See the video here.
She’s tremendous, and I can’t iterate enough the affect a girl who moves like that and works that hard has on the final images. Models can make or break a shoot.
Down to brass tax, I want to photograph her.
Speaking of Sims and Natasa, here’s a peek of there up coming spread in V #52 (March, ’08). Styling by Karl Templer. And that (wicked) hair by Guido.
A first edit is a difficult thing to do, approached chock-full of biases and nerves and without any distance from original intentions…so, well, possibilities are often missed. I’d like to say I casually return to contact sheets again after a few months, after a few years, to find what I’d missed, but honestly by then I’m tired of it and done with it and on to more pressing matters, namely, the next piece of film to be exposed.
I recalled this image from the portrait of Benjamin, but didn’t remember noting it, or even scanning it, but last night while backing up files, I saw it and its implicit complications suddenly became interesting. And the only reason I even had a scan of it was b/c Benjamin had seen the contacts and specifically requested it…I’d never have bothered.
Doing an edit is a series of conflicts, practical and personal and everything between. Despite frowning upon showing my contacts to anyone, I believe the strongest edits are those I’ve done alongside other people, be it a photo ed, my team or just people I trust.
My respect for Steven Meisel (w/ Art and Commerce) and the consistent work he has produced and continues to produce can’t be overstated. And this video does nothing to dissuade that opinion. If anything, it reinforces it.
video: from Portfolio (1983) the movie.
Now insert ear to ear grin here b/c I honestly can’t tell if this was done in earnest or not. But regardless, and as absurd as the video is, a shot from a great editorial Meisel did recently shows that he, in fact, knows very well what he’s doing:
photo: “Supermodels Enter Rehab,” Vogue Italia, July 2007. © Steven Meisel.
I’ve been looking for good fashion editorials like standing at the newsstands is my job, but there’s not much out right now, and indeed I can hardly complain since I haven’t shot any editorial since Dec either… So, instead, I want to send out an appreciatory note to the better than good photographer Bruce Davidson (w/ Magnum and w/ Art Dept), b/c work like his has a great effect on me, b/c work like his matters.
There’s something about Davidson’s work that is aesthetically understated, technically excellent no doubt, but even so it doesn’t have a signature look, a giveaway affect, not like say the harshness of Koudelka or the smoothness of Friedlander or the expose for the highlights school of a lot of the young guys (Majoli, Pellegrin). No, Davidson’s signature is content. Simple, and yet nearly impossible to do. His photographs are about what is taking place within the frame, and he doesn’t allow himself anything to distract from this. B/c he doesn’t need to.
For all the proliferation of the business of art these days it’s a relief and escape this morning to look back to one of the greats of portraiture, August Sander, who taking these portraits during the first half of the last century would have had little to no concern at all with art, but rather his concerns were of a documentation of a scientific sorts, a photographic record of the German people. When I look at these I wonder if he knew how good he was, how original…if he understood even partially the lasting influence he’d have on photographers of the genre to this day. As an aside, in the manners of refinement and dignity (not to mention tonality) they bring to mind Penn for me; a specificity and accuracy is apparent, an intentionality…it’s unlikely, I’d reckon, that there were many happy accident’s in Sander’s making these.
These many photographs are from a trip I took recently to the Alto Plano of Bolivia to visit my sister, Erin, who lives there.