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Brigette Lundy-Paine by An Le

American actress Brigette Lundy-Paine is photographed by An Le for the April 2019 issue of Vogue Turkey; with styling by Konca Aykan, hair by Kylee Heath and makeup by Pati Dubroff.

THERE IS MORE, CLICK HERE…


Source: Fashion Photography

Brigette Lundy-Paine by An Le

American actress Brigette Lundy-Paine is photographed by An Le for the April 2019 issue of Vogue Turkey; with styling by Konca Aykan, hair by Kylee Heath and makeup by Pati Dubroff.

THERE IS MORE, CLICK HERE…


Source: Fashion Photography

Natural Photography Lighting And The Golden Hours

As an avid photographer it always used to irk me that I was so open to the elements and my


Source: Fashion Photography Blog

Natural Photography Lighting And The Golden Hours

As an avid photographer it always used to irk me that I was so open to the elements and my


Source: Fashion Photography Blog

Natural Photography Lighting And The Golden Hours

As an avid photographer it always used to irk me that I was so open to the elements and my

Natural Photography Lighting And The Golden Hours

As an avid photographer it always used to irk me that I was so open to the elements and my

Instagram is All You Need to Promote Your Photography Business

When I first started, every professional photographer at least did the printed mailers once or twice a year, and a combination of various sourcebook advertising.  It was the go to standard, and if you had a photography rep it was mandatory.

The printed mailers could be very simple, for instance a basic post card sent out to 500 hundred potential clients that would cost you in the neighborhood of $2,000.  Generally it was recommended to do that 6 times a year.  And generally 99.9% of those mailers ended up in the potential client’s trash. 

Or they could be extremely ambitions (and expensive)… entire 40 page magazines of a single photographer’s work, or giant gallery quality prints. This was a once a year promo at the most and I saw photographers spend over $30,000 on just one mailing!  It’s a huge investment not just in money but also the time to put it together. But I suppose if that photographer got one big advertising job from it, well then it was totally worth it. 

But if you didn’t think it through, it could be a disaster.  Like the photographer that sent out a stainless steel saw blade with his logo and contact information printed on it, buried underneath sawdust inside a raw wood box…  a nice presentation and it fit his construction product advertising niche.  Sounded like a great idea…. until art directors all around the country dug their hand into the sawdust only to rip open the tips of their fingers on the extremely sharp saw blade!   

Sourcebooks were another expensive but ubiquitous option.  Every fashion photographer advertised in LeBook, from the most established and successful to the brand new and ambitious. For a young photographer it felt almost prestigious to be in it…. even though you were paying a hefty fee for the privilege at around $5,000 for a two page spread.  And if you weren’t Meisel or ripped by the biggest agencies you could pretty much be guaranteed that they would bury you in the very back of the book.

Later in my career the next big thing was email promos.  It’s from around $150 to $450 a month for an email list service like Agency Access depending on which client lists you sign up for and how many emails you send.  One of the nice things about the service is that you can see who clicked through your emails… but the numbers were abysmal and have only been getting worse and worse through the years.  If you sent 1,000 emails and 10 people clicked through to your website that was considered a success!  But we all know how much we love getting spam and I guess art director’s are no different..

I put a profile on Instagram around 2012 and really didn’t do much with it… some behind the scenes photos, lots of vacation pics.. I didn’t really know what it was all about so I didn’t pay too much attention to it.  It seemed like it was more a social place to share with your friends and I just didn’t want to put any time into it… I was busy shooting, and retouching and doing all the other things photographers have to devote their limited time to.

But then things changed… it started to become an important outlet for discovery, and the whole influencer thing took off… nothing has been the same since.

I saw that clients more and more were talking about Instagram constantly… how they discovered new models, or photographers, talent of every kind… even locations, and props… everything! 

About this time I removed the vacation snapshots, all the superfluous crap that had migrated there over the years, and just concentrated on displaying my latest fashion work. 

