Have you been to the art exhibition in the CSU Art Gallery yet? It is a great collection of works from the Fashion and Photography Club on campus. It will be up for viewing until the 23rd of this month, so make sure to check it out before it’s gone!
With the emphasis of this gallery being on the merger of fashion and photography, it’s no surprise that the works are very thoughtfully composed with the models and the scenery kept in mind. Each piece communicates a certain feeling to the viewer, maybe pulling on a particular emotion they associate with a style of clothing or one of the props being used.
Looking at all these pieces made me wonder about some of the underlying themes, as well as the traits that give each piece its sense of originality.
First of all, what is it exactly that makes photographs like these so appealing to us as people? Is it the clever framing? The comfortable expression on the model’s face? The fashionable outfit choices?
Maybe some trick of editing that makes it seem better than real life? I don’t think it would be a stretch to assume that it’s a little bit of all of these. Photography employs an artistic and yet calculated approach to angles and the setting of a scene. Sometimes you may get lucky and snap a great looking pic on the first go, but more likely than not will you end up messing around with distance and direction until you find something that really seems to pop.
If you’re someone who enjoys posting photos to various social media sites, I’m sure you can relate to this strive for the ultimate shot.
Despite this complexity, all the photographs within the gallery appeared almost effortlessly taken. They gave the illusion that the photographer was merely capturing a moment in someone else’s story, as opposed to manufacturing it.
In addition to framing, the color scheme and relationship between light and shadow play big parts in how we interpret a piece of art. Is the model staring into a light source, giving us a perfectly lit portrait? Or are they backlit, turning their silhouette into the subject?
Some of the models had vibrant outfits, one even had some amazing pink hair, and these colors can work in the photographer’s favor if they choose a complementary setting.
One of my favorite things about the gallery, though, was how realistic and yet appealing all the outfits were. They were all things that seemed perfectly in place, as opposed to some of the elaborate and evocative pieces in high fashion shows. And yet, all the outfits looked bafflingly good. The models pulled them off perfectly.
A simply styled sweater somehow managed to look elegant and high class, a sundress became something you would picture a celebrity wearing. This is what good photography will do for the subject. A skilled photographer working with someone with good fashion taste (or someone lucky enough to have both skills) can make anything look amazing. Being able to highlight the natural strengths of the model and the scene to create a cohesive and pleasant to look at product is a very respectable feat.
After visiting this gallery multiple times to prepare for this article, I’m very interested in stopping by the club to check out the behind-the-scenes version of these kinds of pieces!
Header photo by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.