Category Archives: Placing Photographic Practice in Context

Preparation summer task

Explaining my thoughts and reason for my 80s fashion images.

I chose to use a neutral background in my fashion shoot because most of the fashion images I had researched were also created with neutral backgrounds. I saw that this had a good effect at bringing out the colour of the garments and decided to use the same in my shoot.

The other reason I did the shoot in a studio was because for my previous fashion shoot I did this in location (the Hotel), as well as previous projects, so this time I used the studio to see if it gave the images a different feel, and to see if I liked working in this way.

I decided to use a white background as this would bring out the colours, because I wanted the clothes to stand out. I did not want a busy, patterned background because I did not want the viewer to be distracted from the garments and the model.

I did not want to create 80s photographs, I wanted to take aspects of 1980s fashion, so I did the hair and make up in the 80s style, but in a toned down version. I used fabric, textures and colours that would have been used in the 80s, and incorporate 80s fashion, but still work well with the fashions of today.

I enjoyed working in the studio and I am happy with the images that I achieved. I like the look because I feel that the images look professional and I enjoyed having any photography equipment to hand, whereas when you are working on location you are restricted to the equipment you have with you. I would not say that I prefer one to the other but I enjoy working with both location and studio. However to create a more professional 80s fashion feel I think that the studio works better.


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Notes on 80s style on trial DVD.

  • Power dressing, experimentation, fun the new, the individual, the strength of the women.
  • men could experiment with masculinity. Hip-Hop and Black culture influenced 80s fashion.
  • the trainer, the hoody. in mainstream fashion it was about power dressing but in streets fashion there was a quest for individuality.

There was alot of anti-establishment feeling. Poeple expressed themselves through clothes, dance, and film. Poeple responded to this depressed England by dressing up.

Punk had worn itself out. There were new things happening with elecronics. big hair, blonder hair, tanned skin- all very fashionable (the george michael look)

Before the 80s bands who dressed up a lot were not written about in magazines like they were in the 80s. the magazine ‘I.D’ really focussed on this.

People expressed political vies with thier clothes. (anti-missile T-shirts). People wore logo as a way of expressing what they were like.

80s designers were very good at promoting themselves through the retail experince. Did ranges of perfumes and accessories. Calvin Klein used sex to sell their products (underwear adverts of muscley men etc)

Hip-hop gave us the stylish tracksuit and trainer, also mens jewellery. By the end of the decade most people owned an addidas tracksuit.

It was the first decade where women were able to show thier power. First time women had more toyboys. Men could embody their feminity- could wear make up. Women had found the right to cross-dress.

Today the hard-edged outlines of 80s outfits are in fashion.

80s fashion items:

  • the pussycat bow
  • poppers sometimes replaced buttons
  • ra-ra and puffball skirt
  • bum-bag
  • shell-suit (bright colours)



Discussing 1980s fashion (Style on trial 2009).

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Hair and Make up!!

The other day I got in contact with Solihull College to see if there were any Beauticians and Hairstylists who were interested in getting involved in my project. I sat down with a level 2 hair-dressing group and showed them my blog with the ideas of 80s fashion to see if any of them could help me to create the hair and make-up.

I decided to use my sister as a model as I have been having problems with models letting me down at the last minute or wanting to be paid. As well as one of the reasons for me using my sister, I wanted to get some natural shots and I felt that the relationship between me and my sister will show in the images, as she will feel more at ease with me than she would be with a photographer she did not know.

I took my model to Solihull College to do a test run on hair and makeup to see if we could create a 80’s style.

From doing my test shots on the hair and make-up I have decided my aim is to create images that interpret the 80’s style, but do not copy it completely. I will take on a light hearted approach in my photographic style by making the model look happy and relaxed and as though she was laughing, because I think this will reflect on my light hearted approach to mimicking the 80’s fashion. The reason for this is because I do not want to create the same 80’s images that were created in the 80’s. I want my fashion images to incorporate the taste of today’s market so that it achieves an up to date appeal.

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Studio or Location???

From looking at photographers taking fashion photographs, some of them use location and some use studios. I’ve decided I am going to do both. From doing this I will have a wide range of images that I can then choose from and I can choose what best goes with the outfit.

I’ve decided that I will photograph against a white wall for my studio shoot to see how effective this is. Also I will shoot in a park area that I know to try and get some natural shots which also tell a story (e.g. the model exploring the scenery and taking in nature).


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Peter Lindbergh Research.

From the 1980s onwards Peter Lindbergh’s interpretation of fashion has been discussed around the World. It can be said that his work is inspired by the dancing style that occurred in the 1920s and by early German cinema.

He was originally more focused on art than photography, the painter Vincent van Gogh being his idol, and he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts before studying Free Painting at the College of Art in Krefeld (situated in North Rhine-Westphalia).

During his time as an artist he focused on Concept Art and achieved success in this field when he exhibited his work in Galerie Denise René/Hans Mayer in 1969.

However in 1971 he decided to focus on photography instead and assisted Hans Lux in his photography. But it was not until 1978 that Lindbergh’s career as a fashion photographer began when a highly admired fashion feature in Stern Magazine got him noticed. He has since worked for such fashion Magazines as Vogue, New Yorker, Marie- Claire, Rolling Stone, Allure and Vanity Fair, and has headed campaigns for the following: Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Jil Sander, Donna Karen as well as portraits of Mick Jagger, Madonna and many more.

Peter Lindbergh (2010) Biographical Overview [online] <> [23 November 2010]

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Patrick Demarchelier Research.

Demarchelier worked as a freelance photographer when he moved to New York in 1975. It was here that he discovered fashion photography as he learnt and worked with photographers such as Henri Cartier- Bresson, Jaque Guilbert and Terry King, and his work drew the interest of Marie Claire, 20 Ans magazine and Elle.

In 1992 he worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and has produced international advertisement campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Dior, TAG, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Heuer, and Celine.

Since his career in photography Demarchelier has worked for almost all of the most popular fashion magazines such as Elle, Rolling Stone, Life, Newsweek, Vogue, Mademoiselle and Glamour.

Demarchelier photographed a large number of advertising campaigns such as the Brooke Shields doll in 1982, Gianfranco Ferré, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Revlon, GAP, L’Oréal, Eliabeth Arden and Lancôme. As well as this he was the main photographer for ‘On Your Own’, a beauty and lifestyle guide by Brooke Shields.

Patrick Demarchelier (2009) Fashion [online] <> [23 November 2010]

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Amy Arbus Research

Amy Arbus portraits of people in the streets of new york originally appeared in the village voice’s monthly fashion column ‘on the street’ the aim of the fashion feature was to document passers by who had dressed in particularly adventurous style.

Aswell as the highly famous, such as the clash and madonna, Abrus documented the influential style of graffiti artist, make up artists, musicians, shop owners, costume designers, actors and local artists, which altogether help to define the style at this time.





Homes, A (2006) On the street 1980-1990. New York: Welcome Books.

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