All images copyright Richard Avedon from In The American West
Avedon is a big name in our house right now!
Not only because Richard Avedon has been one of the photographers I have always and still admire but it is the name of our little kitten. I named him Avedon because I loved the sound of Richard’s name and I am hoping some of his talent will rub off each time I call my kitten.. Kind of a like a million mantra’s a day.
I loved Avedon (the photographers) early fashion work in Paris and adore his portraits on a simple white background. His white background became his trademark. Avedon photographed everybody on it from politicians to actresses, dancers to farmworkers and I particularly adored his series called In The American West.
Avedon spent numerous summers driving around the West of America shooting real people and devoted as he was to capturing great pics he took his famous white background with him.
He placed the background in the shade and captured the workers and locals as they were in that moment on his large format camera. I had the great fortune to see this exhibition at the Jeu de Paume and have since purchased In The American West and adore his powerful portraits of ‘real’ Americans.
I often ponder whether these portraits would have been as strong if he had photographed them in their environment? The black and white combo with the white background allows the subject to speak to you.
What are you thoughts on a simple background? Years ago I was frightened by a white background but now I love it..
Keep it simple