Fashion photography

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Fashion photograph by Toni Frissell, 1949 Toni Frissell, Fashion model, Washington, D.C., 1949.jpg
Fashion photograph by Toni Frissell, 1949

Fashion photography is a genre of photography which is devoted to displaying clothing and other fashion items. Fashion photography is most often conducted for advertisements or fashion magazines such as Vogue , Vanity Fair , or Elle . Fashion photography has developed its own aesthetic in which the clothes and fashions are enhanced by the presence of exotic locations or accessories.

Contents

History

The Countess in a photo by Pierre-Louise Pierson (c. 1863/66) Virginia Verasis Countess of Castiglione - Scherzo di Follia - Google Art Project.jpg
The Countess in a photo by Pierre-Louise Pierson (c. 1863/66)

Fashion photography has been in existence since the earliest days of photography. In 1856, Adolphe Braun published a book containing 288 photographs of Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione, a Tuscan noblewoman at the court of Napoleon III. The photos depict her in her official court garb, making her the first fashion model. [1]

In the first decade of the 20th century, advances in halftone printing allowed fashion photographs to be used in magazines. Fashion photography made its first appearance in French and American magazines such as La mode pratique and Harper's Bazaar . [2] In 1909, Condé Nast took over Vogue magazine and also contributed to the beginnings of fashion photography. In 1911, photographer Edward Steichen was "dared" by Lucien Vogel, the publisher of Jardin des Modes and La Gazette du Bon Ton , to promote fashion as a fine art by the use of photography. [3] Steichen then took photos of gowns designed by couturier Paul Poiret. [3] These photographs were published in the April 1911 issue of the magazine Art et Décoration. [3] According to Jesse Alexander, This is "...now considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot. That is, photographing the garments in such a way as to convey a sense of their physical quality as well as their formal appearance, as opposed to simply illustrating the object." [4] Steichen’s high esteem as a photographer led him not only to Vogue as the chief photographer, but Vanity as well, for fourteen years. [5]

A modern fashion photograph by Inez van Lamsweerde Lamsweerde Fur.jpg
A modern fashion photograph by Inez van Lamsweerde

Vogue was followed by its rival, Harper's Bazaar, and the two companies were leaders in the field of fashion photography throughout the 1920s and 1930s. House photographers such as Steichen, George Hoyningen-Huene, Horst P. Horst and Cecil Beaton transformed the genre into an outstanding art form.

In the mid-1930s as World War II approached, the focus shifted to the United States, where Vogue and Harper's continued their old rivalry. In 1936, Martin Munkacsi made the first photographs of models in sporty poses at the beach. Under the artistic direction of Alexey Brodovitch, Harper's Bazaar quickly introduced this new style into its magazine.
House photographers such as Irving Penn, Martin Munkacsi, Richard Avedon, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe would shape the look of fashion photography for the following decades. Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography — and redefined the role of the fashion photographer — in the post-World War II era with his imaginative images of the modern woman.

From 1939 and onward, what had previously been the flourishing and sizeable industry of fashion photography all but stopped due to the beginnings of World War II. The United States and Europe quickly diverged from one another. What had previously been a togetherness and inspired working relationship diverged with Paris occupied and London under siege. Paris, the main fashion power house of the time quickly became isolated from the United States—especially with Vogue Paris shutting down for a brief hiatus in 1940. [6] With these changes, the photography based out of the USA gained a distinct Americana vibe—models often posed with flags, American brand cars, and generally just fulfilling the American ideal. What did remain of the French and British fashion photography on the other hand often had a wartime overlay to the content. Cecil Beaton’s ‘Fashion is Indestructible’ from 1941 displays a well-dressed woman viewing the rubble that once was Middle Temple in London. Similarly, Lee Miller began taking photos of women in Paris and London, modeling the latest designs for gas masks and bicycling with pin curlers in their hair, as they did not have electricity with which to curl their hair. [7] Images such as these remain scarred into the face of fashion photography of the time and display a common sentiment among the fashionable world and the public. Even fashion photographers worked to document the issues surrounding and work towards a documentation of the time—even if within the frame of fashion. These photos are an especially good indication of the fashionable emotions of the time. Many felt that fashion photography, during wartime especially, was frivolous and unnecessary. Yet, the few who worked to preserve the industry did so in new and inventive ways throughout the duration of the war. [8]

