Against the dark and dimly lit walls of the Stephan Weiss Studio stood dozens of fine art photos of the beautiful Behati Prinsloo, semi-nude in the heart of a subtropical landscape. Shot by world renowned photographer Russell James, “Seminole Spirit” is a visual interpretation of the Seminole tribe of Florida. After a two-year-long visit to their land, James learned that many have fought in the Vietnam war.
“Three wars reduced them down to 200,” said James. What struck the Australian photographer the most was Chief James E. Billie’s deep love for his country and unwavering support of the U.S. military. “I asked Billie, ‘Why fight for a country that effectively tried to wipe you off the face of the earth?’ and he said, ‘I am American. My culture is here. We go forward.'” Billie’s message sat so strongly with James that the shoot was done in that spirit.
“We wanted to express not the culture of the tribe—that belongs to them,” said James. “What we tried to express is their forward thinking.” The result is 30 stunning photos of Behati like you have never seen before.