"Beauty is the essence of life," says famed photographer Kenneth Willardt. This week, the Denmark native releases The Beauty Book, a 304-page tome featuring some of the most famous faces to ever get in front of his lens, from stars like Jennifer Lopez to models like Bar Rafaeli. For Willardt, the book is meant to be an exciting peek into his world. "It’s always surprising that the most famous subjects are the most down to earth,” he tells InStyle.com of his celebrity models. “They tend to be really comfortable with themselves and understand what an effort everyone puts into making their picture the best it can possibly be.”
But it's more than just a book. One hundred percent of proceeds from sales will be donated to Rescuers Without Borders, a medical organization dedicated to humanity. “The celebrities featured in The Beauty Book were the first to really understand and support the idea,” Willardt says. And there's more: To accompany the book, he launched an interactive app under the same name. Download the app, click on the “Augmented Reality” component, and hover your phone over a photo to see animations of more than thirty pictures (we tried it, very cool!), such as the image of Georgia May Jagger below. Says Willardt, “It adds a second language to the book and a second layer to the imagery."
“It is always a pleasure to shoot Jennifer Lopez. One of the shoots we had together was shot on location in the Mojave Desert during a very critical period in her personal life. Those moments shared together were very special.”
“He could not be a nicer guy – he was just so focused on making the pictures the best possible. Definitely a guy who is comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, it’s easy to see why he is so loved by his audience.”
RELATED: Five Fashionable Books to Get You Through the Fall
“I photographed Rachel when she first started dating Daniel Craig. She was really in love and was so beautiful and empowered I was very lucky to photograph her at that time – it was the perfect moment.”
“When you photograph the stars in Cannes there is electricity in the air, a feeling that something exciting is going to happen. This is how I felt when I photographed Freida on the red carpet.”