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15.2.15

Inspiration: Yasmeen Ghauri by Herb Ritts (1991)

Inspiration: Yasmeen Ghauri by Herb Ritts (1991) | Ses Rêveries

Fashion editorials are difficult business.

I know I haven't actually published any per se, at least not in the way I intended when I decided to go ahead with them, but choosing to test the waters first was clearly a brilliant idea because I am way out of my depth here - which was kind of the point of them, I suppose.

But recently, Sanni told me she read somewhere that it supposedly takes ten thousand hours to master a skill. It turns out it's a line from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, which I'd flicked through at the local Waterstones a few days before. I'm now taking that as a sign that this quote is scripture and should be strictly adhered to.

See, since I started this editorial thing in November, I've been feasting my eyes every chance I get on editorial after editorial, blog after blog, portfolio after portfolio, trying to immerse myself in the world of fashion photography in hopes that I can learn even more from them than I am from watching Sanni shoot me - also known as "skirting around a problem instead of actually tackling it head on", but I do like to study things before I actually do them.

[Side note: I believe this is where I point out that that is why I am doing this - to learn photography and creative/art direction. I'm not sure how the misunderstanding could possibly have arisen but for the record, I have no interest in modelling. It is simply a means to an end, like cheese on pizza... I mean, where does a thought like that even come from? These people see me - on a regular basis. This is how to spot who's actually on your side in this life, people; no real friend would let a dream like that grow roots much less manifest itself to this extent where the potential is so obviously lacking. I really can't wait for when we've got enough material for the blog to tempt models to work on a TFP basis; it's so cringe trying to critique the images and just seeing my face here, there and everywhere.]

It didn't do much to boost my confidence; my catchphrase has literally been "let's do the easy ones first, we'll get to the others when we're much better." But it was through this research process that I discovered the late Herb Ritts. I know... discovered! And through a comment on a randomly selected post on my Instagram Explore page, no less!

I was, still am and will always be in awe. The man knew how to take a portrait, good Lord! As evidenced by this shot of Canadian supermodel Yasmeen Ghauri for the September 1991 issue of Vogue US, his approach to visual storytelling was so simple but incredibly effective. Clean lines, an incredible eye for lighting and subtle but provocative notions played out with instinctive ease. And it made me wonder... can that really be studied? Because even after all that studying, I still "ain't got it."

So I've dusted off the meaty briefs, sent the e-mails, organized the meetings... Here goes nothing, Gladwell. Your ass better be right.




Photography by Herb Ritts for Vogue
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