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Richard Avedon’s Photo Portraits of Celebrities Essay

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Updated: Apr 13th, 2021

My friends are interested in fashion photography, and I heard the name of Richard Avedon, the American photographer, many times. Therefore, I decided to focus on his works and explore their features to understand the topic of photography in detail. Still, instead of selecting fashion photographs by Avedon, I concentrated on his portraits of celebrities.

I visited online databases to find portraits of famous persons made by Avedon during his career. The majority of photographs were made in black and white colors. It is important to note that Avedon took pictures of celebrities who represented different professions. Still, his style can be discussed as rather remarkable and recognizable (Figure 1). The photographer tried to accentuate the personality while taking a picture, and there were no additional objects in the majority of pictures (Bussard, 2014). As a result, photographs can be viewed as provocative and even striking (Bunyan, 2015).

To deepen my experience, I focused on examining how Avedon used the idea of contrast and the balance of light in his pictures, what shots he used, how the manipulation of light added to creating the celebrity’s image, and what postures were selected to accentuate different psychological aspects of the character (Martin & Jacobus, 2015). It is possible to state that my vision of such a category of photography as portraits of celebrities was changed because of realizing the effect these works have on a viewer.

Richard Avedon, Elizabeth Taylor, New York, 1964.
Figure 1. Richard Avedon, Elizabeth Taylor, New York, 1964 (Bunyan, 2015).

References

Bunyan, M. (2015). Review: [Blog post]. Web.

Bussard, K. A. (2014). Unfamiliar streets: The photographs of Richard Avedon, Charles Moore, Martha Rosler, and Philip-Lorca DiCorcia. New York, NY: Yale University Press.

Martin, D., & Jacobus, L. A. (2015). The Humanities through the arts. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Richard Avedon's Photo Portraits of Celebrities." April 13, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/richard-avedons-photo-portraits-of-celebrities/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Richard Avedon's Photo Portraits of Celebrities'. 13 April.

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