have not worked with Alicia before. She's a photographer's dream subject and she was so comfortable being shot while pregnant. Without saying names, we have shot other pregnant celebrities and it was a circus. I've had some of my most nightmarish shoots dealing with this situation, but Alicia was so relaxed and so happy. Swizz came in for her shoot and she stayed for his. They're very much in love.
SL: Kim Kardashian is usually so sexy in shoots. Did you have to tone
MK: No, we're not fighting sexy. What we're trying to do is have a more simple and serious look at these celebrities. But being sexy and beautiful is something these people are born with. And Kim is always sexy. She can't help it. I think she's even sexier without tight outfits.
SL: Will you be back for a second season of "Double Exposure"?
MK: All I can say right now is that Indrani and I will be doing more television. I think it's good for the industry that the behind-the-scenes of photography be shown to a mass audience. But it needs to evolve. There was a lot of drama on the first season, and we're not actually as dramatic as we came across.
SL: Are you doing anything else beyond television?
MK: We're branching out and directing and Indrani has a book coming out next year called "Image Craft." It's sort of a self-help book, showing people how to pull out the best of themselves for their Facebook pictures, for their bio, or whatever.
I also have a book coming out that is completely different. It'll be semi-autobiographical, juicy, sexy, controversial, and totally politically incorrect. It's going to be about my life story.
I've been surrounded by the world's most beautiful women for many years and so it's about women and my relationships with women, Indrani being one of them. It'll also be mixed with a lot of personal photography unlike what you've seen from us. Lots of nudes and sexy images that are like moments from a European movie.
We're so buying the book!
Besides modeling to show her support, Keys, a co-founder of the charity, is hosting the 7th Annual Keep a Child Alive Black Ball tonight (Sept. 30) in NYC, where philanthropy and celebrity merge to raise money for the important cause.
Trading in her gray T-shirt for a gray lace strapless Dolce & Gabbana gown with gathered detail at the waist for the event, Keys will perform along with music royalty Jay-Z and Sade.