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no. 01 | June 2019 | 8 $

PHOTOGRAPHERS THEN vs. photographers now

EMILY SOTO

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#1

FASHION

We’re definitely full emerged in the digital age, but amongst all of us shooting with high powered digital cameras, there are still thousands of photographers choosing to shoot with film. They all have different reasons for doing so; be it the love for the quality that film brings, the time and care film requires, or the fact that it is the root of all photography.

p h o t o g r a p h y

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In an era of ubiquitous digital imagery, several fast-rising fashion photographers are shooting film to differentiate their work, regain control over their craft and find a more human pace.

/ photos by Emily Soto

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EDITOR’S note

P

hotography is essential in the fashion business. Because

and inevitably started shooting his

fashion is such a visual business, photography is the best

own weddings.” Read the rest here.

means to communicate that visual element about one’s

As it happened for Thomson, taking

brand, their collection, and their story and to get the con-

that first step and learning on the go

sumer involved and to therefore take an action. There

can direct you to the path you should

are of course different objectives to fashion photography,

be on so don’t be afraid to get start-

different levels, different skill sets and different audienc-

ed – everyone starts somewhere and

es that need to be considered. Books can be written about fashion photography

all you need is passion. I don’t believe

but since we are not writing a book, we want to highlight the key essential

there is such thing as being saturated

elements to begin this fashion photography journey to leave you with enough

in a creative space. Each person is dif-

to pursue whichever avenue suits you best. Since our last Photography Series

ferent and each person’s perspective

in 2015, many things have changed and a whole new crew of amazing photog-

is different. You can have the top 5

raphers have come up. To read about the previous ones we have featured: see

photographers in the same wedding

here and explore. We are extremely excited to feature the amazing photogra-

but they will capture a different sto-

phers we have come across and the fashion editorials we have loved from last

ry. Take the leap and we hope that

year to now. Of course, we will be looking at Kenyan photographers and those

we can lend a hand in sharing in-

on the continent who have stolen our hearts. Some of the topics we want to

formation about what it takes to be

look at are for those of you wanting to begin to journey with others for those

photographer, what equipment you

who are already lens deep. The questions you can be asking yourself as you read

will need and lessons learnt. As men-

these articles is what exactly is your goal and what do you want to achieve in

tioned before, we have interviewed

your work? Who are you communicating to and what action do you want peo-

great photographers like Emmanu-

ple to take? We will give you some guidelines and other questions like these to

el Jambo, Thandiwe Muriu, Magiq

help you define your brand. Here is why. There are many categories in fashion

Lens, Zachary Saitoti, Sebastian

photography. You can either be a commercial photographer, a product photog-

Wanzalla and many more so read up

rapher, portfolio photographer or a lifestyle photographer and so on. Choosing

on their stories and learn from them

one is a journey in itself as you discover what floats your boat. Choosing a cate-

as well. They were incredible to in-

gory also means choosing a client. Will you be working for corporates, design-

terview and their openness was truly

ers, retailers, models or the modelling agencies? We want to help you choose

appreciated. Take advantage of their

a path and learn more about that category or client so that you can be the best

openness. These next two months

that you can be. As the saying goes, jack of many trades is a master of none. We

will be all about photography. We

believe however that to become a master of something, you must first be a jack-

want to empower and educate you all

of-all-trades then narrow it down. Try it out, see how it fits with you and per-

so we can encourage you to start, to

fect what suits you best. From the photographers we interviewed before; many

be inspired and add your voice to the

began their journey by trying out many different things to seewhich best fit for

photography scene.

them, then began the journey of mastering a particular one. A particular story we remember is from Thomson Ncube, the photographer behind the company Thomson Photography – a section of his interview went like this – “He initially thought he would shoot landscapes but experience took him elsewhere. His jump into the photography scene in Kenya began by attending a fashion show in Prestige Plaza on a whim and the Samantha Bridal Show held in Sarit Centre. This is the time he met Gibson Maina and David Macharia who helped and taught him about photography. Gibson and David shot weddings primarily, he explains, so in his learning on the job, he accompanied them to weddings

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Fashion on film / January issue