Quickly my profile went from a couple thousand followers to 10,000. And then I got a booking directly from a client that found me through Instagram… a 3 day catalog on a beach in Mexico!

I wanted more jobs like that so I started to invest more time and effort into Instagram.  I tried a couple apps that allowed you to more easily search and follow people that had an interest in photography, and my following grew a bit more.  I researched other techniques to grow my following, and it grew even more.

But when I signed up for a social media growth service, things really caught on fire.  It wasn’t buying fake followers or likes, and it wasn’t magic or some super secret sauce.  It was just hiring someone that really knew how Instagram worked, how to research the right audience, and then could make my account active 24 hours a day.

My following went from 15,000 to 80,000 in less than a year!  And more importantly, I was getting regular bookings from clients that never heard of me until they saw my work on Instagram.  Those jobs took me all around the world… Moscow, London, Armenia.  And all from a $100 a month investment..

The service I recommend is called Liked Lab.  They have a great promotional and research system, and they are more involved in the process than any other service I have seen… they provide me with analytics so I know the best days and times to post, and what kind of posts work best, what are the strongest hashtags to use.  They even give me advice on the look of my profile.  It’s been a big help, saved me time, and really helped my career. 

So at the beginning of 2017 I wanted to try an experiment… I stopped all other forms of promotion and only used Liked Lab for Instagram.  No emails, no sourcebooks or printed promos.  What happened? I didn’t see any drop off in activity.  In fact, just the opposite. Not only was I getting more work from client’s noticing me on Instagram, now my following and engagement on Instagram was getting so strong that I was getting offers to promote products as an influencer. Ok, that’s not something I am interested in now, I am still busy shooting. But it’s definitely something I can think about for the future or as a side hustle. 

So what does it mean?  I think the entire photography industry is changing, and the old ways of getting noticed don’t work anymore. You don’t need to spend $5,000 on a sourcebook ad, or $400 a month on emails, or $12,000 on printed promos. I haven’t cracked open a sourcebook in years, all the spam emails I get go automatically to the trash.  I think the best thing you can do as a photographer now is just shoot as often as possible, get your work in every magazine or website you can, and then promote promote promote on social media.

What do you think?  I’m still experimenting with the best promotion methods so I want to hear what works for you!

The Liked Lab News

More Inspirational Fashion Images

NJAL’s Katja Horvat questions whether fashion photography has a future amidst the radical shifts in publishing. How does our current technological milieu fundamentally alter fashion photography as we know it? Is the ubiquity of smartphones, advance in-image editing applications, social media, and the rise of fashion film rendering the canonised medium of fashion photography obsolete?

The evolution of photography over the last two centuries demonstrates the medium’s capacity for vigour and until recently, it’s showed no sign of internal exhaustion. Yet, if we focus on fashion photography today, one could say it’s visibly exhausted in an era of constant technological acceleration. What’s going on right now is the paroxysm of styles, and an array of new publishing formats redefining what was formerly known as photography, to the contemporary realm of “image-making”. Where there is no a priori criterion and where there is no enshrined narrative for fashion imagery, everyone can become a photographer, and with the right resources, a successful one. Yet “success” doesn’t always equate to “skill”.

Now more than ever, our current technological milieu is altering the market, but the majority of buzzy young names in fashion photography will not pass the test of time. Simon Rasmussen, Stylist & Creative Director/Editor in Chief of Office Magazine NYC, says: “Everybody can overnight become a fashion photographer and we see younger and younger photographers shooting editorials and executing look books and such. The successful ones already have a huge following due to their knowledge of how social media works and the power within.” It would seem that though these young photographers might not lack the talent or the creative mindset, it remains increasingly difficult for these photographers to sustain the momentum of their social-media accrued hype for more than a fleeting moment. If these photographers are making work for the immaterial age, and it solely relies on the currency of “likes”, will they have the energy to pursue their practice in the long run?

