The Evolution of Magazine Covers

Karen X. Cheng and Jerry Gabra take a look at how we’ve changed in the past 100 years





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Cosmopolitan covers started out with women dressed conservatively. Then they started showing some skin. Then more skin. Finally, they started posing in sexy positions.

As women have earned more rights throughout the years, they’ve also earned the right to wear whatever they damn well please. Or maybe that just sells more magazines?

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How I created This Gorgeous RED Portrait


For no particular reason red was never my first choice when it came to planning the colour pallette of a photo shoot, so a while back I decided that at some point I would throw myself wholly at it and try and create some beautiful high impact images. Like with all my ideas it had taken root and I knew that given time it would grow into a concept that would eventually be realised…

Then a few months ago I was given the opportunity to shoot in an aircraft hangar at my local airport, now being granted access to such an incredible location I knew I wanted to plan and shoot an editorial that had a very rich, elegant almost regal feel to it whilst having this emphasis on the colour red. After weeks of planning looks and working with the stylist and various designers, the morning of the shoot we faced a massive problem. The problem wasn’t the freezing temperatures or the snow flurries but that fact that we now only had two hours to shoot as opposed to having the entire day as planned! As a result not only did we have to cut our shoot time but we had to accept that we may not have time to shoot all eight of the planned looks.

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The Versatile Beauty Dish – My Favourite Lighting Patterns


Most folks will be fairly familiar with the Beauty Dish and its usefulness in both fashion and general portraiture. In this tutorial I would like to share with you just how versatile I think the humble Beauty Dish can be and show you just how many lighting patterns you can create with my personal favourite light modifier.

First of all, I should describe exactly what a Beauty Dish is for those perhaps unfamiliar with the modifier. Beauty dishes are essentially large metal bowls, which typically are available in a variety of sizes such as 16″, 22″ or 27″ in diameter. They can be used with both studio strobe and speedlights with the correct speedring fittings.

Inside the dish is an internal reflector. This is a disc of metal, spaced a few inches in from the strobe. This deflects the light from the strobe and pushes the light towards the outside of the dish, ensuring that the only light hitting the subject has been reflected. This creates a very smooth, even and flattering light though this can also depend on the interior of the reflector. Beauty Dishes typically have silver or white interiors. Silver interiors are very specular and produce harder more contrasty light, whereas white interiors are softer and more even as the light inside gets more scattered before leaving the dish, reducing the specular reflections.

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SPOOF project Shows How High Fashion Ads Would Look On ‘Regular’ Humans


Have you ever wondered how us, regular people would look in a High End fashion shoot or on the cover of Vogue? French stylist Nathalie Croquet and photographer Daniel Schweizer collaborated on SPOOF, a project to answer just this question.

Nathalie aims to poke some holes at our modern trained brains who look at fashion and advertising imagery as an aspiration of perfection. She posed in front of a camera styled and set up exactly as the models we are all used to see on magazines.

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Children Give Unfiltered Opinions On How Models Are Portrayed In Fashion Photography

kids vs fashion2Interested in photographing fashion and models? You may want to take a moment to watch the entertaining clip below. In the video, filmmaker, Yolanda Dominguez, sits down with a group of 8 year old children and shows them various photographs from recent fashion campaigns. As they describe their initial reactions to the images, you can’t help but laugh (mostly because they’re right). “There’s a girl taking a sh*t,” exclaims one of the children. “It is like she is poor…” and, “she needs a first aid kit to get healed,” are other examples.  [Read more…]

Amy Schumer’s Hilarious Narration Of Her Glamour Magazine Cover Shoot


Ever wonder what kind of thoughts are running through model’s heads as they’re sitting through hair and makeup or on set trying to make sexy, sultry faces while having wind blown into their face? According to Amy Schumer, it may not be as exciting as we like to think it is. Just take a moment to watch this hilarious behind the scenes footage of the comediennes recent Glamour Magazine photoshoot.

Schumer personally narrates the entire clip, giving viewers a laugh as she invites us into the mind of a model at work. Between sarcastic jabs at the over zealous wind machine operator and giving herself whimsical little pep talks, her unfiltered opinion of the experience had us bursting at the seams with laughter. [Read more…]

Photographer Van Styles Shares Some Tips On Location Scouting And Choosing The Right Model

Every photographer will eventually develop their own method when it comes to scouting locations and deciding which model to work with. For Los Angeles based photographer, Van Styles, that means choosing a model first, then finding a location he feels works best with the model’s look and is appropriate to they type of shoot he’s doing.

In the quick clip below, Styles shares more details on his approach to location scouting and what he looks for in a model (hint: it’s not all about how they look). Additionally, the photographer also shares a handful of tips on working with models, selecting wardrobe, and posing techniques. [Read more…]

How I Fought My Insecurities And Planned A Weeklong Photo Shoot In The Fashion Capital Of The World


We all have those moments, those days, those months where we just can’t seem to come up with a good idea.

It seems like it takes more energy to convince yourself to get started than it does to actually shoot a set. The truth is you don’t always need an earth stopping idea. A lightning bolt of inspiration. Sometimes just committing to doing it gets the ball rolling. Once you’re actually in motion you start to realize that there is a lot more to learn about than just the photo techniques themselves. Lots of business and planning skills go into it as well that will in turn make you more valuable as a photographer. Just the process of saying I’m going to do it…. led to how am I going to do it? That simple question took me on a path that taught more than anything else in my career so far. I’d like to tell you about my self produced week of high fashion photography in New York City.

So, I went to New York City.

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Candid Interviews With 24 Master Photographers Including Steve McCurry & David Allan Harvey

The nice team over at Vogue Italia curated a YouTube playlist of interviews with 24 of their favorite past photographers. The interviews range in length from anywhere between 1:30 miuntes to over 35 minutes long. Most, however, have about a ten minute run time. Not all, but most of the videos are in English.

I haven’t watched all the videos yet, but the ones that I have spent time with were really good. There’s a lot of technical and inspirational soundbites in the videos, which is always a treat. Here’s a quick selection of videos for your convenience. If you have a little time to burn, you can scroll down to the end of this page and indulge in the entire playlist. [Read more…]

A Photographer’s Guide to Surviving Fashion Week

Fashion Week is an international series of events where fashion designers can showcase their latest collections and connect with other members of the industry. Twice a year, the fashion world converges on New York, London, Paris, Milan, and other sites across the globe for a week’s worth of fashion shows and events.

While for many, the focus of Fashion Week tends to be on the celebrities that attend the shows, what they wore, and the parties that followed, Fashion Week is so much more than that. This year, in New York City alone, over $887 million.

While Fashion Week is clearly important to local restaurants, hotels, and other businesses, it is also an important event for all the photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists, and members of the media that are needed to cover such a large event. While Fashion Week shares many similarities to other large media events, like the Academy Awards, for instance, there is one major difference, Fashion Week lasts much longer, and is held over a much wider area.

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