We we were discussing these amazing 1950s fashion images.


In so many of them the photographer has chosen to crop right up to or into the shape of the model, the clothing or hat. This creates very powerful negative spaces, that is the areas of ‘background’ between the subject and the edge of the picture frame. These are bold and simple shapes often accentuating the characteristic curves of the female form. Beyond this, the model often creates triangular shapes using her bent arms – often in a hand on hip gesture. Contrast is used to emphasise shape. All images are black and white in the manner of art photography. Colour would suggest the vulgarity of the advertising world.

We decided to explore some of these principles in our own figure session! I’m afraid we only had yours truly as a rather inept model but some of the results were strong. It goes to show how artistically informed and aware photographers and models of this era were.