I define Fashion is the latest and most admired style in clothes and cosmetics and behavior ( wordnet) a way one expresses himself or herself and photography as a silent unspoken language of images. My fascination to convey my thoughts through photography has helped me in molding the photographer in me.
Out of all the genre of photography, capturing fashion has thrilled me the most. This is because fashion has an element of innovation in it, and requires a lot of imagination on the part of the photographer, as to how he would like to capture the image. Apart from innovation, fashion has many other ingredients which enrich the photograph. Fashion creates mood.. fashion creates themes.. and fashion creates trends… moreover fashion makes one feel young, fresh and energetic, always.
There are so many reasons why I have chosen fashion photography. Recently I had visited an exhibition of black and white photographs, I had visited some time back. In this age of dazzling colors, I was amazed to see the beauty of grey tones in that exhibition. These snaps were silent and sober in contrast to the loudness of colors, seen in the photographs of today. It inspired me to feel that black is the color with which I have not experimented so far, even though it appeared so beautiful.
A very deep thought has gone into planning of this photograph. My main theme is slavery in France. Perhaps, most of the younger generations of today is not aware that slavery in France was more cruel than that in America !! ( Harper Douglas, para 6) It was important that the mood created by the visual was that of despair, gloom and sadness.
To convey the theme more meaningfully, I chose the black and white option. Black is the color which is very dominating and expressive especially when it comes to communicating despair and gloom. To further enhance the gloomy effect, I decided that the stronger grey tones, ones more towards the black, will dominate my visual composition.
So, I selected a typical, rich looking, sophisticated French locale as my background, and chose my subject matter, the foreground which is quite in contrast to the background. Inspired by the photographs of Jason Evans and Mario Testino, I have tried to combine two contrasting models. One is a black skinned model, resembling a real Negro, and another is a mixed blood model.
The two models are dressed to match the overall theme of gloom, with black grey tones dominating in their dress also. However, the contrast on the facial skin is remarkable. The fashion theme of racial differences is also reflected in the clothes worn by each of the models. One of the most remarkable aspect of this photograph is the contrast between the models and the elite, French background. Through this photograph, I have tried to tell the world that contrary to popular belief, slavery in France was also rampant and more brutal.
Conclusively it can be said that this photograph is a result of deep thinking, and has its inspiration in fashion magazines like vogue, and a general analysis of fashion photographers’ approach. It is a combination of a modernist fashion concept, and a very deep rooted message on the brutality of French slavery.
The theme blends with the language of fashion in a very aesthetic and pleasing way. A creative use of black color and the grey tones which are more towards the grey, helps in emphasizing the theme. This is a modern fashion photograph, which relives the past. The gloom of slaves and the dominance of the French.
1) wordnet, wordnet search 3.0, retrieved on 4 December 2008 from:
< http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=fashion >
2) Harper Douglas, French Slavery, The Sciolist, retrieved on 4 Decemebr 2008 from :
< http://etymonline.com/columns/frenchslavery.htm >