Richard Avedon was born on May 15th 1923 in New York City. The work he produced started of byhis parents clothing businesses. Avedon took a great interest in fashion,when hewas small because he was always surrounded by so many different style of clothing and colours especially enjoyed photographing the clothes in his father’s store. when Richard was 12 he joined the YMHA (Young Men’s Hebrew Association) which was a camera club. He later served in the US Merchant Marine during the WWII for 2 years, from 1942 till 1944 but his role was to take identification portraits of the sailors.Throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s Avedon was already known as one of the most talented young fashion photographers in the business. In 1955 Avedon photographed “Dovima with Elephants,” which featured the most famous model of the time as she posed between 2 elephants. In 1945 to 1665 Avedon was hired as a staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar for 20 years. He was also well known for his black and white portraiture. Before Richard left from Harper’s bazaar in 1965 he captured and amazing image of Jean Shrimpton In Harper’s Bazaar Space Age, April 1965.
When this was one of the options giving to us to choose from in class. I was so interested in knowing more about whats behind this amazing image. from the looks of it I could tell it was very old since the style and how it had that comic book look towards it gave it off that it seemed a bit vintage and this was one of the reasons why I found this image pretty interesting , looking through the magazine I realised how every image was different to one another and how this particular one caught my eye not only because this was one of the options in class but because of the colours and it doesn’t show much seriousness into the whole “space” topic for example the background looks more doodled on and you can tell that she is just wearing a costume and she isn’t even outside so more of a fun and non serious way to show this and he used a Rolleiflex camera to produce all his images but of course you can’t actually fly into space to take a couple of images.
Avedon was a fashion photographer which I had mentioned earlier that he started off this photography obsession by his parents own business. So when he shot Jean Shrimptons he made her wear a space suit and not just give her any type of good clothes normal models would wear but gave her a spacesuit. The whole idea behind this image was to represent a female in a space suit to show a trend for space fashion, since they did not ever see a woman wearing a spacesuit before and how they managed to achieve an amazing look is by making Shrimpton wearing an actual spacesuit borrowed from NASA. The first time I looked at this image at first glance, even I thought it was real until u realise she’s wearing makeup and that her background was not real so Avedon some how has achieved the whole space theme he was going for with just simple things but for instance If he had not made Jean wear a space suit but had worn normal clothes it would have a whole new perspective to it. The magazine did become one of the most unforgettable fashion issues in the 60’s.I personally think this is because the image of Jean Shrimpton itself does looks like a portrait and Avedon did spend 2 years in the US merchant marine taking portrait photos so he experience which he was easily able to achieve in this look and the whole style was a trend in the 60’s and that is one reason why till this day many people remember. In the 60’s it was the silver age of the comic books and it perfect to say that this image does look like one itself because the more you look at Shrimpton it feels as she is character in a comic book merged with the background giving her a doll look but this is all happened from the trick of the experienced photographer Richard Avedon. and that is why this had caught my eye.