There's a terrific (albeit brief) article in this month's Smithsonian magazine about a Norman Rockwell exhibition. While the article mostly concerns itself with the Smithsonian's exhibition of Norman Rockwell's art and talks about two of Rockwell's most ardent admirers, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, there's lots to learn (certainly to consider) from Rockwell about photography. Especially if you pursue photography with a mind towards telling stories with your photos.
Most of my glamour and tease photography isn't much concerned with telling stories unless you consider hot models beckoning viewers to come share the delights of their hotness a story.
Still, my photographic interests go further than hot, sexy models. Maybe not way, way, WAY further but further. Perhaps yours do too?
Lucas and Spielberg say they're powerfully drawn to Rockwell's work because of the iconic American artist's incredible ability to tell a story, a very detailed story, within a single frame. You know, like a photo is a single frame.
Movies, more often than not, need to communicate lots of information in short time periods. Hence, the big interest in Rockwell's art by the two uber-directors mentioned above. (Who both just happen to own impressive Rockwell collections.) Photographs, unlike movies (and when they're telling stories) have merely a single, static frame to tell those stories. (Unless you're making diptychs and triptychs, I suppose... but you knew that, right? Of course you did.)
Although Rockwell worked as a painter and illustrator, the story-telling details in his work offers much inspiration and illumination for photographers--even glamour photographers--certainly glamour photographers who sometimes hope to tell stories within a single frame. You know, much the way more than a few fashion photographers claim they're always doing even when, to the eyes of many viewers, there ain't much story going on. (Just sayin, ya know?)
In Rockwell's work, it's the details that help move the story along. Like reading books, you don't "get" Rockwell's stories by simply glancing at the covers. In Rockwell's case, the "cover" being your overall and initial impression of the painting or illustration and the "text" of his "book" revealed by carefully examining the details in his paintings and illustrations.
Often enough, I've stressed the importance of details when shooting glamour photography. Details (when capturing pretty girls) which might or might not be of a story-telling nature. Still, whether your photos are telling stories or saying something else, the Devil is in the details and so is your best work!
All of us, as photographers--glamour photographers or otherwise--would do well to look closely at Rockwell's work and learn much from it. Sure, as a glam shooter I'm probably not going to suddenly include the wholesomeness and "apple pie" attributes of Rockwell's work in mine. Leastwise, not my glamour and tease photography. But even for the genre this blog mostly concerns itself with, there's plenty to learn from Norman Rockwell. There's even more to learn from him if and when you're shooting other photographic genres.
The image at the top, with a subject far removed from anything Norman Rockwell might paint, was captured the same day as the image in my previous update. (You know, my previous update that informs you of the 25% discount when purchasing Ashley Karyl's kick-ass ebook, "How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional" and how you get that discount by using the code, PGSNUDES, when purchasing.) Anyway, once again I got a wee-bit tricky in post with this pic--not too tricky cuz that's beyond my post-production skills--adding some background stuff and, this time, converting to monochrome. Model is Lorena. Easy on the eyes, ain't she? I'll bet Norman would agree with that.