Saturday, 28 January 2012

Let's take Manhattan

Just finished watching the fantastic David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton biopic on BBC4, which, if you're in the UK you can watch on BBC's iplayer here...

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, infamous British photographer Bailey wa instrumental in changing the vibe of fashion photogaphy in the sixties, and his muse Jean Shrimpton was what inspired this.  The film is great in terms of showing off how difficult it was for Bailey to break the mold in an environment that, up to that point, was so rigid in it's approach.  The film's really made me wonder about the dilemmas I often face in photography and life in general.... 
do you follow your heart and your vision, facing resistance all the way?
How much are you able to push?  Would you risk losing everything for your ideas and dreams?
Do you, like Bailey, take a tough stance and just push your agenda through, or do you grit your teeth and smile as you take the bull by it's horns or do you just give up?  (though the latter's really not me!)

It's a difficult choice when you either focus on being yourself and doing things as you believe is best, or you let go and do as you are advised, just because it it just too difficult to continue. Personally, I admire Bailey for the clarity of vision he had when he photographed for vogue.  He was lucky that he did not have to take decisions based on marketing, which is what the modern day photographer has to consider.  Work which is too innovative and possibly too intelligent may not be understood by the masses and the balance betweeen the 'art' and getting the food on the table is often precarious.

I'll probably watch 'Let's take Manhattan' once more before it is taken down from iPlayer, just as it's created a few thinking points for me and is generally so inspiring from the fashion photography point of view.

So let me know what you think of the film. and how would you respond to this situation if you had to be in it.

Speak soon! x


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