I have been on both sides of the camera for commercials and editorial photo shoots. I have to admit that I am much more comfortable being behind the camera, than being in the spotlight. I definitely prefer to be the one directing! For me, the best photo shoots involve my own clothes, a familiar environment, and a great photographer. That was the case for the September 2012 Food & Wine story that photographer Michael Turek shot at my house in Long Island. The story is about how I like to entertain in the summer. We set a long table in my backyard with a mix of my grandmother’s special pieces and my own things. I wore my own white jeans with a favorite denim button down. The pictures captured how I love to be in the summer—relaxed, outdoors, and at home. Michael made the experience feel really authentic and his images were beautiful.

I’ve learned that the best photographers not only take amazing photographs, but they are experts at making everyone feel comfortable. I love working with photographers Craig McDean and Mario Testino for that reason. Claiborne Swanson Frank recently took my portrait for her book American Beauty. It was such a treat working with a female photographer. Claiborne truly understands how women want to look. I also always enjoy collaborating with Bruce Weber. He has a great sense of humor and makes everything fun. I love the photo he took of me for French Vogue years ago. In the picture, I am on my couch, wearing a vintage Harvard t-shirt and jeans, and drinking a beer. I was having so much fun, and Bruce perfectly captured the moment.