February 19, 2012

David Bailey & Jean Shrimpton

It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary. David Bailey


So a few weeks back, I watched BBC Four's "We'll take Manhattan" illustrating the developing romantic & working relationship, in the early 1960's between beautiful model Jean Shrimpton ( played by Karen Gillan) and pioneering photographer David Bailey ( and Aneurin Barnard).

It proved to be a great watch, a carefree & youthful adaption of Bailey's talents and his fleeting love affair with Shrimpton, even though he was already married, from the sounds probably unhappily. 

The drama entwined with subculture and famous real life scenes from Bailey's work, gave a lovely incite into his passions and unconventional approach to fashion photography. I can ashamedly say I've never really known much about him or his work, I now feel I know a great deal more about Bailey; the creativity, humour and history behind his work, which is nice. 

Great to discover a new icon too, Jean Shrimpton, who I can thankfully say I have actually come across before. She has one of those beautiful memorable faces and a kind of innocent aura that surrounds her. Something different to other models that Bailey picked up on early. 

"She was magic. In a way she was the cheapest model in the world - you only needed to shoot half a roll of film and then you had it." David Bailey

All images featuring Jean Shrimpton were taken by David Bailey in New York circa 1962

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