Photography Research, Fashion

Fashion photography has always been my key interest within the genres of photography and so fashion photographers tend to be the people who inspire my own work. With so many different styles of fashion photographers out there it is hard to pick my favourite photographer, but one photographer who’s work I find inspirational and could, arguably, be one of the first photographers to revolutionise the world of fashion photography, David Bailey. His style of work are very recognisable to the fashion industry and his work is very similar to the style I want to create for my images for this fashion project.

One reason I like Bailey’s work is because he uses his models in a different way to others. He takes photos of women wearing formal clothes and puts them in location that are not particularly clean. This was very different to what other photographers of the 60s were doing, and so there was a shock element to Bailet’s work because no one had seen or done anything like it before. I believe that Bailey was brave in his style of photography; enough so that he challenged the stereotypes of the industry, and in return made his work stand out.

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The image above is of Baileys favourite model, Jean Shrimpton holding a cigarette. At the time this image was taken, smoking was mainly done by men so for Shrimpton to be holding cigarette would have caused some controversy. Along with the expression on her face which I believe is showing worry and maybe a little fearful. The worry is also supported because she is biting her thumb, which makes us wonder why Shrimpton is so concerned. The viewers are drawn in because it looks like she is making eye contact with us as she is looking straight into the camera; which in turn makes us intrigued about her lifestyle.

I like the image below because of the way the picture has been taken as it has not been taken the normal way with the camera facing straight on at the model. Instead he twisted the camera so that the image is at an angle. If you look up on to the hill you can also see someone sitting on a bench. I think it enhances the image as it looks unrealistic that someone would be sitting on a bench at that angle. When I look at this image I think that this image is mysterious, this is created because of the dark background and the light only coming on to the model face.


David Bailey uses a lot of models for his work in the studio. This image stands out for me because of the stylistic look of this model. With wild hair that stands out of the picture which contrasts with the natural features of her face. The lines on the model shown on her clothes and the way her hair is done brings the eye to the  triangle on the face of her eyes and lips. It’s unusual for David Bailey, as he normally uses a white background, but he has used a darkish grey background which I believe help s the model stand out in the photo.


For my project of Fashion Photography, I am using 4 models: two in the studio one with the theme of colour and one with high key light. I also plan to shoot on location and an interior shoot I think the location and the hight key lighting shoot will be inspired by the work of bailey as I might experiment turning the images black and white to add more effect to my images, The only thing I would have to remember is that this is a fashion assignment and having it black and white might not show of the clothes in the best light.

After looking at the work of Bailey I decided to explore other fashion photographers work which contrast well to Bailey’s. Guy Bourdin is an obvious choice as I love how he used bright bold to create and unique narrative by shocking the audience with a provocative, exotic and surrealist style that you would not always think it was adverting fashion items.

I really like these images because Guy has brought out the clothes as they have the basic light grey background which goes great with the dark black clothes. The make up further adds to the imagery  with the dark eyeliner around the eyes shadow getting lighter and you have the bold red lips.

I really like this picture because it has a very boring grey background with the lady wearing a red coat and red shoes walking behind a lamp post so you cannot see her face – just the red coat and red shoes. It brings mystery to the picture, rather than revealing all. Is she trying to hide from something and, if so, what? The red and grey go well together as the grey ensures the first thing you notice is the red coat.

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After researching Guy Bourdin I then found the work of Paul Albert Bohrmann who liked to be called Horst.P, I find his fashion and portraiture images mysterious and alluring and they don’t readily fit the era he was from. I think he was ahead of his time .

I like this picture because of the use of basic primary colours and how the colours complement each other. For example, you have the white of the table, top, bag and the sunglass against the blue background to make the white stand out as well as having the red headband and the red strips on the bag. This picture is a very stylised picture typical of Vogue of that time  .


The last photographer I looked at was Rankin because I love his work and he is also inspired by the work of David Bailey and has even done a documentary recreating some of Bailey’s most iconic images. Rankin is an icon to modern photography; his name is known around the world for his creativeness and experimental work. He is also well known for his magazine editing and his passion for new ideas and talents. He is not only making photography an eternal form of art but he also promoting new talents.


I really like this images by Rankin because I love the bold pink background and how the model is posed. The model’s face looks scared and worried she is looking away from the mirror that shows her images repeatedly. My thought is that she is scared of her own reflection, this draws the audience in because you want to know why the model is scared.