Photographers That Inspire Me

So for my second post I have decided that I want to discuss photographers I’m inspired by.

I’m going to start with old school photographers like David Bailey, Annie Leibovitz and Norman Parkinson. Then I will move on to my impression of modern photographers like Mario Testino, Lara Jade and Emily Soto.

While at university in my final year I undertook a fashion photography project, which involved researching into fashion and portrait photographers, and also helping to organise my own exhibition and create a photo book.

One of the first photographers I chose to look at for this project was David Bailey, who is mostly recognised as a Vogue photographer over the last 50 years. He is a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. From the 1960s onwards name any celebrity megastar around and you can pretty much guarantee that Bailey will have photographed them.

But for me it is not always about the glamour, fame and fortune of photographers’ models because what inspires me about Bailey is the overall look and feel of his final image. To me his portraits have a sense of class about them as he often displays his subjects in a monochromatic way but he still manages to stay current through his choice of models and the ever-changing style of outfits in his images.

David Bailey Photography and Articles

The influence of Norman Parkinson’s photography was a little bit different for me than David Bailey’s. Ever since my university days I have been inspired by one shot of Parkinson’s in particular titled Audrey Hepburn and Bougainvillea, which was shot in Rome, Italy in 1955. Audrey is wearing a pale pink cocktail dress and standing by a Magnolia Tree.

Audrey Hepburn and Bougainvillea

I love everything about this shot of Audrey and from the day I saw this shot I have been aiming to find the perfect floral accent to frame my shot so I can recreate it or take inspiration from it to create something entirely new using a similar idea.

Annie Leibovitz was another photographer I looked at during my degree, especially her editorial shots of Nicole Kidman in Vanity Fair and Vogue and yet again it’s not about this specific model having red hair like mine. It is the eclectic opulence and strikingly beautiful effect of the backgrounds she places her models against in her editorial shots that create a sense of vintage nostalgia and appeal to the eye.

To me Annie does standard portraits well but also adds little quirks to her images that draw your eye towards them. Her most recent work that I know of is the picture of the Queen with her two youngest grandchildren and five great grandchildren that has been circulating social media because the Queen has just turned ninety.

I am also currently signed up to the mailing list to be notified about an online master class run by Annie when it becomes available, thanks to a friend, for recommending it to me.

Annie Leibovitz Photography

To me modern fashion photography is a little bit different than the vintage influences but it is also important to look at who’s current in the fashion photography world.

Mario Testino’s shoots are still in the fashion photography dynamic but rather than impressing me with his monochromatic images I cant help but be amazed by what he can convey by using a pop of colour in his images. He is what I call the Andy Warhol of the photography world, artistic and almost pop art like photography.

Yes, you are drawn as a viewer to black and white photography, which gives a vintage feel. But for me bright, bold and daring colours are just as appealing and Mario Testino reflects this in his photography by his use of yellow and red items.

In his images I am drawn to the most important part of a portrait, the eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul, you can tell a lot about a person from gazing into their eyes and Mario Testino makes sure that they are the first thing you see when you look at his photographs. He does this by having his models wearing either dark or vibrant make-up.

Mario Testino Photography

Fashion Photography is becoming less understated and more artistic with American photographer Emily Soto and British photographer Lara Jade making a name for themselves in New York. These two are my most recent discoveries in the Fashion photography world.

When I noticed several of my photography friends were following Emily Soto on Social Media I took a look and I was overjoyed with what I saw. The inspiration started off with watching her video tutorials via Facebook and then I started to look at her photographs on instagram. What I love about them is the different lenses and types of cameras that Emily gets to test. Recently I have seen a lomography daguerreotype lens, a vintage Polaroid camera and the standard Digital SLR camera that every photographer has. I have recently obtained a modern Polaroid camera and I am looking forward to planning a day to go out and use it and I get full use of my Digital SLR every time I go out and shoot.

Emily Soto Photography

My discovery of Lara Jade was actually through one of Emily Soto’s videos from a couple of weeks ago that she shot in Paris discussing a new vintage polaroid camera and how they both started off as photographers. So after this discovery I looked for Lara Jades Facebook page and started watching her fashion Friday video tutorials for inspiration. This is a weekly segment on her page, which shares her fashion photography knowledge, and it is always worth a watch when you’re looking for tips. What I like about her photography is the props she uses in her shoots such as her whimsical headdresses and the locations she scouts for her images. Today I have also purchased Lara Jade’s Fashion Photography 101 book, which I look forward to reading and posting about soon.

Lara Jade Photography

I hope you enjoyed this post and think about who or what inspires you, what do you enjoy.










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