Modern Fashion Photography
Modern & Creative Fashion Photography 2018
What does “Modern Fashion Photography” really mean?
It is now 2018 and after more than 25 years of fashion photography under my belt I do have a few opinions and thoughts on this subject. I have seem a number of massive changes happening in the business. I was doing my assistant years in a still life studio where we meticulously moved props and objects around to painstakingly shoot 4x4 sheets of film that we developed and printed ourselves in the, for those days, hyper modern darkroom.
I was a young fashion photographer’s assistant in the city that never sleeps, NYC, in the 90’s - the era of the super models. That meant that we had Christy, Linda and Naomi in the studio every other day. That also meant that I was flown to Rio de Janeiro in first class - as an assistant - Heck, the flight attendants even wore white gloves while serving the champagne. I probably came away with a rather skewed image of what the reality of a photographer was really like.
Creative Photography 2018
At the moment the prevalent style is based on fashion bloggers and instagrammers. It’s a very flat and non-technical look. Usually the images are shot in natural daylight, or with no lighting. I’ve had a few illuminating discussions with some colleagues who decry the lack of technical skills and the “bad lighting” and some of my friends even call it sloppy photography.
When a sophisticated brand like Balenciaga or Chanel is employing this look it's because they want to drive home their coolness - “Look, we’re so cool that we can do whatever…”
(Just think of how totally old fashioned images by Ellen von Unwerth or David Lachapelle is looking right now.)
There is a nonchalance and I don’t care attitude involved here that is appealing but I think it only works for luxury brands.
Of course these looks come and go and I believe that you have to roll with the punches and stay true to who you are.
Let’s take a look at some images that used to be modern, but not so anymore...
Linda, Christy, Cindy and Naomi… The high-octane supermodels of the 90’s. Big Hair
In a 180 degree reversal from the high gloss supermodels a skinny english girl took the world by storm and ushered in the Heroine Chic era. Kate Moss. Awkward poses often shot in dingy apartments and with a great deal of influence from Nan Goldin’s imagery, especially her series “ballad of Sexual Dependency”