The ’60s is a fascinating era for initiating a change in fashion photography. So to me that is a great reason to start a new photography project, trying to embrace many of the hallmark looks from the time.
For me starting any project involves lots of research and my research mostly started in the autumn of last year. A good start was looking at the icons of that time ….. David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton, Brian Duffy, Twiggy …… to just name a few. Then of course there were the locations, more often than not around Carnaby Street in London, although of course David Bailey took Jean Shrimpton to Manhattan, New York to deliver a photoshoot that kicked Vogue magazine into a more modern publication that needed to echo the younger, more liberated, generation of the time. If you are interested, you must see the film We’ll Take Manhattan that tells (whilst probably embellishing) this story. If you haven’t time to watch the video then you can check out the photos from that trip in this Guardian article.
So watching that Manhattan film and also looking at a number of youtube videos on documentaries about Twiggy, other photographers and fashion from the time gave a great sense of the possibilities for my new project. Even looking at ’60s makeup youtube videos helped to identify what was needed for that authentic look. Pinterest pages also proved to be of help.
To me, and I’m no expert by any means, there were probably 3 distinct periods that I could feature in this fashion photography project. The Mods and Rockers (early 60s), I’m calling it the “Twiggy period” (mid 60s) and then the Hippy (or Hippie) period (mid to late 60s). Because of the potential breadth and quantity of clothing that this might need to cover all of this, I’m going to focus on the mid-60s as a start.
Many trips around the charity shops, the antique shops and the “retro” used-clothing shops didn’t really come up with much in the way of clothing and shoes/boots I could use. It’s quite a specific look that I needed, even down to the correct height and style of heels on shoes and boots, and so went to online shops like Atom Retro as my main source for the clothing I needed. And I’m the first to admit, I haven’t got it totally right at all. But I hope that it’s close and that you still get the feel and vibe of the time from the photos I took.
As far as camera gear was concerned, as an experiment I thought I’d fit in with the era as best as I could by going retro. Admittedly not as far as to use film, but chose to use my digital Fujifilm X100F “rangefinder” with the telephoto lens attachment which equated to a 50mm lens being fitted. And it was all done with natural light.
So whilst I’d still like to make improvements on a more authentic look next time, particularly with the location ….. got to be London next time I think … I hope you like these initial photos with Amber. Also for another time, really nail the makeup and hair and for that a studio shoot might be best.