Hype in the most contemporary sense is a product of social media. Internet based social media has made it possible for one person to communicate with thousands of other people and migrate content to micro-communities aggregated under niche, and organised hashtags. In the context of mass-marketing, social media has reoriented our economy of attention and the entire landscape of traditional advertising and publishing has had to rapidly adapt.

Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough, while speaking to BoF Founder Imran Amed even said, “Blogs posting things about us, going viral, spiraling throughout the internet and it has an extraordinary impact on the business.” So, what we are witnessing can be described as a revolution – one that can be felt all around us, even if we are not actively involved in it. It’s dominating all aspects of our world, even the way we use Internet.

Saša Štucin, Co-Founder of Soft Baroque and Editor at Large at POP Magazine, recounts an opinionated post by Matthews Leifheit on Facebook. Leifheit referenced New York Times photography critic Teju Cole in conversation with Geoff Dyer, Ivan Vladislavic and Laura Weller. The conversation addressed Instagram and the impact of mass imagery on social media will have on photography. Leifheit responded to the photographer’s negative response to their contemporary condition and questioned, “If you’re tired of the billions of photographs that the kids are taking, then maybe you’re tired of photography?”

Though Štucin doesn’t wholly agree, she did say that Leifheit’s statement is the “realest thing I’ve heard in response to that conversation.” Štucin does believe that society has to progress in tandem with technology. “This is 2015, and there’s a very rich, intense and incessant output of photography going on around us, and all the time. Photography is not just, you know, black and white stuff made with plate glass cameras by old white dudes,” she says bluntly. Štucin alludes to a distinction between “high” and “low” photography today that seems somewhat ironic, given the historic struggle photography endured to become a rarefied artistic medium in the first place. At its inception, photography was never considered art and firmly sidelined to the realm of science.

Today, the medium of fashion photography is fractured, given the rise of fashion film as the industry’s new medium of choice for both artistic expression and campaign advertising. Yet, there will always be true grit photographers committed to preserving the art of still photography, even when the very notion becomes archaic. There will be photographers invested in the medium’s rampant technological acceleration, as there are photographers committed to preserving by-gone analogue aesthetics and their outdated apparatuses. Today, the large proportion of photographers working inside in fashion, have to be more flexible with their skills and knowledge, as well as aware of the effects, and the social-media applications which will proliferate attention, and once again adapt to new shifts in the industry’s parameters for fashion photography.

Social media democracy, and its inherent accessibility has made the fashion industry, and the consumer as diverse as ever. The fashion industry, largely because of social media is defined only by front-end, consumer-facing innovation. No longer are the rarefied print pages of a niche fashion bible ripe ground for brands to visually communicate with their customers. Today, 91% of all consumer engagement happens on Instagram, and it’s this very application as well as its limitations that have redefined the parameters of traditional photography and presentation. Tech-enabled methodologies deliver different results as we know it, all visual information is pushed, pulled and shared on every media platform there is, and as a result, quality is no longer heralded over quantity. This era of accelerationism churns out content at an aggressive rate, and discourages smarter, and informed decision-making by its very design.

Simon Rasmussen says, “I truly believe that traditional photography is still alive and it’s a part of my job as an Editor for a print magazine to maintain a high level and demonstrate excellent quality of control in all images we put out there.” While Rasmussen is quick to champion emerging talent across all creative disciplines, he also notes the “huge difference between young, self-taught photographers versus an experienced photographer who went through school and assisted for a decade.” The distinct differences separating these creative generations isn’t just quality, but everything from professionalism, technique, aesthetic affinity, and a more general approach.

Perhaps the most glaring difference for Rasmussen is the younger photographer’s propensity for social media, “I hope that younger photographers aren’t just booked for their Instagram clout anymore,” he says.  There’s no doubt a social media “clout-score” will be important to some, but Rasmussen explicitly prefers that his young photographer do not even have an Instagram account. “Luckily taste and aesthetics is still something you have to have and cannot just simply copy and repost,” adds Rasmussen.

