Got the following comment from Thomas McInnis about the Victoria Will shot I posted the other day:
I am a die hard fashion photography fan, and this is a gorgeous documentary photograph. I think the biggest hurdle for a lot of people (particularly in North America and certainly here in Australia) is access to good fashion photography. Despite the leveling effect of the Internet, it's the kind of thing that is hard to find unless you already know where to look.
What you see in American Vogue and Harpers et al. is somewhat of a sanitised survey of Pop Fashion Photography. It's like going to the record store and seeing one of those bargain-bin "Best Opera Love Songs" CD sets and assuming (not unjustly) that this Opera stuff is a bit naff!
The industry-leading Nick Knight specified in an interview recently that fashion photography is not photography...but his work is closer to illustration sometimes, and particularly now he is working more with motion rather than stills. I would highly recommend, if you ever have a chance, a look at the monograph of Viviane Sassen, In and Out of Fashion, published by Prestel. It might be a nice counterpoint to what you typically encounter of fashion photography. :-)
As one who finds "fashion photography" (and fashion) a bit opaque, I'm always interested to learn more about what I'm ignorant about. Anyone else have an opinion about the Viviane Sassen book?
Here's the Nick Knight interview. I won't embed it because it's got some nudity in it and so probably doesn't qualify as work- and school-friendly. Speaking of which, the cover of the Sassen book is a nude as well.
(Thanks to Thomas)
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Mattias: "Well, I have never been keen on fashion photography and have no such book in my photobook collection, but Viviane Sassen's photography managed to pry my eyes wide open and for the first time reconsider. Her strong originality, especially her graphical compositions and fun way of using colour, and the immense sense of mystery in the images have captivated me. I see almost only art and very little to no product marketing in her images and that appeals to me."
Ed Hawco: "Check out the video embedded in this blog post for a glimpse at how illustration-layered some fashion photography can be."
Mike replies: That's astonishing, although I have to say that if I had to do that for a living I'd jump off a building.
Yoram: "Also recommended is The Fashion Book: New and Expanded Edition by Phaidon."
Simon Griffee: "The Victoria Will still shot spoke more to me about fashion than Nick Knight's seven minute video."
Don: "I have no real knowledge of the fashion business but I find Viviane Sassen's work irresistable. I'm not even totally sure why, but I think there is a sculptural quality to her photography that I love. There's also a certain sense of fun and perhaps of not taking things too seriously, though I might be mis-interpreting the latter point. I would also recommend In and Out of Fashion for anyone interested in Sassen's work."