Who is the Colombian Photographer Behind Martha Stewart’s Sports Illustrated Shoot?
Martha Stewart is proving to the world that age is, after all, just a number.
The 81-year-old celebrity chef and entrepreneur made history as the oldest woman to grace the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
Images of Stewart posing for the publication’s cover have unleashed a fresh wave of empowerment for women everywhere. Setting the example that beauty and confidence don’t have an age limit.
Behind the lens of the television personality’s historic Caribbean photoshoot is none other than Colombian photographer Ruvén Afanador. Here’s everything we know about the Bucaramanga native and how he captured Stewart’s radiance in the Dominican Republic.
Meet the Colombian photographer picked for Martha Stewart’s photoshoot
Known as a longtime contributor for publications such as Vogue, TIME, Vanity Fair and Elle, Ruvén Afanador has captured timeless moments for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Among his Latino subjects are icons such as Rita Moreno, Anthony Ramos, Tessa Thompson, Rauw Alejandro and Cardi B.
Born in Colombia, Afanador’s family moved to Michigan when he was a teenager. He studied art but found a genuine passion for photography, which took him worldwide.
Afanador initially worked in fashion and portrait photography while living in Washington, D.C., but moved to Milan to develop his artistic voice. When he moved to New York City in 1990, he attracted several agencies who hired him to photograph their clients.
Breaking beauty standards in photography
Martha Stewart had some help pushing long-established beauty standards out the door with her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated — the man behind the lens saw her as a “siren.”
Adding Stewart to his repertoire of inspiring photographs, Afanador has proudly shared the photographs on his Instagram, using captions such as “Beach Goddess” to describe his muse.
Breaking away from his black-and-white style, he captured Stewart’s radiance in the warm, colorful, Caribbean setting of the Dominican Republic.
Check out more of Afanador’s images from this year’s swimsuit shoot here.
How Martha Stewart approached the opportunity to pose at 81
In an interview with TODAY, Stewart admitted she was nervous about changing “into nine different bathing suits in one day in front of all those people.” Ultimately, she thinks she “met the challenge.”
“When the offer came, I thought, ‘I can do this. I don’t have to give in to convention,” she told The New York Times. “How else would I, as an 81-year-old, have talked myself into feeling good about getting into a bathing suit?”
However, she doesn’t consider aging traditionally at all, saying that “the whole aging thing is so boring.” She also said that, in contrast to her usual motivations of getting paid, she “was motivated by showing people that a woman my age can still look good, feel good, be good.”