Do the fundamental changes in fashion photography as a medium reflect the paradigm shifts unfolding in wider society? The context of creativity has drastically changed; it’s no longer simply about the medium or a single artistic discipline but a cross-pollination. Photography can readily align itself with fine art, architecture, politics, just as fashion photography emerged as a distinct medium amongst photography’s wider interdisciplinary engagement. However, what has changed is that the formula of skill, knowledge and process is no longer a criterion for the medium’s success. Instead, its ruled by an immediate currency of reaction, and its ability to capture and harvest data, which in a fashion context—translates into sales.

It’s this unapologetic commercial alignment that’s also driving a younger generation to preserve the archaic process and practice of traditional photography. Though it’s less about conservation for these younger creatives, the tanglible labour, and mosaic processes of physical photography is a bold, artistic statement in the age of immaterialty. It’s about carving out a niche aesthetic and cultural cachet that sets you apart from the Instagram-ready masses. This cross-pollination of process and practice, and by-gone aesthetics with metaphysical modernism is resulting in a hybrid of new aesthetics and anti-aesthetic styles, where traditional techniques and contemporary technological freedoms intermingle. Saša Štucin adds that these contemporary conditions are symptomatic of, “thinking about what photography could be if we forget what we know about photography entireley.”

The metamorphosis of the photographic medium is forgetting its preconceptions without ignoring them. While we can’t necessarily predict what the fashion industry will look like in the future, one thing remains certain, and that’s documentating fashion will become even more intricate and complex in its design and dissemination.

The Liked Lab News

Beautiful Photography

THE ART OF FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY

Here are some images from my archive of favorite photography.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melvin Sokolsky, Simone wears fashion by Venet, River Seine, Paris, American Harper’s Bazaar, March 1963, © Melvin Sokolsky/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Melvin Sokolsky, Simone wears fashion by Venet, River Seine, Paris, American Harper’s Bazaar, March 1963, © Melvin Sokolsky/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The photographer David Bailey described a fashion photograph simply as ‘a portrait of someone wearing a dress’. The roots of the profession are found in Victorian society portraiture. From as early as the 1840s, debutantes, actresses and dancers posed in their finery for portrait photographers, just as their mothers had sat for the great portrait painters of their day.

Yet Bailey’s own work shows the transformative power of the camera lens. Irving Penn, the photographer with the longest tenure in the history of Vogue magazine, saw his role as ‘selling dreams, not clothes.’ Beyond the simple recording of fabric and surface detail, the most memorable images fulfil or challenge the desires and aspirations of the viewer.

Fashion photography has never existed in a vacuum. Photographers have continually pushed boundaries, and the tension between artistic and commercial demands has generated great creativity and technical innovation. Whether as fashion shoots or advertisements, these images reflect contemporary culture, world events and the dramatic shifts in women’s roles throughout the 20th century.


Cecil Beaton, In the Manner of the Edwardians, Mary Taylor wears Channel, American Vogue, 1935. Museum no. PH.191-1977, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Cecil Beaton, In the Manner of the Edwardians, Mary Taylor wears Channel, American Vogue, 1935. Museum no. PH.191-1977, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A glittering new century

In 1911, at the height of Europe’s golden age of prosperity and elegance, the American photographer Edward Steichen photographed models wearing dresses by the designer Paul Poiret. Thirteen soft-focus images were printed in the magazine Art et Décoration, and Steichen later proclaimed them ‘the first serious fashion photographs ever made.’

In an earlier, pre-photography age, fashion magazines such as Le Costume Français and Journal des Dames et des Modes had included engraved illustrations but had only a limited readership. Advancements in printing processes in the 1890s allowed photographs to be printed on the same page as text, and fashion magazines became more widely available.

In 1909, the publisher Condé Nast bought an American social magazine entitled Vogue. He transformed it into a high-class fashion publication with international aspirations. Swiftly followed by the re-launched Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue sought to capture the spirit and fashions of New York, London and Paris through innovative photography and a growing supply of glamorous models.


