A WORCESTER photographer, who has photographed top models including Cameron Diaz, Charlize Theron, and Yasmin Le Bon - has published his first book with the intention of showcasing the natural beauty of local women.
Alistair Cowin, a professional fashion photographer, has released Beauty Book 2015, at the age of 75.
The Beauty Book 2015 has been created by Mr Cowin over the past year to showcase ‘alternative’ and ‘independent’ models who don’t conform to the stereotype ‘stick insect’ image that many agencies now want.
He created the book, which includes 70 models from the ages of 16- 45 from the Midlands, to showcase women who are overlooked by agencies.
“I wanted to repay people who have helped me and to motivate others into getting involved and who want to enjoy a career as equally fulfilling and enjoyable as mine has been.”
Mr Cowin has worked in the business for 30 years, owning studios in London, Malibu in California, Miami in Florida and Cannes in the South of France and now he has settled in Worcester where he has his own small studio in his back garden where the photoshoots took place.
“I have a small, south facing specialist beauty studio in my garden in St John's which is wonderful for picture taking,” he says.
The makeup artists that helped were all local including students from the Heart of Worcestershire College.
“I used around seven different but very talented makeup artists over the year all of whom are local and two of whom are still students at New College in Bromsgrove," he said.
"One of them is now attending the London College of Fashion which is one of the very best beauty schools in Europe.”
Mr Cowin hopes the book will lead to big success for the models featured inside.
“So far the Book has already produced work for and advanced the careers of several girls featured in it and I’m sure will continue to do so over the next few months as more and more people see it,” he says.
Mr Cowin's career started as an architect but it soon changed to fashion design in London which he pursued from 1964 until 1982 eventually designing and supplying clothes to a variety of top retailers such as Miss Selfridge, Top Shop, Harrods, Sanai (Japan), Bon Genie (Switzerland), Broadway Stores (USA).
The business unfortunately burned down and Alistair took the opportunity to start fashion photography and in 1990 he set up one of his studios in California, waking up to spectacular views across Paradise Cove, Malibu each day.
“I actually started taking pictures in 1982 when I joined a photographic club to see what it was all about. I also knew a lot of fashion people – photographers, models, art directors and fashion editors – as a legacy from my fashion career.
"The insurance pay-out eventually bought me a studio in Knightsbridge which, although it didn’t bring in any work to start with, certainly gave me some ‘street cred’. It took me a further 2 years of practice however before I received my first paid photographic commission.”
Eventually Mr Cowin moved to Worcester to get away from the hassle and inconvenience of London.
During his career he has photographed leading models including Cameron Diaz, Charlize Theron, Caprice and Yasmin Le Bon as well as big names from the entertainment and business worlds.
“There have been many stand-out moments in my career as a photographer. The three that spring to mind were my very first commissioned shoot shot on location in Corfu for the TV Times, my move to California in 1990 and my first fashion shoot in Miami with Charlize Theron for Ocean Drive magazine.”
“I have enjoyed a pretty spectacular career living and travelling all over the world, meeting and working with some wonderfully creative people and having the opportunity to take some wonderful photographs on the way.
“I’ve photographed women of all types and body shapes for my book and the one thing they have in common is their natural beauty.”
The book can be purchased directly from the publisher and is available in printed format and as an electronic version for tablets and mobile phones for £7.99 and can be previewed and/or downloaded using: http://www.blurb.com/b/6605085-beauty-book-2015.
Visit Mr Cowin's website alistaircowin.com