Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Speaking from Experience: Portraiture Photography Research.

Researching secondary source photography and their photographers to inspire idea generation for the forthcoming project brief. With portraiture and it's creators being a great love and hobby of mine, I have undoubtedly blogged some of these artists and designers before, but can never have too much of a good thing! Here are some current favourites...

I've been a fan of Maxwell's photography for quite some time now. I have always found myself mesmerised with the unique intimacy that he portrays- each picture seeming to capture a beautiful memory or moment in time- blended with his creative crafts and eye for minor details, Maxwell Runko inspires an indie-film-like, youthful view of the world.

In my own work, I could see an influence of Maxwell's style emerge- subtle details which could make an ordinary portrait quite unique- focusing on styling and fashion throughout my work for an edgy aesthetic. 

Minnesota-based photographer, Karrah Kobus takes influence from the works of Tim Walker and Rosie Hardy to create concept and fashion-styling driven work, creating weird and wonderful, yet always beautiful and intelligent portraits, often combining a great eye for composition and style with great photoshop manipulation technique.

Through flickr, I have been delighted to witness Karrah's growth through photography for the past two years- to a good, to an amazing photographer, creating her own style and character for each photograph that is distinctive and memorable.

Karrah's work could, and the inspiration generated from it, could influence my work by focusing on my photoshop and manipulation edit skills- being a fan of concept based photography, this could prove great fun- thinking "outside the box" and creating unusual and complex, yet crisp, compositions which would set my images apart.

Undoubtedly one of the world's most famous fashion photographers- and a favourite with Elle and Vouge shoots, Mario Testino is a Peruvian-born photographer, who tenacity and determination to become a great, and distinguished photographer as he is today very inspiring.
Testino has worked with many celebrities and models throughout his reknowned career- one of his most famous, and one of my favourites, with Lady Diana Spencer- seeming to create this intimacy and honesty that he does so well with his models- if you have trust and friendship with the model you are photographing, I feel that it brings so much more life to the image- a sort of electricity and vibe of confidence that radiates through the image.

For Testino's work to show influence with my own, I would certainly want to know my models before hand, working with friends or family to get a really intimate image, and a bond of trust so the final images and friendly, and warming- not hostile and cold.

A favourite of mine, and countless others throughout the world, Tim Walker is undisputably one of the most celebrated fashion photographers of our time. Since graduating from Exeter College of Art, Walker took up an aprenticeship with New-York-based photographer Richard Avedon before setting up his own freelance work from his London base and working for such companies as Italian Vouge, UK Vouge, iD magazine, etc.
I have always be awe-inspired by the imagination and creativity that Walker portrays through his images- not just focusing on the model(s), but other vital matters- their location, surroundings, props, lighting. To be, Tim Walker is the bees knees of photography- showing how fine the line can be between imagination and reality, and creating a benchmark for all creative, concept-based photographers out there.

I would love to encorporate some of Walker's influence into my work- focusing on large, out-of-proportion would involve a lot of crafting and care but heck, I'm always up for a challenge...

Annie Leibovitz, the concept and visuals driven American photographer, started her working career for photographing for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970's in it's earliest days, and is now a regular featuring in fashion and luxury brand magazines such as Vanity Fair.

Much like Tim Walker, I have always found myself inspired by Leibovitz's creativity and composition within her works- seemingly making the impossible possible- capturing that second in time when the lighting, the mood and the setting is just perfect- and, of course, with some incredible editing skills to boot.

Whilst I for not one second consider myself to have any talent remotely close to Leibovitz's amazing work, I can certainly draw inspiration from it- characturising my models, creating a persona and personality paralell to their own, but making it fantastical and with just a hint of magic.

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