Ilse Bing, Salut de Schiaparelli, Perfume Advertisement, 1934, © Estate of Ilse Bing/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Ilse Bing, Salut de Schiaparelli, Perfume Advertisement, 1934, © Estate of Ilse Bing/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Challenging perceptions

The cultural movement of Surrealism had a profound impact on fashion magazines in the 1920s and ’30s. Paintings by Salvador Dalí and Giorgio de Chirico featured in Vogue alongside avant-garde photographs by Man Ray. Some fashion photographers adopted their revolutionary principles, attempting to give visual expression to the unconscious mind. New techniques and unexpected juxtapositions were used to challenge perceptions of reality, to amuse and to disturb.

Such bold experiments riled Vogue editor Edna Woolman Chase, who wrote angrily to her staff in 1938:

‘Concentrate completely on showing the dress, light it for this purpose and if that can’t be done with art then art be damned. Show the dress.’

As chief photographer of French Vogue, and later of Harper’s Bazaar, Baron George Hoyningen-Huene inspired a generation. His own work reflected a painterly fascination with light, shade and classical forms. His protégé Horst P. Horst produced similarly inventive images, fusing surreal and classical motifs.


Erwin Blumenfeld, Model and Mannequin, American Vogue Cover, 1 November 1945, © Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Erwin Blumenfeld, Model and Mannequin, American Vogue Cover, 1 November 1945, © Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Post-war revival

During the Second World War ‘make do and mend’ was the prevailing approach to fashion. As the world gradually recovered from the horrors of war, a fresh cohort of designers emerged. The desire to embrace glamour and femininity after years of wartime austerity found its most extreme expression in Christian Dior’s New Look, launched in 1947, with its nipped-in waists and extravagantly full skirts.

The elegantly sensual vision of photographer Lillian Bassman complemented the new fashions. She pioneered an approach in which evoking a mood took precedence over depicting the details of the clothes. Bassman’s grainy images frustrated Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, who warned her in 1949,

‘You are not here to make art, you are here to show the buttons and bows.’

Erwin Blumenfeld also pushed the boundaries of experimental fashion photography. He favoured Kodachrome colour film, which enabled his vivid images to leap from the magazine page.


John French, Skater wears a Digby Morton fur trimmed velvet coat, city gentleman, Michael Bentley in the background, London. Daily Express, 1955, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

John French, Skater wears a Digby Morton fur trimmed velvet coat, city gentleman, Michael Bentley in the background, London. Daily Express, 1955, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Shooting in the city

In the 1950s a fresh dynamism infected the major fashion magazines as photographers adopted a more spontaneous, photojournalistic approach. Models spilled out onto city streets, studio backdrops were replaced by city skylines.

In 1957 Richard Avedon photographed a model striding along the Place François-Premier in Paris for American Harper’s Bazaar. She appears mid-step, her Cardin coat billowing behind her. Both feet are off the ground, as though a gust of wind has lifted her into the air. Avedon titled the photograph In Homage to Munkácsi, a reference to one of the first fashion photographers to work primarily outside the studio. Writing ahead of the trend in his 1935 article Think While You Shoot, Martin Munkácsi advised:

‘Never pose your subjects. Let them move about naturally. All great photographs today are snapshots.’

This new cinematic vision was vigorously promoted by the powerful art directors Alexey Brodovitch at Harper’s Bazaar and Alexander Liberman at Vogue.


Ronald Traeger, Twiggy wears Twiggy Dresses, Battersea Park, London. Unpublished Fashion Study for British Vogue, Young Idea, July 1967, © Estate of Ronald Traeger/Vogue The Condé Nast Publications Ltd/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Ronald Traeger, Twiggy wears Twiggy Dresses, Battersea Park, London. Unpublished Fashion Study for British Vogue, Young Idea, July 1967, © Estate of Ronald Traeger/Vogue The Condé Nast Publications Ltd/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Sixties liberation

In the 1960s the feminist movement gathered pace as women campaigned against inequality. In the fashion world, the structured formality of 1950s designs gave way to a more youthful look and the body was liberated from constricting undergarments and corsetry. New designers and photographers emerged, their work showcased in magazines such as Queen (relaunched 1957) and Nova (launched 1965).

