the styles treatment

Photographers Inez & Vinoodh Communicate Via Telepathy, Naturally.

Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin are that couple you know: super chipper, Insta-happy, thrilled to make plans as soon as things calm down – and, of course, perfect hosts in their chic, wood-paneled Lower East Side loft. That’s why they’re the subjects of a glowing new profile in the Times, pegged (loosely, of course) to the fact that they’ve had a busy year (shooting everything from Lady Gaga’s “Applause” video to the Gap’s new Adam Driver-fronted campaign) and a lot of Instagram followers. The article quotes many of their closest friends and collaborators, including Gaga herself, who wrote to the Times in an e-mail: “I feel a true spirit of myself captured in their photos.”

The piece answers several lingering questions about the photographer spouses, such as how, for example, do they logistically co-photograph a shoot without getting in each other’s way? They communicate telepathically, of course:

On a set, they photograph their subjects simultaneously from different angles, then look at all the images and choose the best ones. Ms. van Lamsweerde tends to shoot head-on; Mr. Matadin moves around. Occasionally her elbow-length hair finds its way into his frame. But for the most part they keep track of each other with minimal communication.

There’s also the question of whether Inez and Vinoodh – who met as students at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy in the eighties and who married in 1996 — ever really fight:

Their unusual bond is part of their fascination. They are often asked why they don’t drive each other crazy, a suggestion that seems to baffle them. While they have disagreements (“Of course! We are human beings,” Mr. Matadin said), they don’t argue, they said. Instead, they work things out.

The couple is open about wanting to turn themselves into a lifestyle brand – staging a big Gagosian retrospective last year, releasing a jewelry line and a Byredo fragrance. But the Times thinks their commercialness is newsy, and reports that there are rumblings – because all stories have to have some sort of conflict – that Inez and Vinoodh “are motivated more by the market than by artistic vision.” There are “whispers,” the Times reports, that they “haven’t innovated much since their early years.” Ooh, this is getting good. But the sourcing is flimsy: Terry Gruber, “a society photographer and filmmaker,” grumbles: “Their work doesn’t seem to be as original as the commentary that is written about it implies … They’ve sort of taken from every piece of photographic history and given it a new spin.”

And worst of all, from photography critic Vince Aletti: “I have no idea why anyone would go for an Inez and Vinoodh fragrance.” Hmmm … We think we can name a few people who might beg to differ.

Inez & Vinoodh Communicate Via Telepathy