I recently ordered the new big coffee table book, “Harper’s Bazaar Greatest Hits” . And it appeared in my mailbox, within 2 days, yesterday afternoon. I really wanted to enjoy my first peek, so I waited until this morning to open it and give it my first look. It is a great book for inspiration as a photographer. It spans the years 2001 to 2011. I do wish it had gone back more in time. Maybe there are older books – I will have to check that out.
My first impression is fabulous! Beautiful photography, yet not perfect photography. Don’t you find that it is the moment captured, more than a technically perfect photo, that makes it have soul. There is one of Jennifer Annistan, a portrait closeup, and there is no crisp focus on her face, not even her eyes….the focus is on a small section of her hair on the side of her head, yet she is beautiful in it, one of her best. Some other photos, the focus is off, or the light or shadows off. Or they were shot in high contrast sunlight. Yet, they are still great photos. So one does not need to be so perfect in execution all the time.
The other thing I noticed is that the more out there the set up, the more likely it will appear in the magazine. Lots of jumping in the air. Lots of feathers! Seems that crazy feathers make it haute-couture fashion photography.
Oh yes, there are a couple of photos of Mark Jacobs, stark naked except for his hand covering his bits. Layed out on a fluffy pink fuchsia rug. What was he thinking!!
My favorite photos are some of the black-whites. And the ones that are less outrageously costumy….the ones that have beautiful sophisticated elegance.