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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Giedre Dukauskaite by Paul Schmidt

Loved this shoot photographed by Paul Schmidt for the May 2011 issue of Marie Claire Italia featuring the model Giedre Dukauskaite. The soft light and the desaturated warm tones of the images combine perfectly for a whimsical and romantic spread. The use of location shots and more closeup images (that look like they could have been shot in a studio) is hard to combine in one shoot to make it seem like they fit together or have some sort of connection but I think Schmidt created just the perfect mix in this editorial. 

Images taken from

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fashion Films - The Germans are Getting it Right

I was so happy to see this fashion film titled "The Box" from the Hamburg-based German film production company Reise Farbaute. Led by Cristian Straub, the company produces "moving images in different arrays, ranging from Fashion-Films to Commercials and Branded Media". What I love about this film is that there is some sort of narrative and mystery surrounding "the box". This film is meant to be a teaser trailer for the debut of Perret Schaad's shoe collection at Berlin Fashion Week and so the vague and mysterious nature of the box is perfect to create enough suspense and interest in the product for people to want to see what the collection is actually like. It is so refreshing to see a smart, conceptual and original fashion film being produced. Fashion films are really going to need to step it up. I hope people interested and involved in the fashion film industry will start making films that don't just rely on beautiful models, because they are so overdone and tend to be utterly and completely boring. I'm going to keep an eye out for Reise Farbaute and I'm excited to see what they put out next.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Animals, Germany, Africa, and Fashion

I'm not sure how I feel about the use of animals in editorials. In the case of the Fall 2011 Bulgari ads featuring Julianne Moore, I think the use of animals was inappropriate since it was a jewelry/accessory campaign and to me, the animals just seemed like another accessory. Maybe I was reading into it but it just looked like they were there for their soft fur (a rich accessory) against Julianne's soft and naked skin. Not the best concept for an ad campaign in my opinion. 

Anyway, I came across this shoot for the February 2008 issue of Vogue Germany photographed by Koto Bolofo and loved the images. I don't feel the use of animals in this shoot is as blatantly wrong as in the Bulgari ads, but I also don't like the idea of using animals as a symbol of wealth and status as the cheetah appears to be for me: at the end of a leash as if it is something expensive and exotic that shows off her wealth. I don't like the title of the shoot, Africa Appeal, because it seems to me that the appeal of Africa is owning and acquiring exotic and expensive animals. The clothing isn't African inspired but rather inspired by the western fashion that was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Germany (I'm singling out German colonization of Africa since the publication is German Vogue) was colonizing parts of Africa. 

I really do love the images though and the ones without the animals the most - like the 6th, 9th, 11th and 13th images because I get a feeling of independence, self-confidence, and trying to fit in somewhere that seems a bit out of place, like a thatched roof on its side in the middle of a photo studio. I think those images are incredibly soft and powerfully beautiful images. I just happened to find this shoot interesting beyond the surface because of their use of animals (which I've been thinking a lot about lately) and considering Germany's rather turbulent history with Africa. I like it when there is a bit more to a shoot than what is right there in the image. 

Photographer: Koto Bolofo
Model: Inguna Butane 
Publication: German Vogue
Issue: February 2008
Title: Africa Appeal

Images taken from here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cate Blanchett by Will Davidson

I don't know many people other than Cate Blanchett who could pull off a shoot like this. The posed formality of the images in a behind-the-scenes theater setting is where we seem to image Cate most at home and in her element. She is posed and regal and elegant and this is who she is. While this isn't the first time we have seen Cate photographed in this setting, we don't get the hyped up drama that Annie Liebovitz showed us in her February 2009 spread for Vanity Fair. Instead, we get an editorial that is full of emotion, not drama, and since Cate's personal life isn't filled with drama-filled tabloid reports, Harper's decision to make the shoot about the emotion of theater and the clothes seems to be a more appropriate take on the concept. 

Model: Cate Blanchett
Photographer: Will Davidson
Stylist: Jillian Davidson
Hair: Reyna Xydis 
Makeup: Liz Kelsh
Publication: Harper's Bazaar Australia May 2011

Images taken from

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Girl Overboard

Recently I have been looking at a lot of work by LA based photographer, Cass Bird. What I love about her work is that it feels so authentic and genuine. I get the sense that she is just hanging out with her models and taking snapshots to preserve a moment - like you would if you were just playing around and chillin with friends. Even the more posed images seem as if the model was just in that position and Cass told them to stop in the position they were already naturally in. The spontaneity of her images is refreshing when it seems fashion photography is becoming way too over calculated. This spread was photographed for T Magazine. 

Check out Cass Bird's website and her blog.

Photographer: Cass Bird
Model: Daria Werbowy
Stylist: Sara Moonves
Publication: New York Times Style Magazine 

Images taken from

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Howard Schatz - In Character

Photographer Howard Schatz photographs celebrities "In Character" for every issue of Vanity Fair and captures their emotions in three different scenarios or stories he makes up. I find Schatz' approach in providing a narrative interesting to compare to fashion photography. Many times photographers will give models (or actors shooting a cover story) inspiration for the shoot in terms of a narrative. Even if the shoot isn't a narrative-based photo shoot, the models still have some sort of emotion to go on to produce a certain feel for the images even though that particular narrative or motivation is never revealed besides what is captured on camera. What I like about Schatz is that he takes the opposite approach (from fashion photography) and lets us in behind-the-scenes in a sense to literally read the inspiration for the image. While the reactions are over the top and exaggerated the concept of understanding the inspiration for an image is the same and I love seeing his images every month in Vanity Fair. 

Check out more of his images on his website. 

Images taken from

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Shoot With David

I haven't had much free time this summer to update my blog or post pictures from my shoots but I thought I would share a picture from my most recent shoot with David at Ithaca College. 

Image © Mathea Millman 2011


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