• /the-shot-blog/tim-walker-storyteller-fashion-fairytales


    Jonas Kesseler in blue spitfire, Glemham Hall, Suffolk, 2009

    By Ruth Ansel

    “For fashion photography to resonate, for people to believe in it, it has to be a real moment.” -- Tim Walker

    The model-as-protagonist is the most vital component among the many that knit together to make a successful photograph says the photographic historian Robin Muir. She must in Walker’s words behave like a ‘silent movie actress’, who possesses a ‘sense of performance’. ‘You are persuading models to act; you try to show them where your inspiration comes from and hope that they understand it and relate to it. Then you all get lost in it…’ Tim Walker: Storyteller is a book about photographs that is made up of fictional narratives that turn fashion into fairy tales.Tim’s love of fashion as a means of realizing his dreams is all about telling a story. I believe every fashion shoot tells a story beyond the fashion. A story about a woman, a story about the time we live in, a story about longing and desire — in this instance a story about always seeing the world through the eyes of an irrepressible child. This process of reaching deep within his unconscious creates photographic magic. What Tim has is a simultaneous sense of elegance, wit, romance and daring. When you think all is light and sunny suddenly a surprisingly dark side emerges. A crying skeleton appears in a field of flowers with beautiful Malgosia Bela in a red wig. He conjours up all these moods with unerring intuive skill. One ingeniously crafted set after another appears in the midst of unlikely places. All this together with a ravishing palette of intensely saturated colors makes for a thrilling visual experience as the book unfolds from page to page.

  • /the-shot-blog/watch-our-new-iris-nights-video

    Over the last four years, we've had close to 200 amazing lecturers participate in Iris Nights. Most of those lectures are available to watch on our website - for free! We've just completed a brand new highlights reel (if you will) of just some of the countless absorbing moments we've captured during these talks. Click "Read More" to watch the video. Iris Nights - the compelling stories behind the remarkable images!

  • /the-shot-blog/unpredictable-world-celebrity-photography


    © Tony Duran

    By Tony Duran

    What is so interesting about the world of celebrity photography is that it is so unpredictable and, quite frankly, out of the photographer's control.  My photographic style developed by shooting all kinds of celebrities in all kinds of situations.  My main partner in crime and collaborator who has given me,  without doubt, most of my tools of the trade, is Jennifer Lopez. Spontaneity, of the moment decision-making, and flexibility are the keys to capturing her larger than life persona.  Confidence in one's self as an artist has gotten me through many over the top moments and has brought me to what has ultimately led me to many memorable and iconic shots.

    Blog Tags: Iris Nights, Tony Duran
  • /the-shot-blog/announcing-no-strangers-iris-nights-lecture-lineup

    Our first IRIS Nights lecture for no strangers takes place this upcoming Saturday, the same day that the exhibit opens. This sold-out debut lecture will feature the amazing Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher.

    We've just released the full list of presentation for this very popular series. Click here to see that list, which includes Chris Rainier, Bonnie Folkin, Caroline Bennett and Aaron Huey.

    We expect the lecture series to conitune to be popular so  reserve your free spot as soon as tickets are released. You don't want to miss out on these great talks!

  • /the-shot-blog/spotted-space-ted-danson-mary-steenburgen

    Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen stopped by the Space last night to take in last night's IRIS Nights lecture, which was presented by their pal (and featured Who Shot Rock & Roll photographer) Guy Webster. Look for his lecture to be added to our past lecture videos page in the very near future!

    Photo by Unique Nicole for the Space

  • /the-shot-blog/henry-rollins-rocks-iris-nights

    It was an honor to have Henry Rollins take part in IRIS Nights last night. Rollins spoke about his travels around the globe and the photographs he took of the different people and cultures during those trips. The Photography Space was packed - standing room only! One of those in the crowd was featured photographer, Ed Colver, whose photo of Rollins greets visitors as on an oversized layover on the front door of our building.

    Rollins, Colver, and his giant image of the rocker on the door in the same place at the same time? That's a rare moment so there was only one thing we could do: post-lecture, we had Rollins and Colver pose in front of the door and we got the cool shot above!