7

Famous Photographers then / in focus

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Helmut Newton

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Cecil Beaton

22

Erwin Blumenfeld

28

Film Photographers now

34

Emily Soto


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famous FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS

and brilliant artists

W

ith a history that s p a n s o v e r more than 100 years, Vogue magazine had produced some of the finest and most iconic images of modern times and played a pivotal role in portraiture, fashion and beauty photography. The history of Vogue photography exhibits the work of the best creatives of various generations. The list of Vogue photographers is comprised of world-class names who have been defining and changing the world of fashion photography through decades. Synonymous with enduring style and described as “the world’s most influential fashion magazine”[1], the magazine has a photo collection that shows the breadth and depth of the work commissioned by this fashion bi-

ble. The magazine has been commissioning leading photographers and designers to produce some of the most influential and stunning imagery in the history of fashion. The list of Vogue photographers is long and it features legends such as Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller, Irving Penn, David Bailey, Corinne Day, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino, Tim Walker, Bruce Weber, Edward Steichen, Peter Lindbergh and Albert Watson, among others.[2] Their images were daring, discerning and iconoclastic. The unparalleled excellence of the magazine’s imagery serves as a stylish barometer of both social and cultural changes that have shaped the 20th century. “If fashion documents were the only ones in existence, it would still be

possible to trace with some accuracy the social and political history of a period”, stated magazine’s wartime editor Audrey Withers. We bring you a list of the most iconic Vogue photographers who have shaped the landscape of fashion photography.

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CECIL BEATON Cecil Beaton was a highly influential British fashion and portrait photographer. He shot a wide range of photographs for Vogue and Vanity Fair. Rising into prominence during the 1920s, he became renowned for a unique style of posing sitters with unusual backgrounds. In 1930, he published his first collection of works entitled The Book of Beauty. Apart from working in fashion industry, he was also involved with portraiture and photojournalism during the war. During the World War II, he captured war scenes in England, Africa and the Middle East for the British Ministry of Information. After the war, he started developing interest in costume and set design. He won Tony Awards for his costume work for the theatrical adaptation My Fair Lady and the film Coco, but also Oscars for Gigi and the film My Fair Lady.

ERWIN BLUMENFELD An influential German-born photographer, Erwin Blumenfeld is best known for his work for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar during the 1940s and 1950s. As a pioneering fashion photographer, Blumenfeld pushed boundaries in his art and life. He started creating photographs at his leather goods shop in Amsterdam where he photographed his customers. Influenced by the idea that photography is art, he explored innovative ways to capture a fashion object without documenting it. He experimented with colors, darkroom techniques, mirrors and light. Apart from working in fashion, he created various fine art black and white nudes. His retrospective will be on view at Osborne Samuel Gallery in London from October 5th until October 29th.

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GUY GEORGE BOURHOYNIN- DIN GEN HUENE

Best known for his fashion photographs for Vogue Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, George Hoyningen-Huene was a Russian-born photographer who lived and worked in France, England and America. Making several contacts with the local art scene in Paris, he first started working for Harper’s Bazaar and Fairchild Magazine as a fashion draftsman. In 1925, he became the chief photographer for French Vogue. After moving to New York, he published two photobooks entitled Hellas and Egypt. He soon moved to Hollywood and started working in the film industry as a celebrity photographer. As John Esten wrote, he “had a vision of a remote and elusive feminine ideal best portrayed, he felt, by the serenity of classic Greek sculpture”.

The French photographer Guy Bourdin is best known for his provocative, shocking and exotic imagery. He was influenced by Man Ray, the cameraman Edward Weston and surrealist painters Balthus and Magritte. A painter his entire life and a self-taught photographer, Bourdin worked for fashion magazines such as Vogue and brands such as Chanel, Ungaro and Charles Jourdan. His images were characterized by suggestive narratives and surreal aesthetics, both in black and white and color. Emphasizing that the image is more important than the product, he explored realms between the absurd and the sublime. His work broke all conventions of fashion photography. Pushing the boundaries of color photography, his work was imbued with dramatic accents and intense color saturation. He was an image maker and a perfectionist.