Photographer David Bailey was employed to revamp the ‘Young Idea’ section of British Vogue. His vivacious documentary approach, and those of other London-based photographers, turned teenage models such as Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy into international stars, the embodiment of Swinging London. The mood was captured in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blowup (1966), in which David Hemmings starred as a character partly based on Bailey.

From 1966 onwards, exotic fabrics, clashing patterns and colours were boldly combined. Penelope Tree’s unconventional looks made her the ideal model for the hippy fashions popular in the latter part of the decade.


Arthur Elgort, Wendy Whitelaw, Park Avenue. Personal picture taken on American Vogue fashion shoot, July 1981, © Arthur Elgort/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Arthur Elgort, Wendy Whitelaw, Park Avenue. Personal picture taken on American Vogue fashion shoot, July 1981, © Arthur Elgort/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Picturing femininity

In the 1970s photographers increasingly tested the limits of acceptable fashion imagery. They engaged with society’s changing attitudes towards femininity and sexuality, and the potentially controversial themes of religion and violence often informed their work.

These fashion images invited viewers to be voyeurs of highly charged scenes. Helmut Newton’s work brought together themes of emotional ambiguity and sex, capturing confident women in glamorous and contrived settings. Guy Bourdin and Gian Paolo Barbieri created darkly provocative images, which focused less on garments and more on the character of the woman beneath.

The notion of ideal beauty broadened in mainstream magazines with the more regular use of black and androgynous models. The photographers Deborah Turbeville and Sarah Moon were both former models and their engagement with the female form was distinct from that of their male counterparts. Their contemplative images provided female perspectives on the themes of beauty and sexual objectification.


Corinne Day, Woman dancing at a London club, 1992, © The Estate of Corinne Day/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Corinne Day, Woman dancing at a London club, 1992, © The Estate of Corinne Day/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Capturing real life

In the 1980s, new style publications aimed at both sexes emerged as a counterpoint to the airbrushed perfection of the major glossy magazines. They featured articles on contemporary music, culture and emerging trends. Their pages were populated with figures representing alternative types of beauty, who were often not professional models.

Portraits by Steve Johnson of punks and New Wave youth appeared in i-D magazine. The images became known as ‘straight ups’ as they showed the figure in full. The approach garnered many imitators, keen to capture personal and innovative street fashions.

In the 1990s, the leading exponents of this naturalistic, documentary approach to fashion photography included Corinne Day, David Sims, Craig McDean and Jason Evans. At the heart of their work lay an interest in everyday life and real people, celebrated for all the flaws that make them individual and uniquely beautiful.


Miles Aldridge, Blooming #3, 2007, © Miles Aldridge/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Miles Aldridge, Blooming #3, 2007, © Miles Aldridge/Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fiction and fantasy

Today’s most dazzling fashion images are rich with colourful and poetic narratives. Big budgets, set designers and multiple stylists are employed to create elaborate fantasies. Photographer Miles Aldridge describes the process as akin to making a film:

‘If the world were pretty enough, I’d shoot on location all the time. But the world is just not being designed with aesthetics as a priority. What I’m trying to do is take something from real life and reconstruct it in a cinematic way … condensed emotion, condensed colour, condensed light.’

Just as fashion designers reinvent and recycle the trends of decades past, photographers often look to their forebears for inspiration. Tim Walker conjures a whimsical, technicolour England, inspired by the opulence of Cecil Beaton’s early work and classic children’s fairytales.

For the past century women’s fashions have dominated magazines, but in recent years more publications aimed at male readers have emerged. The V&A is now consciously collecting men’s fashion images to reflect this growing area.

This content was originally written to accompany the display Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography, on at the V&A South Kensington 28 March – 4 May 2014

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