Fashion photography is an art form unto itself. And today’s photographers find continued inspiration and guidance from one of the greats: Clifford Coffin. Chief among Vogue Magazine’s illustrious roster of acclaimed fashion photogs, Coffin set the pace for fashion layouts in the 1940s and 1950s. With laser focus, sometimes overwhelming drive, and an expert eye, he managed every detail of a shoot. A creative tornado at times, but well worth the effort. His portfolio showcases a glamorous elegance with a touch of whimsey, creating a story that transcends the clothing itself.
Perhaps his greatest contribution was the advent of ‘ring-flash’ lighting, a certain technique that rendered indistinct shadows through the use of directional light onto the model. Fresh and innovative, both then and now. What struck me about the above photo was an almost instantantous refrence to the famous 1980s Robert Palmer video “Simply Irresistible”; the strong makeup, red lips, black silhouettes. Both disparate mediums but one obviously borrowed from the other. Inspiration is all around us. The fun is in trying to coalesce different creative elements to form a new design perspective. True artistry, indeed.
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