Paul Van Ravenstein, born in The Netherlands, was introduced to photography and the world of fashion at an early age through his sister, top model Apollonia. At just fourteen, he began modeling for British Vogue in London with his sis Appollonia and Angelica Houston.
Later, he moved to New York City and started assisting fashion and celebrity photographer Ara Gallant. Launching out on his own, Paul began photographing for himself, at first fashion shows in Paris and Milan, then editorial advertising. His work has since been featured in numerous publications including Teen Vogue, Vogue Pelle, Moda, Avenue, Gioa, King, Taxi, Anabella, Chi, Gente, OK Magazine and advertising clients like Rootstein, La Mason Blue, Linea Lydia, Rustans, Filitura di Crosa and Squash Vico. He has traveled the world extensively and has resided and worked in Italy for twenty years. He is currently living and working in the USA in the NYC/Philly area. He is married to legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland.
Paul Van Ravenstein, Angelica Houston & Apollonia
WFF: You started out as a model, how does it feel to be on the other side of the camera?
Paul Van Ravenstein: I actually was only modeling occasionally, and assisting a photographer from the early times. I was always much more comfortable behind the camera! Being in the image and being part of the creative process of creating the image is totally different. On the modeling end you are asked to give a feeling, a mood and look to achieve a desired result. Behind the camera, all the attention of the entire crew is on all the details to achieve that image.
WWF: How has fashion photography changed over the years?
Paul Van Ravenstein: The days when I started photography, you would use film and only Polaroid, so you really needed to know what you were doing! Photography now is in real time on a computer and easy to retouch. In addition, with the integration of bloggers and the Internet, everything is out instantly. With digital, everyone who buys a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, then becomes a photographer. The boom of digital fashion photography has morphed into this ever growing industry.
WFF: What about Women in Fashion and film attracted you to be a supporter?
Paul Van Ravenstein: I have always been surrounded by women and fashion. I have four sisters. My sister, Apollonia, wife Pat Cleveland and Daughter Anna model, so when Executive Director Jeanine Jeo Hi Kim asked me to get involved with this amazing platform, I happily accepted!
WFF: Having a daughter in the industry, what advice do you give her?
Paul Van Ravenstein: Always stay true to yourself. Enjoy life on a daily basis and seize opportunities when they arise. Most of all, be safe. She also gets a lot of advice from my wife, Pat Cleveland.
WFF: If you had the choice of another profession, other than what you do, what would it have been?
PVR: Maybe a standup comedian, love seeing people laugh...
Paul Van Ravenstein & Legendary Supermodel Pat Cleveland on their wedding day