Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin is one of my favourite photographers as he uses a lot of bold colour in his images. So, when I was given this colour surge trends assignment, Guy Bourdin was an obvious choice as I love how he used bright bold colours to create unique narratives. He shocks the audience with a provocative, exotic and surrealist style that you would not always think it was advertising fashion items. I think that by looking at Guy’s work again I can refresh my thinking and look at the types of poses and camera angles he uses and so bring it into my own work.

Guy Bourdin was born in December 1928 in Paris. He is known for his fashion images. He started out as Man Ray’s assistant and later began to pursue his own style of photography which later became a well know style of perfection with a provocative twist. He is one of the best-known fashion and advertising photographers of the second half of the 20th century and his work has been exhibited in many different magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. He has also shot many campaign ads for example Chanel and Bloomingdales’ and his work have been exhibited in museums such as Victoria and Albert museum, Getty museum and the Tate. His work is often descried as a radical alternative to fashion adverting, where others more often focus on the beauty and clothing when taking the images.

what I like about his images:

  • bold colours
  • provocative
  • exotic
  • stylish
  • Perfection
  • Unique
  • Perfectly lit
  • When looking at his images you can tell they were taken by him as he has his own unique style
  • Controversial
  • Sensual
  • Ability to shock
  • Sinister

While I don’t want my images to be as provocative as Guy Bourdin’s, I would like to bring his use of contrasting colour to my images. His use of primary colours makes him an ideal person to help inspire my colour surge images. When looking at models posing for this assignment I think I will do more upwards angles so that the model looks more dominant. I might even have the model turn around to hide their identity or have half of the model’s face obscured. I see these as ways to experiment with some of the Guy Bourdin style.


Though the image above do not really follow the trend of Colour surge as it only has one element of colour in the image, 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. I like how the model’s identity has been hidden and is something I would like to try with this shoot.