Sunday, 8 June 2008

New Work - Lisa Tse by MRW

Lisa Tse by Michael Robert Williams, 2008

I recently photographed the new press/PR portraits for my good friend Lisa Tse, the designer and creative director of Lisa Tse Ltd.
I've produced many portraits of Lisa over the last few years and she's always great to work with - very creative herself and open to ideas. These are a few of the recent portraits made just a few weeks ago. I especially love the first portrait (above) with Lisa on the stairs bathed in a pool of light.

Lisa Tse, 2008

Lisa Tse, 2008

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Went To See; Vanity Fair Portraits, NPG London

I went to catch the Vanity Fair Portraits Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery recently before it finished. It was showing work from the entire history of the magazine. As the press release said;
'This is a unique opportunity to see 95 years of iconic imagery by some of the most renowned photographers of the twentieth century, including Baron De Meyer, Edward Steichen, Man Ray and Cecil Beaton, as well as portraits by celebrated contemporary photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts.'

As much as its interresting to see the set-ups and techinical skills in the work of the modern era photographers like Leibovitz, I personally loved seeing the early portraits by Steichen & Man Ray. I admit I do often enjoy Leibovitz's portraits, but her music work mainly (and her older work really, especially a lot of her 1970's work). I find the Hollywood gatefold covers that she shoots for VF interesting to look at, well set-up, and technically well executed, but also a little empty. Everyone looks perfect. But thats all.
I like the sugestion of something more in portraits, that's one reason why I admire Anton Corbijn's work. There often seems to be something more going on in Cobijn's images, and that's a difficult trick to do. You get so little time on some of these shoots, and there are other people around on the shoot too. Its one thing to even have an idea what you want from the shoot, but another thing altogether to get it.

But getting back to the VF exhibition. I did enjoy seeing the work and I picked out two portraits, one from the first period of VF, and one from the period since VF's re-launch in 1983. These are two of my personal favourites from the exhibition. First Gloria Swanson by the great Edward Steichen photographed in 1924. Then Hilary Swank by Norman Jean Roy from 2004.

Above; Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen, 1924

Above; Hilary Swank by Norman Jean Roy, 2004