Recently I watched the documentary “The Man who Shot Beautiful Women” about Erwin Blumenfeld. He was a fashion photographer for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar starting in the 1940s and 50s in New York. His approach to fashion photography was artistic, graphic and original. His influence can be seen in contemporary fashion photographs.
This cover for Vogue 1950 tells the viewer straight away that this issue is about beauty. The use of white space and over exposure of the face create a mystery about the model and pace the emphasis on the lipstick and eye make-up. Another great Vogue cover is also a beauty issue, from May 1945. This time Blumenfeld used a visor shadow to create visual interest and make the model’s lips pop. Again we see the use of white space. This graphic approach can be also be seen in Blumenfeld’s self portraits like this one.
My favourite Blumenfeld image was one he shot in Paris when he lived there before World War 2 and before immigrating to the U.S. The model dangerously swings off the Eiffel tower in her full skirt. There is so much energy and life in this photograph. It has been copied many times.