Much more than just a fancy name

Press release: January 2, 2013

La Belle Epoque
A late winter wind hurls itself through a shivering Central Park. A blond woman watches from the bay window of her toasty Fifth Avenue apartment, nervously chewing her lip.

A dream is playing out in her head. A dream of period gowns, of gentlemen, of watch fobs and top hats. The music of Schumann plays in the background. This dream is about to come true and she can hardly wait.

Josephine, or Josie to her friends, would admit to no one that she was in her mid forties. She knew she looked much younger through the miracles of a great diet, punishing exercise and access to the best plastic surgeon in Los Angeles.

Her good looks served her well on the social scene, but she was tiring of the steady demands for her appearance. This year, she decided, would be different. This year she would carve out a chunk of time to plan her own party. Something extravagant, something complicated, something exquisite, something just for her and a few choice friends.

This year, Josie’s secret fantasy was coming true. Josie had always wanted to be a model. But not just any model, a cover model.

As pretty as she was, it was no secret that 5’6” would never cut it.

Then Josie met Koren, the New York photographer who specializes in photographing real women.

“Koren had story after story about transforming women into sexy princesses, fashion goddesses and historic heroines and villains alike.”

Koren’s shoots ranged from simple studio set-ups with couture clothing to complicated, custom-built locations. Koren could borrow costumes from Hollywood and hire stylists to fashion custom props from scratch. Planning was meticulous. Hair and makeup were perfect. Locations were found or stages were built. Nothing was out of reach.

Josie’s fantasy was to be photographed as Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice for an imaginary shoot for Vanity Fair Magazine.

Josie loved the manors and the poise and the sophisticated polish of the English aristocracy and La Belle Epoque. She loved the clothes and the up-do’s and the silks and the brocades that still represent the wealth of that century.

Josie would play the role of Elizabeth Bennett. Koren had arranged a photo shoot at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, the same house chosen for Mr. Darcy’s manor in the 2005 film.

Costumes from the film would be flown in. Extras from the surrounding countryside would participate (in costume, of course). A period feast of goose, roasted potatoes and plum pudding would garnish a 40’ table.

The shoot would last all day. A costume ball for the “cast” and crew would cap off the storybook day where Josie would be surrounded by select friends flown in just for the occasion. To participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event, these friends agreed to donate handsomely to Josie’s favorite charity.

In a few months, Josie would receive a set of custom-made albums telling various stories of the day. The Grande Album, a curated beauty set, would read like an over-the-top magazine spread.

A second album would feature behind-the-scenes shots and out-takes to remember the laughter, the fun, and some of the options that didn’t make it into the big spread.

A third album might focus on one section of the day where Josie wore all white in an all-white room.

This wouldn’t be just any old album collection you throw up on the shelf. The collection would be worthy of an Experience Room.

An Experience Room is a custom-designed space where Josie could re-live this magical day. In her case, the designer would carve a 12’ x 15’ room off Josie’s Manhattan apartment den. The walls of the room would be papered in dusty blue silk brocade and the divided light window would be set with heavy, velvet drapes. Three enormous photographs on canvas in ornate, distressed silver frames would line the walls.

The opening of the doors to the Experience Room would trigger the subtle release of a custom-made scent into the room. This fragrance combines leather, wood smoke, butcher’s wax and roasting venison; all of which trigger experiential memory receptors.

In the center of the room, an ornate podium showcases the Grande Album. Its design makes flipping through page after page a pure pleasure, one that Josie will proudly show off to all her friends.

Press release: August 25, 2011

For immediate release:

I am pleased to announce a photography option that is bound to please the rarest of the rare: the hard-core, old-fashioned photography lover.

This option, the platinum print and the Platinum Experience, won't appeal to most people.


The answer is complicated.

In the last decade of creating some pretty fabulous portrait experiences, I can't tell you how many women have called me saying, "I just want a couple of great black and white prints."

Almost all of these clients completely abandoned this pre-conceived idea once they saw their proofs in color. Instead of ordering just a few (as they predicted), they ended up ordering whole album collections of 20 or more images in COLOR.

So why is color is so popular? People are highly conditioned to it. The majority authentically respond to color on a primal, emotional level.

But there are a few who don't.

There are a precious few who actually prefer the monochrome of black and white. These clients tell me it's because they see it as traditional, classic and timeless.

So for those precious few who get all choked up by a gorgeous, black and white image, I have something to send them over the moon.

The platinum printing method was invented in the 1870's. It uses real platinum. And sometimes a little palladium.

Platinum prints, or platinotypes, are super hard to make. Very few people know how. And they cost an arm and a leg.

But the prints are breathtaking.

They have a delicate glow with beautiful detail that you just can't get in any other printing method, old or contemporary.

Plus, they last pretty much forever without changing in any way.

The platinum print is simply the best you can get.

If you can get it at all.

So rejoice, my fellow connoisseurs of fine art photography. This is for you.

There may be as few as ten commercial printers in the world. All of them use the exact same process that was patented in the late 1800's.

Who might be interested in the Platinum Experience?

Clients who appreciate exquisite fine art with immense scarcity value.

Clients who love having things no one else in their social circles knows about, even they might not admit to this.

What might spark a client's interest in commissioning a Platinum Experience? Likely suspects are milestones such as once-in-a-lifetime family vacations, bridal portraits, business events (executive level promotions, partnerships or retirement) and of course, significant birthdays.


The Platinum Experience celebrates the best photography can be with a portrait experience that rivals the feeling of admiring a platinum print.

Learn more about platinum prints.

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Copyright © 2018 Koren Reyes. A Westerly, RI and NYC portrait photographer.
Beautiful, classic portraiture of families, but especially women, children and dogs.
All rights reserved.