Beyond the storied opulence and jet-set glamour, the French Caribbean island of St. Barts has an alter ego: dense forests, uninhabited beaches and untouched natural beauty.
This is the playground of Paris-trained photographer Jean-Philippe Piter, a surfer, artist and environmentalist from Senegal who settled here in 1997 and soon found his passion in portraiture.
“I fell in love with the island immediately,” says Piter, whose art magazine, Pure St. Barth, captures the rarefied local milieu.
“The place is incredibly sexy. There was a feeling of freedom, people were naked on the beach, there were a ton of pretty girls with fancy clothes.”
It is not surprising that this Garden of Eden became an exclusive escape for the rich and famous, but Piter still embraces the raw magic of the land—and the beautiful women who are drawn to it, often in very little clothing.
“I have a huge freedom. I shoot naked girls in a pool by the most beautiful beach in the world and make money from it,” he says. “It’s too good to be true.” We don’t disagree.
Check out some of Piter's most alluring work in the gorgeous gallery above.