HELMUT NEWTON Pioneering erotically charged black and white fashion photographs, Helmut Newton was an important figure in contemporary art. Adorning glossy fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, his photographs mixed fashion, nudity, and beauty in daring compositions. He rose to prominence in the 1960s when he started exploring voyeuristic, sadomasochistic and lesbian imagery in his work, becoming one of the most controversial and talked about photographer of the time. Imbued with ambiguity, his photographs evoke mixed reactions in the viewer. In the 1950s and 1970s, he started experimenting with erotic pictorialism, and later in his career, he developed an interest in portraiture.


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HORST P. HORST A German-American fashion photographer, Horst P. Horst was best known for his stunning photographs of women. Considered a monumental photographer of the 20th century, he became a synonym for style, glamour and elegance. His rich and sophisticated opus that spanned across a sixty-year-long career significantly influenced the fashion photography of the time. Initially interested in the avant-garde art, he started working for the British Vogue after meeting George Hoyningen and Cecil Beaton. His trademark style characterized by the specific use of light and props have made him stand out from other fashion photographers of the time. One of his most iconic shots was The Mainbocher Corset for Vogue Paris in 1939. Apart from working in fashion, he also created a variety of photographs of interior architecture and still life.

RICHARD IRVING AVEDON PENN Best known for his sophisticated fashion images, incisive portraits, still lifes and found objects, Irving Penn revolutionized American fashion photography after the Second World War. Starting his career at the American Vogue, he established his reputation with streamlined, minimalist and careful compositions and dramatic lighting. Expressing the abstract interplay of line an volume, his photographs were imbued with great detail and clarity and communicated elegance and luxury. He created Vogue’s first and only still life cover. Wether he was working in fashion, portraiture or still life, his photographs were characterized by the same tonal subtlety and compositional mastery. His portraits bring the sense of drama, combining simplicity and directness. He managed to capture legends such as Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, Igor Stravinsky, and Marlene Dietrich, among others.

Along with Irving Penn, Richard Avedon has redefined the post-World War II American fashion photography. His portraits managed to bring out the essence of the person he sees through the lens. While working as a chief photographer at Harper’s Bazaar, he also contributed to Life, Look and Vogue. After breaking off with Harper’s Bazaar, he started working at Vogue where he shot 148 covers, including the iconic Twiggy cover in 1967. Apart from working in fashion, he also explored his cultural, political and personal passions, creating portraits of members of the American Civil Rights movement, patients in the mental institution and the Vietnam War. Working for big brands such as Calvin Klein, Revlon and Versace, Avedon managed to blur the lines between advertising and art.

WILLIAM KLEIN Best known as a fashion photographer for Vogue, William Klein’s unusual approach was often called “a crash course in what was not to be done in photography”. Developing visual language characterized by lot of accidental events, graininess, blur and distortion, Klein often used telephoto and wide-angle lenses as well as natural lighting and motion blur. In 1955, Klein started creating innovative and unusual fashion photographs for Vogue, taking fashion out of the studio into the streets. His images were imbued with certain rawness and chaotic mood and were highly expressive. He developed an interest in filmmaking in 1958, deciding to completely stop photographing in 1965. His best known films are Who Are You Polly Maggoo, Cassius The Great, Loin du Vietnam and Mr. Freedom that was considered to be one of the most anti-American films ever made.

YASUHIRO WAKABAYASHI Professionally known as Hiro, Yasuhiro Wakabayashi is a Shanghai-born photographer who started as an assistant to Richard Avedon and Alexey Brodovich. Best known for his unique surreal aesthetics, he has changed the landscape of the 1960s and 1970s fashion photography. Due to unusual and stunning compositions, sophisticated technique, and the bold use of color, he is considered one of the most innovative fashion photographers of the 20th century. His photographs are imbued with a unique clarity and elegance produced with the unusual use of lighting, juxtaposition of unexpected elements, and his signature use of color. Apart from working in the fashion industry, he also explored portraiture and landscape.

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Helmut Newton (born Helmut Neustädter; 31 October 1920 – 23 January 2004) was a German-Australian photographer. He was a “prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications.

