We Are The Rhoads See Three Strong, Powerful Women
We are entering a new era for powerful women in this country making it the perfect time for We Are The Rhoads to photograph three incredible female entertainers who are each forging ground in their own unique ways. The photography duo caught up with Kaitlin Olson for Good Housekeeping, Riley Keough for The Hollywood Reporter, and Bibi Bourelly for i-D, showing each of them in ways you’ll recognize and others that will surprise you.
If you watch ‘Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ you’ll recognize Kaitlin Olson as Sweet Dee, the sole female in the group of characters who get into some of the hairiest, most debaucherous, most disgusting antics on television. Despite Dee being a total narcissist (and probably sociopath) it turns out that Olson is actually a wonderful person. That’s exactly what Sarah and Chris Rhoads wanted to bring to the forefront when they photographed her for Good Housekeeping. “The thing about peoples’ interests in celebrities is they all have an actual life outside of the character,” says Sarah. “What Chris and I are always interested in is digging into who people are, not how they are perceived. Drawing out who Kaitlin is was at the heart of what we were going for. She is a gracious and kind and open and warm-hearted person so she made it really easy to capture that spirit.” They’re drawing out their subjects’ true personalities frame by frame.
Sometimes, when someone has been photographed as much as Riley Keough a photo shoot can be a very predictable space. Keough knows her angles and knows how to speak to a camera, but when The Rhoads photographed her for The Hollywood Reporter they wanted to surprise her. They wanted to get an unexpected moment. So Chris pulled out a large format camera that finds its roots at the very beginning of photography to show Keough something different and something fun. “When people are so used to being photographed all the time it’s nice to break up their expectations a little bit,” explains Chris. “By showing them a different process, even as simple as having a different camera that they’re not used to seeing, they’re suddenly reanimated and excited about something from a new point of view.” It takes some time to get the shot just right when you use a large format camera, so The Rhoads only had time to take one frame but it ended up being The Hollywood Reporter’s favorite, and it ran as the portrait in the story.
Bibi Bourelly is also very comfortable in front of the camera, but for a totally different set of reasons. The songwriter that brought us Rihanna’s ‘Bitch Better Have My Money,’ along with hits with Selena Gomez, Lil Wayne, and Usher, is very young but also knows exactly who she is. For Sarah and Chris that makes for an exciting session. “She really knew who she was and those kinds of people are the most fun to photograph,” says Sarah. “They’re confident, they bring a certain attitude to the shoot and they’re willing to be very giving of themselves.” Their time with Bourelly had an incredibly natural feel to it and resulted in images that show her personality and humanity exactly how the Rhoads found it.