Monday, February 22, 2016

Behind the Mirror

I love shooting fashion. What we wear and how we choose to present ourselves is one of the most complex of human endeavors. From the intricacies and complications of design, to the vagaries of changing purpose and taste, to the individual desire to express oneself in a particular manner to both familiars and to strangers, fashion is fascinating.

Shooting fashion is about 180 degrees from the documentary style photography I usually do. Shooting on the street, the observer is presented with the choices others have already made, and has no role in modifying either their presentation or location. With street photography, you get what you get. 
Fashion photography is contrived. The studio is an unnatural place to be, and people make different choices when they know they are going to be photographed. The subject is also contrived, in that it may not be the person in the clothes, but the clothes themselves, or the jewelry, or some other object. The placement of the model, the lighting, the mood and the moments captured are all unnatural to varying degrees. Because all these concerns (and more!) require active attention and balance, fashion photography is extremely difficult.