The best advice I was ever given about fashion photography was that it's all about the woman....
Come on Fred !
You've got experience in this business right? Those sentences are empty words and you know it perfectly.
Yes I have plenty of experience in the business. Also it was not an empty phrase. I worked for her for many years.
It was not some silly catch phase that she would throw around. Many iconic campaigns are an indication of this as are the huge contracts that are awarded
to the models.
The model in the the first picture I posted to underline my comment that it's all about the woman went on to get the Elizabeth Arden Campaign
with a huge contract. I remember sitting in my studio with her in Milan where I had a big stack of magazines and going through them with her
as she pointed out the type of pictures she wanted to do in the future of her career. She picked out all the images of great models that were
more personality driven than just looks.
The great and very matter of fact Peter Lindbergh said it's all about the casting... the woman.
But let me tell you one other dirty secret of mine that reinforces why it's all about the woman.
It's very important to get your images infront of clients before you ever meet them.
There is no better way that making it all about the woman. Why you might ask...
Well it's very simple. Every modelling agency has many copies of each models books.
They have their own little army of runners that endlessly deliver these books to clients.
And guess what ... if you take photos with the "it's all about the woman" philosophy
you images end up in models books. What is most important is that models books get looked at by clients
right when photography is their priority. Also there are times when a client will use a model and she won't come out as she did
in the book. I have been contacted more than once to reshoot for a designer after they had obsessively decided on a model.
Again a case of it's all about the woman.
My first international ad campaign (in Time magazine) was from a client seeing a specific photo of a model (male) on a composite.
They did not even ask to see my book. I shot it and only afterwards found out it was for an international ad campaign... I almost fainted
when they told me what to bill them! I had only previously negotiated my day rate.
I actually think that my "all about the woman" way of doing things was instrumental to me getting into celebrity photography
and shooting some of the most interesting people around.
Just look at the fashion magazines these days. Whose on the covers. Singers and actresses because it is about the woman.
Personally I find it rather inappropriate and missinformed that you jump on this advice that I chose to share. It was given to me by a WOMAN
that had put faith in me and I put faith in her. I owe a lot to her including putting up with my antics as a young photographer including
going way off in my own direction on my second shoot for her. My first shoot was color and very graphic, my second was moody shadowy black and white.
She was not expecting that.
BUT the casting was right one the nail for the mood. Two unusual models. One that looked like a Disney Persian princes
and one that had a curvy very feminine look. Gisella ran the spread ... a 10 page beauty spread and one of the featured brands
took out a multi publieditorial contract with the magazine.. all of which I shot.
Take it as you may, but I have had so many experiences that confirmed this "all about the woman thing".
Now with that I'm not saying you don't light well for the cloths or shoot them out of focus.
I was also given another piece of advice by Mr Newton himself. Never let photography get between what is in your head and the subject.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18wmonxTjX0&feature=share&list=PLD22E66923E2F8D9C