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Friday, June 15, 2007

James Brown - The English Beat

With a fresh style, a young professional's obsession for creating high-fashion images is getting noticed

The English Beat James Brown is one of the rising stars of British fashion photography. In that highly stylized industry, he creates worlds that stretch well beyond the mundaneness of everyday life. Artists create fantasy, inspire and stimulate the human mind. Brown weaves fantasies from seemingly uninspired surroundings. No matter the project, he brings the disparate elements together in a cohesive image of beauty.

Entrance into the beau monde of fashion photography lures many young, talented photographers internationally. Filled with glamorous women and striking men draped in haute couture, it's a world that appears to be as sculpted as the bodies upon which it's draped.

The In Crowd

Brown always has been drawn to the allure of beauty in all aspects of his life. Working at a local paper at the age of 18, Brown had his own column, “The In Crowd.” There, he was able to nurture his budding interest in photography and hone the skills that would shape his career. Reviewing swank nightclubs filled with some of London's sexiest people, Brown was exposed to a bevy of beautiful women donned in the hippest attire.

Recalls Brown, “I started taking pictures of beautiful women all dressed up. I loved it, not to mention the attention I got, although I think it was just because they wanted to get in the paper! From then on, I wanted to get into fashion photography.”

At a young age, it was Brown's tenacity and determination to shape his future that landed him the job at the newspaper, a step he admits was critical in developing his career. Unfulfilled as a novice furniture builder, Brown knew that change was imminent. Pouring over newspapers, he finally found a position as a junior photographer for a local paper.

“At first, I didn't get the job, but I realized it was all I wanted to do, so I kept calling,” says Brown. “I said I would do anything, just give me a job! After about six months of hassling them, I got a job as a scanner. I was over the moon!”

Since then, Brown's career has been a virtual whirlwind. His staunch resolution to work with none but the best photographers has put him miles ahead of his competition.

“You have to be trained by the best to become the best,” he says. “I met Rankin at a party and said, ‘I want to assist you!' Two weeks later, I'm in his studio. Jon Gray is the master in my eyes. He's the one who gave me all of the opportunities I have today. I still learn so much from him. If it weren't for other photographers, I wouldn't have the skills I've developed now. When you look at the work of a Rankin or a Jon Gray, you know instantly that it's them.”


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