When conducting a photoshoot with a superstar like Rihanna, even the most seasoned photographer is bound to be a bit nervous. Ruven Afanador, the world-renown fashion photographer who shot the sexy songstress for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, was thankful for the serene location and easy-going attitude of the cover star.
“It was great that we were shooting at [The Mountain Mermaid] because it was way up on Topanga Canyon and we were all removed from everything,” said Afanador. “The location was transporting and very shoot-friendly. The owner of the location was very accommodating to all our needs and it felt like we were at home that day,”
According to Afanador, Rihanna’s arrival with a positive attitude served as an inspiration to have fun and produce a beautiful editorial. The singer said she was very excited to be working with him and Cool Hunt for the shoot.
“Once I started shooting her, I loved what a great model she was. She looked amazing and was so present [and] was so focused on creating a great image,” said Afanador.
In addition, Afanador was endeared to see how much Rihanna cared for her team, and vice versa. “They were very supportive, talented, and present. You can tell how much Rihanna loves [them] and how devoted they are,” said Afanador.
After the shoot was over, Rihanna remained very present and vocal about what she liked about the photos and wasn’t shy about offering her commentary and opinions.
“I loved editing with Rihanna. She was very clear on what she liked,” said Afanador. “It was great working with a celebrity that wants to be that involved and understands that all those steps make a difference in the final result,”
Afanador recalls his time with the superstar as an “amazing experience”, and won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.