In postwar London, John French pioneered a new form of fashion photography suited to reproduction in newsprint, involving natural light and low contrast. [9] [10]

In recent years, fashion photography gained even greater popularity due to the expansion of the internet and eCommerce. Clean product, knolling and ghost mannequin photography have become a usual practice in the fashion industry. [11] After the Second World War, style went through dramatic changes, and various new planners arose during the 1950s and 1960s.

Contemporary fashion photography

After the deaths of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Francesco Scavullo, Herb Ritts, Gleb Derujinsky and Peter Lindbergh, some of today's most famous fashion photographers are Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz. [12] In 1983 Vanity Fair hired Annie Leibovitz as its first chief photographer to continue Steichen’s legacy within modern photography through celebrity portraits. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Richard Avedon American photographer

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Kylie Bax New Zealand model and actress

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Norman Parkinson

Norman Parkinson, CBE was a celebrated English portrait and fashion photographer. His work revolutionised British fashion photography, as he moved the craft out of the studio and into outdoor settings. He became an official royal photographer in 1969, taking photographs for Princess Anne's 19th birthday. He continued with many other royal portraits, including official portraits of Queen Elizabeth for her 75th birthday in 1975. He received many honors during his life including the Royal Photographic Society's Progress Medal, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Society of Magazine Photographers, a Google Doodle, and a British postage stamp.

Toni Frissell

Antoinette Frissell Bacon, known as Toni Frissell, was an American photographer, known for her fashion photography, World War II photographs, and portraits of famous Americans, Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life.

Martin Munkácsi was a Hungarian photographer who worked in Germany (1928–1934) and the United States, where he was based in New York City.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe

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Carmel Snow Irish journalist

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Ted Croner

Ted Croner (1922–2005) was an American photographer, described as an influential member of the New York school of photography during the 1940s and 1950s. His images are said to represent the best example of this movement.

Kristen McMenamy is an American model. She is known for her unconventional, androgynous appearance. Originally a long-haired redhead, she reinvented her look in the early 1990s by having her hair cut short and dyed black, and her eyebrows shaved off. Her career was boosted by the advent of the grunge fashion trend.

Walter Chin is a fashion and celebrity photographer of Chinese descent who currently lives and works in New York City, U.S.

Nude photography Photography of the naked human body.

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Carmen DellOrefice

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Annie Leibovitz American photographer

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Michael Avedon is an American photographer living in New York City. Avedon works commercially as a fashion photographer and makes portraits for his personal work – including an ongoing series of artists in their studios.

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References

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  2. Howell, Dylan. "A Brief History of Fashion Photography".
  3. 1 2 3 Niven, Penelope (1997). Steichen: A Biography. New York: Clarkson Potter. ISBN   0-517-59373-4, p. 352
  4. Alexander, Jesse, "Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography," HotShoe magazine, no.151, December/January 2008, pp.66 – 67
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  6. Hall-Duncan, Nancy. The History of Fashion Photography. New York: Alpine Book, 1979. Print.
  7. Conekin, Becky E. "Lee Miller's Simultaneity: Photographer and Model in the Pages of Inter-War Vogue." Fashion as Photograph: Viewing and Reviewing Images of Fashion. Comp. Eugénie Shinkle. London: I.B. Tauris, 2008. 70-83. Print.
  8. Devlin, Polly. Vogue Book of Fashion Photography. London: Thames and Hudson, 1979. Print
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  10. Mendes, Valerie D. (comp.) (1984). John French, fashion photographer. Victoria & Albert Museum. ISBN   0-905209-97-4.
  11. Revecka, Natalia. "Fashion Photography and E-commerce".
  12. Regina Arriola (2012-05-30). "Annie Leibovitz Shoots Karlie Kloss and US Olympic Team Stars in Miami". Hasselblad. Archived from the original on 2012-06-02. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
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