HELMUT

NEWTON

D

ubbed the King of Kink, Helmut Newton, one of the great photographers of the twentieth century, radicalized fashion photography by redefining the way women were portrayed in advertising for haute couture. Newton paved the way for fashion photography to become more

provocative, and more daring. Incorporating complex themes of sexuality and desire into his work, he showed that fashion photography did not have to be banal and safe, but had the scope to explore the human condition in all its depth. Newton took fashion photography out of the

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studio and into the vitality of the street, bringing to his work the immediacy and dynamism of the paparazzi. “A woman does not live in front of a white paper” he said, in reference to the studio, “she lives on the street, in a motor car, in a hotel room.” By bringing a journalistic ele-

“i hate good taste. it’s the worst thing that can happen to a creative person.”


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ment into his photography, he infused his photographs with human interest. Newton borrowed from cinema, erotica, journalism, and art, giving no credence to the distinction between high and low brow art forms, a theme shared by many modern artists. What makes Newton’s contribution unique is bringing these influences to fashion advertising. Newton’s admiration for the cinema, particularly Film Noir, is evident in his preference for black and white film, seductive women, and mysterious narrative elements. He utilises elaborate sets, highly posed scenes, and of course, glamorous attire, but at the heart of the photographs, these are always in service of conveying human emotion.

OGUE ITALIA, December 1966

and analysis

ARTWORK DESCRIPTION

A

cliché in any other hands, this iconic portrait shows Elsa Peretti, model and later jewellery designer, posing for French Vogue in a Halston bunny costume on the roof of her apartment building in New York. nspired by his Playboy experience, which allowed him to freely explore the eroticism and sensuality of the female body, this photograph takes a private night-time fantasy world and brings it into broad daylight. The backdrop of the metropolis with stacks of windows ascending high rise buildings, hints at the hidden voyeurism present in conservative city life. Helmut Newton considered this to be a photograph that epitomised the 1970s; blending the two worlds of erotic and fashion photography, Newton represents the coming out into the open of his exploration of sexuality as the

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grip of traditional moral values loosened following the sexual liberation of the 1960s. Perhaps Newton’s most iconic work that followed on from the work he did for Playboy, ‘Elsa Peretti in Bunny Costume’ is a lasting image of the 1970’s. Newton shot this work in New York amongst the towering skyscrapers that characterise the American Dream, equally epitomised by the Playboy lifestyle in the 70’s. In it, Newton features the iconic motifs of his work - casting the intimacy of the night into the

reality of the day, the clothing of the private into the sphere of the public and perhaps most masterfully, the voyeuristic gaze. From every window within the skyscrapers, we sense powerful gazes looking down on Peretti.

Elsa Peretti in Halston Bunny Costume, New York (1975) ANALOG MAGAZINE /Photographers then


Mario Valentino Spring/Summer 1989, US Vogue February 1989 by Helmut Newton


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Wolford, 1997, by Helmut Newton

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Charlotte Rampling, 1973 | Kate Winslet, 1996, LAX, US

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Daryl Hannah for Vanity Fair, Los Angeles, 1984 by Helmut Newton


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CECIL

BEATON

T

hese are the emphatic words of Cecil Beaton, the pleasure-seeking aesthete whose truly incisive sense of contemporary tastes led to an elaborate creative portfolio which traversed fashion and portrait photography, costume and set design, painting, illustration, interior design,

and bountiful books, as well as his spellbinding documentation of the Second World War. Born in Hampstead, London, in 1904 to an affluent Edwardian family, his hunger for fantasy, beauty and fame would propel him up the echelons of British society to Hollywood and beyond. Bea-

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ton was hired by Condé Nast in his early twenties, and chronicled the golden age of fashion with his 8x10 inch camera for the glossy pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair, lensing 20th-century icons from Marlene Dietrich to Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel, Sergei Diaghilev, Lucian

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against (...) the creatures of the commonplace.”


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Freud, Albert Camus, Marilyn Monroe, and Grace Kelly, among endless others. Now a new tome entitled Love, Cecil: A Journey with Cecil Beaton, written by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, surveys the jackof-all-trades’ colourful life, digging deep into his photographic oeuvre, diaries and illustrated books to present an resplendent network of artistic collaborations, fashionable encounters and romantic obsessions. Drawing primarily from this sumptuous 256-page book, we uncover ten things you may not know about the prolific, but privately harrowed, Cecil Beaton.

