Sunday, 6 February 2011
TAKE A PICTURE, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Throughout history, portraits - whether self-obsessed or not - have acted as an indication of wealth, status, sexual allure, intelligence etc. In fact, the very instant mirrors were invented, the self portrait was born. The self portrait isn’t as honestly representative as a mirror, but a projected desire instead. Oh, we’re a self-adoring bunch (just think of the vain people who photoshop their Facebook pics!) - fashion industry or not. I’ve long been fascinated by fashion photographers who include themselves within their work (Terry Richardson springs to mind!) - are these really self portraits masquerading as a fashion image of a model?
In 2006, Elle Muliarchyk became the first ‘guerilla model’, targeting the most elite stores, only to try on clothes for the purpose of capturing shots of herself in the changing room - and beautifully executed they are, when one considers the restrictions of time, space and the obvious lack of a photo-shoot crew! Another model, Israel based Yulia Gorodinski, has also built her career on her, um, how do you say, less clothing-orientated self portaits. Look her up. Then two years ago, Topshop created a fashion photo booth, where regular girls could dress up and take pictures of themselves. A success? But of course! (It was indeed called the Helmut Newton photo machine - in homage to the photographer’s previous project with French Vogue in 1972). It’s a trend that just keeps growing, and more recently, you’ll notice that the camera itself featured as an integral part of composition - with shoots relying on the models to take the pictures themselves with cable release shutters. Ladies in control? That's what I like to hear. “You will decide when to stop, the entire responsibility is with you,” Newton said to the volunteer models on entering the original booth. After all, who knows your best side better than you? Here you'll see Julia Restoin Roitfeld shooting herself in Tom Ford's greatly anticipated first collection - for her interview with the designer in V Magazine. Another noteworthy mention must go to Singles Korea Feb 2011 issue, with a shoot simply titled - Self Portrait. (!)