    We'll have Rollins' lecture on our site soon and Colver himself will take the IRIS Nights stage in September.

    Photo by Unique Nicole for the Space.

  • /the-shot-blog/richard-ehrlich-steps-iris-nights-podium

    Photographer Richard Ehrlich opened up his IRIS Nights lecture last night by saying that he loved quotes so much that he would incorporate many of them into his presentation. His first quote of the night was a light-hearted one by photographer Elliott Erwitt: "It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby."

    Richard stressed that he wanted his lecture to provide him an opportunity to be an advocate for photo manipulation, or rather, photo optimization as he prefers to call it. Tinkering with photos, he said, has been a part of photography since the medium's inception in the 19th Century.

    He pointed out that the cannonballs in this photo taken during the Crimean War had been added to the original photo over 150 years ago. A convincing image even by today's standards.

    Another favorite quote by Richard is credited to Richard Avedon: "A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."

    Richard talked in depth about the "decisive moment," the point in time that a photographer finds the right image. Learn more about his thoughts on this when his lecture is posted on our website very soon.

    He also spoke about recent technological advances with digital cameras, detailing the impressiveness of Femto photography and the amazing Lytro and Red cameras.

    One of our favorite quotes of the night was said by none other than the man of the hour himself. Said Richard, "There's nothing like the ability to realize your dream and the imagination than the digital." We couldn't agree more.

    Thanks for such a great lecture, Richard! Check back soon to view his lecture online.

    You can learn more about Richard on his official website.

    All images by Unique for the Space

  • /the-shot-blog/iris-nights-sneak-peek-alex-kuczynski

    As we enter our final weeks of BEAUTY CULTURE here at the Annenberg Space for Photography, one of the most frequently asked questions from visitors who watch our feature documentary continues to be "Who is that woman in the pearls and blue dress?" The woman whose statements have left such a lasting impression on visitors is our November 17th IRIS Night lecturer, journalist and author, Alex Kuczynski.

    Since Kuczynski will grace us with her presence, along with photographer (and previous IRIS Night lecturer) Susan Anderson, during our final IRIS Night lecturers during the run of BEAUTY CULTURE, it's a great time to learn more about "the woman in the pearls."

    The ambition that would ultimately lead to Kuczynski's success as an award-winning author and reporter appears to run in the family. Her father, Pedro, was a candidate in last year's Presidential election in Peru. John Casey, The National Book Award Winner and novelist, is her maternal uncle. Kuczynski, however, isn't interested in resting on family laurels. Carving out a name for herself as a reporter for The New York Times, she took it one step further and authored an uninhibited, behind-the-scenes examination of the cosmetic surgery industry in her book, Beauty Junkies.

    Beauty Junkies is a revealing view at what is now a demographic-defying $15 billion fixation on youth and physical vitality. In a recent article for Harper's Bazaar, Kuczynski sums up the obsession saying, "The pressure to stay young, and to remain young looking, is at a fever pitch in America. Those seeking the holy grail of youth are driving up the number of cosmetic procedures—with Americans getting more than 13 million of them every year—in their quest for a smooth forehead and taut cheekbones."

    In her book and featured role in the BEAUTY CULTURE documentary, Kuczynski readily admits to experimenting with a few cosmetic procedures in her 20s and 30s, but ultimately realized that "Living out west [in Idaho] has made me release all the ideas I used to have about success, including the quest for that perfect age-defying forehead. In fact, I've discovered that the more I give up, the greater the reward. I stopped trying to think I could do it all—and in part, I was forced to....you can't worry about your hair or your skin because the one practicing dermatologist in our town doesn't even do Botox."

    We hope you'll be joining us for our final IRIS Night lecture with "the woman in the pearls" Alex Kuczynski and High Glitz photographer, Susan Anderson on November 17th for what is certain to be an entertaining and very enlightening conversation. If not, you'll still have a few days to visit BEAUTY CULTURE one more time before its closing day on Sunday, November 27th. We hope to see you soon here at the Space!

