Back in 2014, famed Victoria’s Secret photographer Russell James released a sensual photo book called Angels, featuring intimate black and white images of some of the world's most iconic lingerie models.
Now, James just released a collector’s edition and fine art gallery of Angels, with stunning nude images of models like Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, and Cindy Crawford.
The 448-page extra-large photo book is a visually mesmerizing celebration of the female form that took four painstaking years to create, and only 1,000 copies are available.
Speaking with Maxim.com, Russell explained why he chose to photograph the models without a shred of clothing, and feature them au naturel.
“Nudes to me are the basis of art," he said. "Whether male or female, ever since people could create art, the nude has been at the heart of it.
“I shoot many genres of photography from landscapes to indigenous culture to fashion, however, the nude is something that’s probably most important to ‘get right’.
“The only critic that matters in a nude portrait is the person in it. That is the only approval I ever look for.
When asked if he has a favorite photograph from the book, he says there is no such thing as a "favorite" from a collection as special as this.
"This project is so close to me that it is nearly impossible to say which single shot is ‘my favorite’. It’s like when my kids ask me which one of them is my favorite. (I secretly say ‘you’ to each of them.)
"Just a few of the iconic moments for me are: Cindy Crawford smiling on a bed in Malibu, shooting Bella Hadid because it was the first time we met and I found her face so amazing, grouping Taylor Hill and Romee together because they are such good buddies...then Kendall was also special because we had been on a journey within the industry to reach this highlight moment together.
"However, each shot has a story I love, so I could go through one by one and explain why each is entirely special."
But even though he can't pick a favorite picture, he does have a favorite photo shoot.
"My favorite photo shoot was possibly on St Barthes with Sara Sampaio and Elsa Hosk. Sara was by a pool at a magical time of day and I managed to catch a room with perfect daylight to shoot Elsa in."