OGUE Audrey Hepburn, 1954

and collabs

ARTWORKS

A

mong his 150 diaries and an archive of letters which reveals Beaton’s correspondence with Cristóbal Balenciaga, T.S. Eliot, Jackie Kennedy and Yves Saint Laurent, among many others, there are countless lovestruck words addressed to Greta Garbo and the British art collector Peter Watson. While his infatuations were impartial to gender, it was Garbo who famously stole his heart. From their first encounter in the early 30s, their capricious love affair, according to Vreeland, would continuously leave Beaton in a state of frenzy and grief. Eventually, their relationship came to halt in 1972 when Beaton published his diary admissions about Garbo without her consent. Beaton aspired to fantasy,

and in the words of Vreeland, “the theatre stimulated his inner fairy-tale”. As the aficionado once confessed, “that stage magic (…) obsessed me very early on. I saw the whole of my small little life in terms of the theatre”. Beaton cast his life with artists from all disciplines who could expose him to new ideals of fantasy and creativity: Christian Bérard, Barbara Karinska, Jean Cocteau, Truman Capote, and Pavel Thelitchew, to name just a few. His on-and-off friend Capote, notably, once called Beaton a “recorder of

fantasy” who “illuminated the exact attitude of the moment”. A natural networker, Beaton collaborated with an indelible roll-call of creative minds from the intertwined realms of film, theatre, dance, literature, art and fashion. By 1928, British Vogue was regularly commissioning him as a fashion and portrait photographer, and once Beaton had risen through the ranks of London society, he yearned to make his name abroad – as he wrote, “I now became ambitious to conquer new fields by going to America”. At the age of 25, he headed to

New York, strategically followed by Hollywood in 1929, where he built a star-studded portfolio and, with that, an international reputation.

Greta Garbo, The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s, 1932 ANALOG MAGAZINE /Photographers then


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Lillian Gish, silent film star, 1930 by Cecil Beaton

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ERWIN BLUMENFELD E

rwin Blumenfeld was a American-German photographer best known for his editorial photographs, experimental fine art works, and portraits of cultural icons. Often in both his independent and commissioned works, the artist combined black-and-white images with small areas of bright, vibrant color. He is also commonly associated with Hitler, Face of Terror, which was part of a satirical series emphasizing the dictator’s needlessly violent reign. Born on January 26, 1897 in Berlin, Germany, Blumenfeld worked as an amateur photographer during his childhood. Following World War I, the artist began working professionally and garnered international attention for his portraits of artists Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault. In 1937, he began working for French Vogue, and became wellknown around the world for his shoots with Josephine Baker and Carmen Dell’Orefice. During World War II, the artist was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp for two years, on account of his Jewish heritage, and was released in 1941 to travel to New York for work. In the post-World War II era, he was the highest paid photographer in the world and in high demand for editorial photo shoots. Blumenfeld died on January 4, 1969 in Rome, Italy. His work is currently held in the collections of the Riksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Erwin Blumenfeld’s early career began in an older photographic age. Born in Germany in 1897, his business took off in the 30s, where he photographed customers at his leather goods shop in Amsterdam. From the start he was very much influenced by the idea of photography as art, valuing sincerity above commercial considerations. He saw himself not as a photojournalist, but as someone who explored how best to show a fashionable object without documenting it. His life and work impressively document the socio-political context of artistic development between the two World Wars, while highlighting the individual consequences of emigration. In the first years of his career, he worked only in black and white, but as soon as it became technically possible he enthusiastically used color. He transferred his experiences with black-and-white photography to color; applying them to the field of fashion, he developed a particularly original repertoire of forms. The female body became Erwin Blumenfeld’s principal subject. In his initial portrait work, then the nudes he produced while living in Paris and, later on, his fashion pho-

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tography, he sought to bring out the unknown, hidden nature of his subjects; the object of his quest was not realism, but the mystery of reality. In 1936, his store went bankrupt and following this he went to Paris. The photographer was commissioned to make portraits of people who came from the art world, such as Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault. He did his first commercial project for Monsavon. During this time, he also took images of Cecil Beaton, Valeska Gert, Leonor Fini, François Mauriac, Yvette Guilbert, and Josephine Baker. Beaton was impressed by Blumenfeld and in 1937 got him into a contract with Vogue of France. The years close to his death were spent on My One Hundred Best Photos, his book that contained only four fashion photos by him and others were on various subjects.

