Inez and Vinoodh Won’t Photograph Models Under 18

Photo: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin via
Triple threat: Lady Gaga, shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, for V

Despite the CFDA’s best efforts, the trend toward the-younger-the-better models doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Just ask Elle Fanning!

But two of the industry’s most influential photographers, husband and wife duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, won’t have it.

In a new interview with, they explain that doing a shoot with a girl under 18 in not an option.

“[Models] start at 14 and everyone says to them, ‘Wow, you’re incredible. You’re so skinny. You look like a boy,’” van Lamsweerde says. “And once that girl is 18 and her body is finished growing, all of a sudden it was like, ‘Oh, she’s fat.’

“The poor girl. She’s just growing. We felt it was unethical to support that,” she continues.

“You get judged anyway and it’s not easy. You have to really know who you are first. And at such a tender age—between 14 and 18—you’re figuring out who you are.”

But compassion for the young girls isn’t their only reasoning.

“As they grow, we grow with them. You never get bored of shooting someone that has made an interesting life for herself,” van Lamsweerde explains, citing Raquel Zimmerman, Shalom Harlow, Gisele, Maggie Rizer and Lady Gaga as some of their favorites to shoot.

“[They] can know themselves well enough to let it go and go for the idea of making something together,” she adds.

“What’s exciting for us is when someone is not afraid to be someone else, and it takes character to be able to do that.”

Sounds like Gaga may just be their ideal subject ...

In related news, a 15-year-old model recently lied about her age to walk during New York Fashion Week.