Wikipedia Entry on Bailey:
In 1959 he became a photographic assistant at the John French studio, and in May 1960, he was a photographer for John Cole's Studio Fivebefore being contracted as a fashion photographer for British Vogue magazine later that year.[page needed] He also undertook a large amount of freelance work.
Along with Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy, he captured and helped create the 'Swinging London' of the 1960s: a culture of high fashion and celebrity chic. The three photographers socialised with actors, musicians and royalty, and found themselves elevated to celebrity status. Together, they were the first real celebrity photographers, named by Norman Parkinson as "the Black Trinity".
The film Blowup (1966), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, concerns the work and sexual habits of a London fashion photographer played byDavid Hemmings and is largely based on Bailey.
The "Swinging London" scene was aptly reflected in his Box of Pin-Ups (1964): a box of poster-prints of 1960s celebrities and socialites including Terence Stamp, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Jean Shrimpton, PJ Proby, Cecil Beaton, Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol and notoriousEast End gangsters the Kray twins (see photo).
The box was an unusual and unique commercial release, and it reflected the changing status of the photographer that one could sell a collection of prints in this way. (The strong objection to the presence of the Krays on the part of fellow photographer Lord Snowdon was the major reason no American edition of the "Box" ever appeared, nor a British second edition issued.) The record sale for a copy of 'Box of Pin-Ups' is reported as "north of £20,000".
Bailey's ascent at Vogue was meteoric. Within months he was shooting covers and at the height of his productivity he shot 800 pages of Vogue editorial in one year. Penelope Tree, a former girlfriend, described him as "the king lion on the Savannah: incredibly attractive, with a dangerous vibe. He was the electricity, the brightest, most powerful, most talented, most energetic force at the magazine".
American Vogue's creative director Grace Coddington, then a model herself said "It was the Sixties, it was a raving time, and Bailey was unbelievably good-looking. He was everything that you wanted him to be – like the Beatles but accessible – and when he went on the market everyone went in. We were all killing ourselves to be his model, although he hooked up with Jean Shrimpton pretty quickly".
Of supermodel Jean Shrimpton, Bailey said:
She was magic and the camera loved her too. In a way she was the cheapest model in the world – you only needed to shoot half a roll of film and then you had it. She had the knack of having her hand in the right place, she knew where the light was, she was just a natural.
Since 1966, Bailey has also directed several television commercials and documentaries. From 1968 to 1971 he directed and produced the TV documentaries entitled "Beaton", "Warhol" and "Visconti".
As well as fashion photography, Bailey has been responsible for record album sleeve art for performers including The Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithfull. One of Bailey's most famous works depicts the Rolling Stones. It features Brian Jones, who drowned in 1969 while under the influence of drink and drugs. He is seen standing slightly apart from the rest of the group.
Bailey was hired in 1970 by Island Records' Chris Blackwell to shoot publicity photos of Cat Stevens for his upcoming album Tea for the Tillerman. Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) maintains that he disliked having his photo on the cover of his albums, as had previously been the case, although he gave consent to allow Bailey's photographs to be placed on the inner sleeve of the album.
In 1972 rock star Alice Cooper was photographed by Bailey for Vogue magazine, almost naked covered with a snake. Cooper used Bailey the following year to shoot for the groups chart topping 'Billion Dollar Babies' album, with one billion dollars and a baby wearing mascara, being shot under armed guard.
In 1992 Bailey directed the BBC Drama "Who Dealt?" starring Juliet Stevenson, story by Ring Lardner. In 1995 he directed and wrote the South Bank Film; "The Lady is a Tramp" featuring his wife Catherine Bailey. In 1998 he directed a documentary with Ginger Television Production, "Models Close Up", commissioned by Channel 4 Television.
In 2005, he was involved in a feature titled "British Rule" for GQ, charting the British influence on rock n' roll, photographing several artists including Paul Weller, Jarvis Cocker,Razorlight, Brian Eno, M.I.A., Ian Brown, The Futureheads, Belle & Sebastian, Damon Albarn, Dizzee Rascal, Kaiser Chiefs, Robyn Hitchcock, Super Furry Animals, and Colin Blunstone for the spread.
In 2010, he visited Afghanistan to photograph British troops raising money for the charity Help For Heroes.
In 2011 Jerome de Missolz released a documentary called 'David Bailey: Four Beats to the Bar and No Cheating".
He maintains that his style of photography remains the same:
I've always tried to do pictures that don't date. I always go for simplicity.[8
|Jean Shrimpton 1965|
|Jane Birkin 1969|
|John Lennon 1965|
|Mick Jagger 1964|
Looking at Baileys archive images they all feature iconic celebrities. As stated in the wikipedia entry, his work is timeless and simple. This style of image making will always be contemporary, the subjects of them give away the decade. I wanted to look at Bailey because he is one of the most famous English fashion photograhers. It is interesting how his use of black and white is so different to that of the 20s and 30s. These are dramatic in their own way. The Shrimpton image shows the 60s style, with the mascara and the line under the eyes, whilst the Birkin one is more natural.
This image shows the 60s so well, with the big hair and the eye make up. The whole series is so contrasty and interesting. With all my research I do really like the harsh blacks and whites, but I do not want to copy any of the work I have seen, therefore I am still experimenting with my editing style.
Looking at the photographers of the time I felt I had to mention Richard Avedon, this image is completely relevant to my project:
|Jean Shrimpton, 1965|
The style it is shot is not dissimilar to Bailey, with the high lights and shadows. I was really interested in the hair. It is incredible. This is something I could consider for my project for this era, however it would be directly referencing Avedon. I love the make up, the eyebrows, nude lips and the line on the eye lid.
Audrey Hepburn is another iconic actress. She has the distinctive eye make up that is recognised everywhere, I used that little flick in my previous beauty project. The first image is a still from my fair lady, showing her with the bun. The other images are more of the time, showing the line on the lid and the big eye brows. I am not as interested in her hair styles here, as I do not think they would be recognised as typical 60s if I were to knit them.
Looking at these images the top two feature more of a 1950s hair style, the third one I am more interested in as it has the volume of a beehive. I love the colour of the hair. I think the make up is also very traditional, I like the black quite heavy on the lip and the big brows.
I really like Ekland's look, the beehive is probably what attracted me the most. The hair band across it is a nice touch, as it is very 60s. I love the make up on the second and third image, the second is quite doe eyed, with the lashes on the bottom. And the third had the flick on the side with a nice shade on the lid.