Henri Matisse, Paris, 1937

and collabs

ARTWORKS

His work was published in the French magazine Photographie in 1935 and the first issue of Verve magazine in 1937. This exposure lead to an introduction to French Vogue by the legendary photographer, Cecil Beaton. One of Blumenfeld’s most iconic images appeared in Vogue in 1939: an unharnessed Lisa Fonssagrives, dress billowing, balancing atop the Eiffel Tower, Paris.At the outbreak of the Second World War, Blumenfeld happened to meet a model with whom he had previously worked. In his return for his gramophone and all of his records, he asked her to keep his work safe. Blumenfeld was interned at several concentration camps during the Second World War. On release, he concentrated all of his efforts on obtaining a visa to escape to America. He succeeded in June 1941, and set sail across the Atlantic. In New York, Blumenfeld went on to work for Harper’s Bazaar and American Vogue. His model acquaintance returned every single piece of his work in 1947.His highly stylistic fashion photography helped shape the look of the 1940s and 50s. His first double-page spread was in 1944, and featured his daughter Lisette’s legs.

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Essay on fast-fashion, 1950, by Erwin Blumenfeld

Fashion Advertising Photograph for Dayton Co., Minneapolis, by Erwin Blumenfeld

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FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS

return to film

T

he latest instalment of Calvin Klein’s racy #MyCalvins campaign is hard to ignore, especially as the “upskirt” image of actress Klara Kristin sparked a social media firestorm last week. But amid charges of sexism and objectification, critics may be missing what is truly cutting-edge about the photo: namely, that it was captured on film, by rising photographer Harley Weir. Weir, along with Jamie Hawkesworth, Colin Dodgson, Zoe Ghertner and others, is spurring a film renaissance in fashion photography. At a time when digital image-making is more pervasive than ever before — according

“In an era of ubiquitous digital imagery, several fast-rising fashion photographers are shooting film to differentiate their work, regain control over their craft and find a more human pace.” to market research firm InfoTrends, 75 percent of photos are now taken with an iPhone — these so-called “digital natives” are opting to work with film. “Fashion is rediscovering the possibility and the quality of film photography,” says Purple Magazine’s editor-in-chief Olivier Zahm, who dedicated his editor’s letter to the subject in the magazine’s most recent issue. “It is similar to what happened in music, with the resurgence of vinyl. Digital photog-

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raphy is sharper and cleaner; it captures a lot of information but it’s cold. Film gives you less information but it’s emotional information. And what do we care about, information or emotion? We care for the emotion. Film is very emotional. You can cry looking at a contact sheet, it is incredible. ” Half of Purple’s Spring 2016 issue was shot on film and Zahm says he is continuing to push both himself and the photographers he works with to embrace the analogue medium whenever possible. “I think [the move away from digital photography] is part of a backlash to what’s been going on in our culture, which is now so digitally savvy,” says Jaime Perlman, creative director of British Vogue, another magazine that has embraced film photography, most recently in the May 2016 spread “Moonage Daydream,” lensed by Colin Dodgson. “There’s a purity to film. It’s refreshing.” Aesthetically speaking, the rise of film photography is in line with an overall shift in fashion: Over the past several seasons, the sleek minimalism of the 2000s has given way to a more eclectic, DIY and retro-inspired approach popularised by brands like Gucci and Vetements. These fashions seem to call for the rich tones and tactile characteristic of film — yet, as any creative director or photographer will tell you, the effect can be easily faked digitally. “We are in an incredible time with digital technology, where you can really make a digital picture look exactly like a film picture,” says Ken Miller, a curator, creative director and editor of “Shoot: Photography of the Moment.” “So it’s not necessarily the aesthetic results alone that are driving this shift.”


