These days, thanks to smartphones, anyone can take dozens of pictures and post them to online social media.
But it still takes a skilled photographer to create images that cut through all that visual clutter, to grab attention, and showcase the subject in the best way possible.
That’s what Robert Voltaire does. The California-born lensman specializes in fashion, beauty, and fine art body portraits of stunning models appearing in magazines and editorials worldwide including, Vogue, Vanity Fair, BrazilBUMBUM, Elle, and Playboy.
Voltaire started as an actor, appearing in the films “North of Dupont” and “Harvest Moon,” but soon found his passion was found in photography. He first garnered attention with photos of model Brooke Shields made for a Calvin Klein jeans campaign featured in Vogue magazine.
Since then, he’s gone on to do hundreds of shoots in exotic locations. His images of the female form are the stuff of which fantasies are made.
Voltaire has appeared on “America’s Next Top Model” and “Model Employee” on VH1, as well as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
But it’s his photography where he truly casts a long shadow. There’s more to creating a great image than technical proficiency, Voltaire said.
“Photography is about storytelling and fantasy,” he said. “When I am shooting I think cinematically. Where is she going? Where is she from? Sometimes it’s the details… Where are her hands? What is her mouth saying?”
And capturing those details makes the difference. How much? Three years ago, model Rachel Cook had about 15,000 Instagram followers. Then she worked with Robert Voltaire for a Treats magazine cover shoot.
Not long after, Cook began to gain an incredible 100,000 Instagram followers a month. Now, after appearing in hundreds of Voltaire’s images (which can be found all over the internet) Cook has over two million followers.
Much of his work explores the beauty of black and white imagery. Voltaire has a special affinity for it, and he has been named a master of black and white photography by prestigious German fashion magazine Max.
One of his black and white images, titled “Il Delphino” (The Dolphin), sold for $22,000 at a Beverly Hills auction. The photograph features nude model Anna Grigorenko bursting from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Notably, Il Delphino was an outtake from an unrelated shoot.
For those who would like to emulate his work – and attempt to reach his level of success – Voltaire has published a book, “Photography Marketing Masterclass.” In it, he gives away some of the secrets that have made him a world-class photographer.
Robert Voltaire has a job that men the world over would love to have, taking pictures of models such as Rachel Cook, Francesca Eastwood, Charlotte McKinney and Cami Morrone in far-flung countries. Yet he knows that his proficiency alone does not make the entire impact
“Ultimately a photograph can never capture a person’s true beauty,” he said. “ It is up to the viewer to interpret it.”