Interview with photographer Josephine Kenney, part 2, by James Edward. Edited by Rachel Varla.
I first met Josephine around summer of 2008, she was doing a photo shoot at our kustoms shop in New York. A friend of mine was modeling for her along with a few other ladies. When I first saw Josephine, I mistook her for one of the models, then when I realized she was the photographer I was blown away! And I must say, a little disappointed she wasn’t in the shoot. I asked my friend a little bit about her and all she could say were positive things; how Josephine is an absolute pleasure to be around and all around great person. Combined with her phenomenal work, this new information definitely piqued my interest even more, and had to find out for myself.
I kept up with her work on Tumblr and Facebook over the past few years, occasionally saying hello. Now, we finally had our chance to sit down and discuss things over cofffee on a wonderful spring afternoon in the center of New Paltz, New york.
We met up at Cafeteria Coffee House in New Paltz, which I have to say was amazing. With vaulted ceilings and balcony nooks, a brick-walled background and of course, the thick aroma of rich, dark coffee brewing, we sat on a beautifully crafted half-moon leather seat with a vintage wood table. Bustling cafe noise filled our background as we sat across from each other, sipped some dark roast and dove in to getting to know what Josephine Kenney and her company Frannie And Foe is all about.
I initially asked her the obligatory question of how long has she been a photographer. She replied, “I’ve been taking photos since I first got my hands on a manual 35mm Olympus as a Kid.” After a few sips of coffee, she elaborated a little and explained that her father had been the one who got her into photography, as he was a photographer himself. When she was a little girl she would take pictures of her toy horses, then as she grew into her teens, it moved on to mannequins she could find, then eventually graduated to photographing any willing friends who would model for her. Which led her to starting Frannie & Foe in early 2011 which is predominantly pinup based work.
When asked what was behind the name of her company, she replies “Frannie being the soft side of my work, is named after my grandmother. Foe, being the fetish, or darker side. Getting the ladies to bring out their inner ‘sauciness.’ I want all of the women who shoot with me to be comfortable, show their confidence, and with that, capture their beauty and every curve.”
Frannie & Foe is led by Josephine, but there is another beauty afoot. Her assistant and part-time muse, Julissa Rivera.
“I have a super awesome assistant, Julissa Rivera, she’s been with me for almost a year now and she happens to double as a rad model too. I first met her in early 2013 when she came to shoot with me as a client. She was a doll both in front of the camera as well as behind the scenes, really, one of the sweetest girls I’ve had the pleasure of working with. She’s been so very helpful over the past year I can’t even put it into words. She helps me do everything from prepping shoots, cleaning my kit, to even helping with laundering and sorting costumes. She helps organize my life! When my gear breaks, she will act as a light stand, and the whole time always being her adorable and fun self. Plus, she’s awesome with my dogs so that wins me over everytime. She herself has two pitbulls so she is comfortable around my big oafs.” (Josephine has three Greater Swiss Mountain dogs! Each can weigh up to 140 lbs.)
It’s safe to say, there is absolutely nothing cookie-cutter about Josephine’s work, nor herself. Not only is she a delight to be around and easy on the eyes, she is truly an amazing woman, just livin her dreams in the woods of New York with her dogs. Go and Check out Frannie & Foe, Josephine and Julissa