Bought on a sale by my Mom and given as a gift during my first year of photography studies this book is a pretty special keeper.
On the inside cover leaf Martin Harrison writes about David Bailey:
No photographer ever had a greater impact on the 1960s than David Bailey. The best new breed of fashion photographers who catapulted into the scene in the early years of that decade, he himself would become as well known as all the famous faces on which he trained his camera. After Bailey, photography would never be the same again.
David Bailey Archive One basically follows the career of Englands most famous photographic practitioner, the book brings the Swinging Sixties , in all its monochrome glory, back to life.
Bailey worked extensively with Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree and Catherine Deneuve as well as Grace Coddington, Twiggy, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, the list goes on. His name I believe is synonymous with 60s fashion and pop music icons. I’ve chosen a selection of some of my favourite portraits and fashion images of women from his book.
I found this quote on Interview-Review while reading up a bit more about his work,- I thought it an interesting comment about how he saw models/women:
I think most talent is inborn. So Jean (Shrimpton) had an advantage because she was beautiful. She didn’t scare people, she was attractive to everybody, from dogs to intellectuals. She had one of those democratic beauties that everyone could appreciate. Some women are so beautiful that you can’t believe they could live next door; they live in some fantasy world.
While he is not a favorite, I appreciate his approach to portrait photography, the way he uses simple expressions or compositions of the body ( the way the fingers are positioned on the mouth, the parallel of limbs in a square format, how he translates a mood or a feeling to an image…) to make up the story in his shots.
His pictures certainly are iconic, his portraits and lighting style, and format epitomise the era for me. And ending with a quote by Bailey I couldn’t agree with more:
It is not the camera that takes the picture, it is the person.