Icon: Music Through the Lens

S1 E4 | CLIP

Lauryn Hill

Photographer Jonathan Mannion talks about shooting Lauryn Hill for Honey Magazine while she was pregnant.

AIRED: August 06, 2021 | 0:01:49
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TRANSCRIPT

- She was quite late

because she was at a photo shoot before that.

"I'm sorry, I'm four or five hours late."

I was like, "You're here now, we have a chance."

Like, "Cool."

Like, I know how much the artists are doing

and are going through in these critical moments

of celebrating an album.

And this was her moment of "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."

It was Honey Magazine, they were starting a magazine

and they wanted to really like lean in.

They got her, she was a perfect fit.

And I was like, "I'm gonna play into the honey tones

so you know the different sort of degrees."

She was six months pregnant.

And she was glowing, man.

She must've felt just like on top of the world,

like just floating along.

There was a mirror on set that was sort of off camera,

and she would be looking off to her right.

And she'd give the most amazing look,

and then look back to me and it was gone.

She'd do it again and just get perfect.

And then look back to me, it was gone.

And I was like, "You gotta share some of those looks."

So the dynamic was how to do the stance

to make her comfortable

with how she was appearing to herself.

So I said, "Let's try this."

And so I took the mirror,

and I shot with a mirror under my chin, full length mirror,

so it could just be a look down and then a look up,

and then it wasn't lost.

For the cover, we ended up,

there was just like a little roundness

that sort of looked kind of like a belly,

but not fully pregnant and not really embracing it.

And I was like, "You know what?

I just want it to be focused on her

rather than the moment of being pregnant."

And so we just retouched a little bit of the belly back in.

So it just kind of wasn't a distraction from her,

even though certainly it was Zion in her belly

which became part of the song,

which became part of the album,

which, I mean, it's a major moment.

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