My name is Damian Bao, and I am the New York City based photographer behind Bonae L’amour. By chance in 2010, I ended up in the New York Fashion Week tents and soon discovered the kindness of beautiful strangers. I spent that summer studying models’ names and careers while teaching math to underprivileged kids. Since then, I have snapped thousands of runway models in the catwalk capitals of the world and have become a fashion week fixture. I am extremely moved to be a familiar face to many of the top models.
As a bohemian and an advocate for diversity and unconventional standards of beauty, I aim to spread love, acceptance, respect, and smiles through Bonae L’amour or “Good Love.” Even with the additional duties in casting and producing that I now have, I still feel the same as I did the day I shot my first candid of a runway model. I still find the girls endearingly cute, sweet and beautiful, and I hope to continue to record their grace and kindness. I am in love with the beauty and elegance of the models I feature; I am in love with capturing spontaneous laughs and sweet smiles; and I am in love with those perfectly imperfect little moments. Thank you for sharing the journey with me! See you next time I freeze another contagious laugh or flying ninja model…
LETTER FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER
To my sweet friends, supporters, followers and models,
First of all, thank you for continuing to support, celebrate, inspire, and share raw beauty with a photographer who is chasing after his passion with his camera and heart!
Growing up, I never imagined a nerd like me would have the opportunity to fly around the globe to meet and photograph the most beautiful girls in the world. And to top it off, it has been an unbelievable dream that my muses are so sweet, kind and responsive to such a shy boy. I feel very blessed and grateful! Thank you for sharing your beauty, smile and friendship with me!
I am also extremely grateful for all the friends that I have made along the way in my adventures to the fashion weeks as an outsider and hobo. There have been numerous times where I was either lost in my travels or without a place to stay at the beginning of my journey, and each and every time, there were always angels who came to my rescue. To this day, I can’t express how grateful and blessed I feel to have met so many kind people. My experiences would not have been possible without the help and generosity of so many loving friends and strangers.
Furthermore, the best part of my journey as Bonae L’amour has been the ability to share my story and photos with everyone around the world. I am so happy to be able to make the models smile and share those smiles and laughs with everyone. I hope that the courage I have gained by being unconventional will inspire others to blindly chase after their own happiness because life is often too short to just think and dream without doing.
You all are my inspiration! And remember, you are beautiful because true eternal beauty doesn’t rely on what we all think we see; true beauty is your actions, your mannerisms, your reactions, your kindness, your humanity, your personality, your goodwill and ultimately your soul.
Beauty may capture this photographer’s attention, but personality will always steal this man’s heart.
With love always,