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nstead, says Miller, film may be a way for young photographers “to hold onto the specialness of their images and their medium.” Ready-made filters and easy-to-use photo-editing apps have turned us all into amateur photographers, while social media platforms like Instagram have made it easier than ever to disseminate our photos. For young professional photographers, the question now is how to stand out from a sea of hobbyists — and increasingly, they’re finding answers in the pitch black of the dark room. “We’re at this point where the camera on an iPhone 6s is so fantastic, that, if you’re a professional photographer shooting with a digital camera you can start to question the specialness of what you’re doing,” says Miller. He doesn’t believe that young photographers are gravitating towards film as a way to differentiate themselves from their peers, but rather from the millions of “non-photographers,” who have not been specially trained in the art. When interviewed for this story, photographers Jamie Hawkesworth, Colin Dodgson and Zoe Ghertner all said they learned their craft using film. “I actually didn’t choose to work with film, rather it was the only medium I learned how to use,” says Dodgson, 31. “When I was in school it was the only medium that was taught. It was a very technical education.”Ghertner says she was given the choice of studying digital or film photography, but ultimately chose the latter: “I

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was completely mesmerised by the magic of photography in the darkroom, and didn’t have any desire to spend time in a dimly lit computer room with my peers,” she says. “I don’t think film is better than digital, it is a tool, and I know how to manipulate film more than I do a digital sensor.” “Ultimately,” agrees Hawkesworth, 28, “It’s just about a process that works for the individual, and as I’ve always used film, since I started photography, it’s something that’s always been important to me.” While professional digital photography requires its own set of expertise, an education in film may provide a better understanding of particular techniques and lighting principles, which might explain why a certain mastery and richness of light can be felt in the work of Hawkesworth, Dodgson and Ghertner. Developing one’s own prints, as many of these young photographers do, can also lead to a deeper appreciation of the art form. “To see Colin and Jamie sit there for hours and toil over these hand-printed objects — in a way, it’s going back to the craft,” says Perlman. Within that solitary and time-consuming process, young photographers have also found a way to reassert some of the independence and control that was lost with the advent of digital photography, which allowed editors, creative directors and clients to immediately weigh in on shots. “[Shooting film] is a way to keep a million people from the cli-


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ent side from looking over your shoulder at the monitor,” says Miller. These days, the role of the photographer has shrunk vis-à-vis editors and creative directors. “In the era of Avedon and Irving Penn, it was the photographers who were leading what the fashion should be,” says art director Fabien Baron. “Today it is the fashion editor. It is the editor who is immersed in fashion so it is the editor’s point of view that is valid. And it is the editor’s point of view that becomes important; the photographer becomes just the tool to express that point of view.” In this environment, it’s no surprise that photographers hoping to reclaim their role as artists are turning to the analogue medium. “On set, shooting film demands trust in the photographer, which was very important when I started shooting jobs as a young female, and still is very important,” explains Ghertner. “[Shooting film] demands a confidence in my eye. The attention is then on the subject and the moment and not on a digital screen, and not about perfecting and recreating a lost moment.” While digital photographers can shoot thousands upon thousands of images in one day, film photographers have to be more mindful of each shot; with film, there’s less room for error. “It basically just makes you think about what it is you are trying to accomplish more than if it’s presented to you right away on a screen,” says Dodgson. “By taking the time to shoot film, get the film back, consider, re-consider, edit, and then finally print, it has to make it through so many different stages of quality control.” Though clients and art directors might resent it, as fashion and media churn ever-faster there is a rebellious appeal in a process that forces things to slow down. “Shooting on film helps keep image making at a more human pace, which to me is an integral part of my pictures,” says Ghertner. The human element of shooting with film — what Zahm calls “seeing through the eyes of a human, not a machine” — as well as the return to craft, has also struck a chord with consumers who crave authenticity in an increasingly manufactured and virtual media landscape. “Digital photography is about convenience — it’s 10 times easier and quicker than film,” says Zahm. “This is what we call capitalism. Shooting with film — it is anti-capitalist and this is a good thing.” Not everyone is convinced that the resurgence of film is such a good thing for fashion, however. “These young people who are using film think they are reinventing the moon and they are not,” says Baron. “It’s just redoing what’s been done before. They didn’t grow up with film so they think it’s amazing, but they’re just copying the images from the 1990s, of Mario Sorrenti, David Sims and Corrine Day. I can look at a picture today, and know exactly the original im-

modern photography could stand for.” Yet Baron does believe there are a handful of young photographers who have managed to develop their own point of view — and just so happen to work with film. One such photographer, he says, is Hawkesworth, whose own point of view is closer to Baron’s than you might expect. “I don’t think using film per se makes someone stand out in a digital world,” he says. “That’s never been a motivation to me. It’s essentially a photographer’s understanding of his craft and sensibility and way of seeing that makes him stand out... And that certainly shouldn’t be bound by a format, or even a talking point in the conversation between the image and the viewer.”

