One day in may 1976, the editor of French Vogue, Francine Crescent, called me to say they were asking the beautiful young Nastassja Kinski, daughter of famed German actor, Klaus Kinski, to be the focus of the December 1976 issue and wanted to know if I would be the photographer.
The fantasy theme of the issue was to be pirates…capturing a princess and absconding with her buried treasure. The entire issue was to be edited by French film director Roman Polanski and would be based on his upcoming film on pirates. There was a swashbuckling prince in a long black wig; villainous pirates (character actors from London’s Old Vic); buried treasure…the most important jewels we could manage to take away from Cartier, Tiffany, Asprey, and Van Cleef & Arpels; and several editors from French Vogue in tow.
Off we go to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I have even seen. It was a week of hard work, camaraderie among the cast and crew, and gatherings after the photography for lovely meals on the pristine beaches.
On our return to Paris, it was a nightmare getting the jewelry out of customs, including the silver and blue enamel tortoise in the photograph of Nastassja lying on the beach. The last I heard, her lavish golden princess gown was still languishing somewhere in limbo.
As the issue was a departure from the expected, I was pleased it was very well received, as success is always the goal.
Nastassja went on to become a fine actress, and from time to time our paths cross. We always have a laugh…reminiscing about our spectacular week as the princess and the photographer.