Ten minutes to go before I’m supposed to take pictures of guests at the book launch of a good friend and the studio’s atmosphere is already full of a sort of supercharged excitement and tension. My photographic depth of knowledge is haphazard and it could so easily all go wrong. I call my husband at work when I realize that the workings of my D80 leave me perplex and irritated. I seem to have forgotten what is a shutter speed, aperture, F number or ISO but I won’t switch to automatic. His less than reassuring explanations confirm my fears and the only way I will make this experience pleasant is by getting extremely drunk or accept the inevitable: automatic setting. Martina’s official and professional photographer failed to materialise and with only a couple of days to go I was asked if I could act as the alternative for want of a better option. I have displayed a commitment to fashion photography on this blog and I have been vocal about my passion but that does not make me a good photographer! I did my best for a few hours (imagine a self-conscientious impromptu firing squad) and endeavoured to take beautiful and charming shots. It is the morning after and I’m still reluctant to download the masterful portraits of my subjects! Hahaha.
I’ve been looking at a Wendy Bevan shoot instead. I love all aspects of it: the romantic and poetic elements, the slightly weird sensibility, the colours, the dream-like qualities, the drama and whisper of melancholy. You can catch glimpses of the haunting style of Sarah Moon, they share the same quirky fantasy. It’s really no surprise that I absolutely adore Bevan’s work and I’m sure that a lot of you share my enthusiasm. She creates beautiful and striking imagery in a magical way, blatantly different from mainstream fashion photography, which seems to be dominated by a certain sensationalism, drama of subject and treatment. Her photos are more quiet and I believe that the aim of her exquisite compositions resides in the subtle variations of tone, colours, softness and emotion. Perfect viewing for those who like fashion photography that tells a story with a hint of surrealism and decadence.
Lots of shows to look forward to in the next few days. Paris is always my favourite fashion week and usually delivers great results. I’m expecting good things from Anne Valérie Hash, Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. The usual suspects.
Photos courtesy of Wendy Bevan