  • /the-shot-blog/lauren-greenfield-returns-iris-nights

    If you're one of the nearly 50,000 patrons who has visited Beauty Culture since its May opening, we're betting there's a good chance you've departed the Space electrified by filmmaker and featured photographer Lauren Greenfield's documentary of the same name. We were thrilled to learn more about Greenfield's career during her recent IRIS Nights lecture at the Photography Space, as well as the inspirations behind her photographic and filmed accomplishments.

    Greenfield was all smiles as she and her husband (and documentary producer) Frank Evers, arrived at the Space. This was Greenfield's second IRIS Nights lecture. She was also part of the L8S ANG3LES lineup!

    Just before showtime, IRIS Nights attendees wrapped themselves all the way through the exhibit hall anticipating the opening of our gallery seating for Greenfield's lecture.

    One of Greenfield's first images in her retrospective was of Las Vegas showgirl Anne-Margaret. A note taped to the entertainer's mirror reads "I approve of myself." This is one of many Greenfield images involving women that address issues dealing with self-esteem and self-acceptance.

    Greenfield also spoke about an image taken at a beauty pageant for southern belles. The photo captures the contestants in traditional gowns and poses, but juxtaposing these traditions--the girls also flash garter belts on all of their legs.

    Greenfield talked the above image in which a young model walked down the street, while being ogled by three passing men - one of them a hard-hat wearing construction worker. While the audience laughed at Greenfield's retelling of the story behind the picture, she joked that we may be responding with the laughter, but the men's wives probably had a far less humorous response!

    Greenfield's work obviously inspires much discussion with audience members and she was happy to address a number of questions from lecture attendees regarding the psychological and sociological issues behind her images.

    Guest perused copies of Greenfield's best-selling and award-winning books including Girl Culture, Fast Forward and Thin before meeting her for a book-signing in our photography library.

    Visitors had an incredible opportunity to chat one-on-one with Greenfield during the book signing.

    Meanwhile, Evers engages guests in conversation while waiting in the book-signing queue.

    Greenfield happily greeted fans as several photographers maneuver through the crowd to capture the best angle. Despite the often intense and emotional images that she captures, Greenfield and her fans had a delightful evening and we certainly did too! Thank you so much, Lauren!

    You can watch the lecture on our site by clicking here.

    (All lecture images by Unique for the Space)

  • /the-shot-blog/coming-soon-iris-nights-amber-valletta

    Here at the Annenberg Space for Photography, we've had the great fortune of many incredible photographers lecturing at our IRIS Nights for our BEAUTY CULTURE exhibit. One of our guest lecturers on Thursday, November 3rd will provide her own unique insight from her career in front of the camera. Model, actor and long-time humanitarian Amber Valletta (seen above during a visit to the Space) started modeling as a teenager quickly establishing a high-profile career by landing her first Vogue cover on the eve of her 19th birthday. Her success as a model would soon transition to television and film with Valletta taking over co-hosting duties from Cindy Crawford on MTV's House of Style followed by acting roles in Hitch and the current ABC show Revenge. Her increasing fame also provided an opportunity to work with multiple charitable organizations that focused on Valletta's childhood interest in social relations.

    One of her most recent fashion spreads for the September issue of W Magazine has also been one of her most controversial. In an industry where youth and beauty are usually a prerequisite for success, Valletta inhabits a role in "One for the Ages" spanning 12 decades of life with a final lasting image of a decrepit, yet intimidating elderly woman of the future. Because aging is often the death knell for many models, the actual intent of the photo shoot is a rarity. In the issue, Valletta said of the layout.

    "You see women who are getting older, and they're still thought of as powerful and sexy and sensual. Ten years ago that wasn't talked about nearly as much...My best advice for aging gracefully is probably going to be more of a spiritual or a psychological answer, which is just trying to find peace in life and being happy and sharing that with other people. Ultimately the insides never change. The outsides will always. And it's transcending that that I think makes a beautiful life."

    We couldn't agree more, Amber! If you don't have a chance to see Valletta along with photographer Amanda de Cadenet at our IRIS Night on November 3rd, we hope you'll still find an opportunity to check out BEAUTY CULTURE here at the Annenberg Space for Photography until November 27th. You can check out her spread in W, shot by Steven Klein, here.

    Blog Tags: Iris Nights, BEAUTY

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