FASHION IS

rediscovering the

possibility and the quality of

age that inspired it.” For Baron, it would be far more innovative to use modern technology to create entirely new images: “I would be much more interested in a photographer who said to me, I’m very interested in fashion and I shot all my photographs with my iPhone,” he says “That would be in tune with the times. That would be a vision of what ANALOG MAGAZINE /Photographers now


Sisterhood in a flowerfield, 2017 by Emily Soto


Colorful life, 2018 by Emily Soto

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EMILY

SOTO

E

mily Soto’s analogous approach to fashion is turning heads at international Vogue magazines, Nylon, Marie Claire, Who What Wear and more, while racking up hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. As a film-favoring fashion photographer based in New York City, Emily Soto straddles two worlds: one where on-trend brands embrace the feel of real, raw film, and another where clients expect the digital look that has conquered the industry for the last decade and a half. Over the last couple of years, however, Soto has observed an aesthetic shift, increasingly, to film. “Right now, less is more,” she asserts. “People don’t like to see things that look over-retouched and overdone, for the most part. People are appreciating more the quality of Polaroids and the imperfections.” The Upper East Side-dwelling photographer recalls a couple of recent shoots for The Modist (that’s the Net-a-Porter of Dubai, Soto says), which requested that she shoot with 35mm film.

Soto obliged, happily. Lately, she’s been enjoying the resurgence of medium-format and 35mm film in look books and fashion campaigns, and the uptick of Polaroids in editorials. The unknown, as always, lies in what’s next. Proof that detours can’t stop a creative person from following their true passion can be found in Soto’s journey to becoming a sought-after fashion photographer. Recognizing her love for travel at a young age, she got a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management at Western Carolina University. She studied fashion too, but the South didn’t host many fashion-related careers, Soto says, nor did she see herself leaving. It wasn’t until she met her husband that she discovered photography. A photographer at the time, he invited her to shoot a couple of weddings with him, and while she didn’t love the genre, she adored the medium. Around that time, one of her friends wanted to take a shot at modeling, and when they came together to create images, something in Soto

ANALOG MAGAZINE /Photographers now

clicked. That friend set her up with other aspiring models, which prompted her to join Model Mayhem, a platform full of “fresh faces” that, like Soto, were building their portfolios.She moved to San Diego in 2010 and dropped the beauty dish she had been lugging everywhere. “I felt like I had to have a lot of lighting to be a photographer, because I was brand


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new and I was learning, but as soon as I started shooting with natural light”— she snaps her fingers—“I was outdoors.” Getting in with local modeling agencies in San Diego, she skirted up the coast to Orange County a year later, closer to the bigger modeling agencies and magazines in L.A. She built relationships with the stylists she worked with over time, who then recommended her to new clients. Meanwhile, Soto found assignments through social media. She nurtured her online presence diligently. Today, with over 300,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 750,000 on Facebook, she estimates three-quarters of her clients find her via these channels. Her popularity online, Soto hypothesizes, has a lot to do with the style she developed: a whimsical, romantic, ethereal look inspired by the sunny West Coast and her Sigma f/1.4 lens’s soft focus and bokeh. In 2012, after building her portfolio, Soto and her husband decided it was time to move to New York City. They figured they’d give it a one-year trial run, but they haven’t left. Her husband moved on from shooting to start his own company, Vinta, through which he creates hip backpacks for photographers, and Soto planted her photography roots in the concrete jungle.

OGUE INDONESIA “Tales of the City” editorial for Vogue Indonesia, model Puck Loomans, wearing Gucci, is photographed on 35mm film

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ANALOG MAGAZINE /Photographers now


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Analog Magazine #1  

First magazine of a collection series of magazines about analog photography. No1. - Fashion Photography on Analog

Analog Magazine #1  

First magazine of a collection series of magazines about analog photography. No1. - Fashion Photography on Analog

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