Portrait of the week: Backyard Bill

A large number of new self-labelled street style photographers have emerged overnight and decided that it is their responsibility to start blogs. Enough cash to pay for a decent camera and the illusion of action will not teach you how to take a good picture. Blogs are extraordinarily self-centred organisms and so many of us are too ready to believe that they can produce beautiful and inspiring images of stylish people on the streets of Paris, London, New York and Tokyo. There should be a manual to help would be Sartorialists understand that it’s not as simple as it seems and that a successful outcome will not always miraculously materialize. In fact, most of the time it doesn’t and leaves no impact on the overall tone of blog culture. Our appetite for pictures of real girls and boys with a natural fashion presence keeps growing and encourages a flow of frustrating third-rate photography. How to deal with stuff on the internet is up to each individual and the weight we give it but the self-confidence and boastfulness of various “style” photographers is becoming almost insufferable. I’ve noticed a pattern repeating itself continuously in the past few months: the blogosphere is slowly turning into a land of photographers with a complacent sense of superiority and not living up to their own promise. Where will it all end? Obviously I should simply ignore the dull offenders and stop being so hostile but it’s not as easy as it seems when you’re constantly searching for fresh inspiration. For one irresistible and thrilling blog there are ten crap ones! It’s tiresome.
But I’m happy to report that occasionally I will find an individual devoted to producing interesting and beautiful work. I first came across Bill Gentle’s photography early last year while exploring his girlfriend’s wonderful blog. Immediate merciful relief! With Backyard Bill, Gentle has updated the idea of street style photography and has created a compelling inventory of intensely poetic images of stylish boys and girls in intriguing locations. His vision is truly original and his blog is simply one of the best of its kind. Every time he updates it I know that I’m going to be taken on a little captivating adventure and I won’t be able to let go. I admire the meticulously observed stylistic details, the soft and flattering light, impeccable technical abilities, the sense of authenticity and intimacy, the depths of introspection attributed to personal mementoes like a car, a bicycle, a garden or a chair. His images are modern love tokens, responses of the photographer to his subjects. He doesn’t just focus on the clothes but heightens the magic with a sense of contemporary immediacy.

All pictures courtesy of Backyard Bill

Backyard Bill

Backyard Bill 1

36 comments:

Initials.CC said...

J'adore !! Ton blog est super !!! Tu nous régale ! :)
bibibibiii


Http://InitialsCC.blogspot.com

Fashion is a Playground said...

I agree, fresh inspiration ! Thanks !

Mademoiselle Robot said...

Je frissonne encore en repensant a ses photos de Ingrid Sophie Schram (que j'adore). Je suis sous le charme des photos de Bill, et je suis ravie de le voir sur ton blog.
Another wonderful post, one day I am going to eat your brain. x

Mademoiselle Robot said...

BRAIIIIIIIIIINS

fanny said...

Oh yeah, go Backyard Bill!!
I do think Bills pictures are really extra ordinary and you can really see his inquisitiveness and love for people, his passion for fashion and pictures.. but then I am his girlfriend... Im like a doting proud hen mother for all his endeavors...
Great posts as always july stars!!
XXF

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

oh yes, Backyard Bill is so great - more about interesting people in their beloved favourite clothes, less brand new and dressed up. Love it. You said it so well...

Marina Siero said...

great pics
your blog is fab!

x

Curiouser and Curiouser said...

loving these pictures! hadn't come across Backyard Bill before so thanks for the new obsession.
xx
p.s. Kungalv is in Sweden - google maps told me so

eva said...

wow these pictures are really full of emotion.

however i think that your convictions are slightly unreasonable. i do agree, but its not our place to decide who is an awful blogger and who isn't. blogging is free and everyone has the right to create one, however "crap" they end up being. It's hard finding a thrilling blog but if it wasn't for the awful ones the few good ones (like Backyard Bill) wouldn't be so special.

x

kelsea said...

every single one of these photos is beyond rad. i love the one of the girl on the chair.
and your blog is awesome too; keep up the inspiration!!

Mayra said...

With a click here and there, came across your blog ... Really cool! I like the way you write! I took a look at the blog you wrote about, it's sooo great! Truly original! Thank you for sharing the find!

Jessica said...

so pretty it hurts!

the style spotter said...

j'adore ton blog!

http://thestylespotter.blogspot.com

Jessye Ashworth said...

You give a strong impression of self entitlement. It's very unflattering- no matter how well done your blog is.

K. said...

Thanks for making (me) us discovering it. I still have lots of things to learn and thanks to you, these are things full of quality.

Kiki said...

I love his blog! It feels more special, like he took time out to hang out with the people he features rather than snap them on the street (not that there's anything wrong with that either!). And I do like that you get a clear idea of their personal style than trends or borrowed new season designer garb.

By the way, saw Quincy in Tommy's blog, he's so adorable!

ElodieVeryPetit said...

interesting and intreaging faces !

Modelizer said...

So simple but not boring and beautiful. I love it and I hope it inspires "style bloggers" to approach their photography with a little bit of intellect because it can be done with simplicity and taste.

womens dresses said...

Fabulous pics! Great post!

ellastica said...

love that first photo, a mini aaron de may!

'For one irresistible and thrilling blog there are ten crap ones! It’s tiresome.' amen.

really refreshing post.
i often get this overwhelming feeling of dread, 'read one fashion blog, you've read em all'.

it's nice to see bloggers out there who don't blindly subscribe to the fashion status quo and altho may not be originators, they express themselves in a creative, genuine way.

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

I know what you mean! The internet is endless, and there's bound to be lots of mediocrity (and worse) in the mix. It's a double-edged sword though, because then there are blogs like this one! I'm so glad you commented-- I'm loving your blog. Lauren

Yasmin Lawsuit said...

Ridiculously awesome shots. I would love to know a photographer like this to take photos of me.

Marie Collette. said...

OMG! Nice blog :D!
I love it.



xx, Marie.

broadcastpoulet said...

his photographs are so rich & so much more meaningful than all those "wannabe sartorialists" that you speak of... i love the aura in the photos, there's definitely a constant flow of something effortless yet with superior composure....
thanks for sharing, jaja! xox

myfuzzyworld said...

Awesome!

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Liberty London Girl said...

ha! snap! http://www.libertylondongirl.com/2009/11/backyard-bill.html

Great minds, as ever, think alike LLGxx

ps we really do need to go for that dog walk!

Meg said...

I found Bill Gentle recently through the Selby and immediately fell for his talent in both photography and being a very lovely person to look at :)

xo

Runway Reviews said...

super photos et looks. Jeunes, vêtements portables et cool.

Alexa said...

Great as usual !

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Michelle said...

I've been a fan of his for a while, but hadn't discovered his wife's blog yet. Thanks for that! Definitely a cut above the rest...

Anonymous said...

It is very nice and informative blog.

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THESTREETFASHION5XPRO said...

i love street style

xs said...

i've never been on his site until now. i agree, he's extremely talented and has a special eye. thanks for introducing him to me!

Anonymous said...

the writing on this post is so arrogant and judgemental. Not everyone's taste in photography is for the cliche "dreamy" and fey images displayed throughout this blog. "For one irresistible and thrilling blog there are ten crap ones...."oh how tiresome, so difficult to find appropriate images to steal and judge for your blog...which for me is one of the ones i would judge as crap when searching for irresistible and thrilling content.....

The Fashion Buzz said...

The denim jacket with the brown boots style is beautiful! I love all your posts, definitely a blog worth looking at!

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