Ferré by Malinowski

Ferré by Ritts

Ferré by Stan Malinowski

Ferré by Herb Ritts

Two photographers: their approaches compared

Both photos ran in the same issue of French Bazaar. I took the editorial shot on the left; Herb Ritts took the advertising photo on the right (we've never met). By the way, much of the fashion advertising photography done for European designers can be shot in an "editorial" style.

I characterize Ritts' photo as being cool, and "intellectual." His use of light, shadow, and contrast serves to produce a somewhat abstract , highly sophisticated image which begs a cerebral involvement of the viewer. There is an inherent mystery in the Ritts' picture. The shadow on the model's back (which creates the abstraction) appears to be the function of an assistant blocking the direct sunlight.

By contrast I feel my photo is a more predictable, albeit lush, and sensual photo. One can appreciate the model's sexuality. I would characterize my photo as being approached in a visceral fashion.

This is not to say that Ritts does not often opt for the lush, sensual, and visceral approach in his photographs. I recall a sensational series of photos of Kim Bassinger around the beginning of this decade. I believe they ran in American Vogue, but they had such a wonderful sexiness to them that I'm sure the editors at Playboy would have been envious.

If one were to ask Herb Ritts what he thought of my critique, he might agree, or perhaps he would find it rather droll. SM