Monday, March 3, 2008
Bo Egestroem - Danish Modern
Bo Egestroem's undeniable drama and intensity recall the work of Peter Lindbergh and Herb Ritts. How does he master the elusive fashion moment?
To be influential and innovative in fashion photography takes dedication and talent. Danish photographer Bo Egestroem has tireless amounts of both, but ask him about his work method, and he'll tell you straight: It's the images that should do all the talking.
“I'm never interested in telling stories,” explains Egestroem. “I'm into what looks good aesthetically and then translating that look into the frame. Artists always talk about what they can do, always talking way too much. I say do it, don't talk about it. If the work is good, then it will do all the talking for you.”
Currently building a new studio in Copenhagen after a number of successful years, Egestroem is content shooting fashion. It's one of the richest expressions of human desires. After all, what we wear is who we are. But for Egestroem, no matter the clothing, it's all in the eyes.
“I like being really close to the model,” he says. “I quite often shoot very close to the model's face. That way I'm really, really there. Sometimes I pull my voice down and whisper. Suddenly, it becomes more intimate and the image is more interesting. It's almost secretive because they're no longer thinking about the hair stylist or the agency people around them. It brings out that closeness, and you see it in the eyes.”
Egestroem also crops the human form, bestowing his images with undeniable drama. “I don't shoot full figure because when I pull back I lose that intensity,” he explains. “I rarely get it full figure. I also don't crop the image. What I see in the viewfinder is what I deliver. It's cropped right in-camera. I only recrop if I'm forced to fit a format.”
“The farther models are from their own country, the better they work,” offers Egestroem. “That's why it's great to shoot models from abroad—not only because they look different, but also because they come here to work.”
Models are another source of inspiration and, on occasion, infuriation for Egestroem in his Copenhagen quarters. “I think agencies are sometimes too nice to their models here in Denmark, and it shows in their attitude,” he says. “The model should inspire the photographer as much as the photographer is inspired by the beauty of that model. The problem is, they're pretty lazy here. If a model lives close by, she thinks more about getting home than being in the moment.”
As a result, Egestroem and many fellow shooters are beginning a new trend: bringing in models from around the world to shoot at home.
“The farther models are from their own country, the better they work,” offers Egestroem. “That's why it's great to shoot models from abroad—not only because they look different, but also because they come here to work. They're motivated, and it's important to push the boundaries, especially in fashion. Think about it. You're capturing the quality of someone paying intense attention. You need to get the model's attention, and when I have this, it really motivates me.”
Page 1 of 4