Who is the muse; the model or the object? In the latest entries for our Photography 2022 Awards competition, fashion’s marriage with photography is captured and questioned, with themes of outer beauty uniting it all.
At the forefront of British photographer Jonathan Knowles‘ editorial for Luxure Magazine, “Summer Beauty” (above, left), is model Emma Louise Barley cast between light and shadow. Shot with a Hasselblad for Dior Makeup’s Summer Collection, Knowles captures ethereal beauty and grace through a simple shot composition. His ability to craft a lingering sense of awe through light, color, and angle is a testament to his renowned skill. With Knowles being a part of Graphis’ top ten all time award winners and a consistent feature in the “200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World” books, it’s no wonder that Knowles is considered a Graphis Master.
While Knowles chooses to focus on the model as a muse, American photographers Hadley Stambaugh and Colin Douglas Gray challenge that idea in their piece “Ring Redux” (above, right), and instead capture the object as something to desire. Using a Canon 5D Mark IV with a 100mm lens, Stambaugh and Gray highlight the overlooked allure of jewelry design for a submission to the Savannah College of Art and Design. The duo explain that rings in particular are a “treasured intimate possession and an outward signifier of the wearer’s inner thoughts.” An undeniable standout accessory, rings are always “visible to both wearer and onlooker and part of every gesture of the hand.” Playing with light and positioning, Stambaugh and Gray let jewelry photography transcend into a contemporary work of art, and assert that beauty can be inanimate.
Such a sentiment is doubly expressed by American filmmaker and photographer Michael Winokur in his work “Chloe on Zoey” (above). Shot with a Fuji GFX 100S, Winokur wanted to capture “elegant product imagery with luxury goods and just a little bit of humor”. By situating a Chloe bag on model Zoey Kreigmont’s head, Winokur attempts to question the industry’s decision on what makes or breaks a trend. He explains that “it’s interesting how a utilitarian product, the bag, is so elevated by the fashion industry”, and decided to depict it as an object of “art and desire”, juxtaposing both critique and appreciation for an industry that values consumerism and physical beauty. Winokur’s work has previously featured in the Graphis Photo Annuals 2016, 2019, and 2021, with two Gold and Silver wins each. “Chloe on Zoey” captures his intrinsic ability to question and answer larger societal themes within a perfectly packed photograph.
To enter your own fashion photography into our Photography 2022 Awards competition, visit graphis.com.