To Breast or Not Too Breast is the Fashion Question ?

Room Service © Benjamin Kanarek

Breasts or more specifically baring one or two of them in a fashion scenario has always been an integral part of the Fashion scene. Whether to give impact to ones image or to startle the reader in to really looking at the imagery or designer being featured on that page. Although I have on the rare occasion done so for a beauty or skin story, I have rarely used this marketing technique gratuitously in my imagery. Perhaps due to the fact that my perception of beauty emanates from the eyes or from the light that I paint to highlight those parts of the image that are of importance to me. Many photographers insist on at least one upper torso nude shot in a series or the revealing of one of the two intimate parts of the female anatomy to add impact to their imagery.

Alien Intervention © Benjamin Kanarek

I have often considered why I have not used this form of marketing in the expressing of my imagery. I might add that like most heterosexual males, I find breasts to be one of the more attractive elements of the female body. However I feel quite uncomfortable asking a model to disrobe in public. I know that it has more to do with me than the model, as they are accustomed to doing so for  credible fashion magazines. I have often concluded that one of the reasons I do not, is that I believe that my images should be able to stand on their own without having to resort to sensational tactics to draw the reader to my images.

I will say however, that if an image is asking for the revealing of a breast, in other words would benefit and be enhanced esthetically by doing so, I would do so without reservation. I also believe that there is a fine line between what might be considered tacky vs elegant. I’m not a “Grunge Trash” photographer. There have been some incredible artists like Terry Richardson who have pulled off that style with panache and conviction that come across with a Raw authenticity that renders their images as credible. They are not glamour shots. They are a slice of life perceived from a certain vantage point that is understood by the artist and given real meaning.

As I do not wish to emulate a style, I will continue doing what I feel is appropriate at that moment in time that works for me. If the occasion does require an interpretation that gives a reason for doing so, I will.

I having been asked on several occasions by gallery owners, “Ben, why don’t you shoot more nudes?” and the only answer that I can reply with is “I am a Fashion Photographer…”

So, are Breasts in Fashion?  Yes they are.  It just depends on how you wish to frame them.

Watch this HILARIOUS Parody of a Fashion Photographer.  It is AWESOME!

About Benjamin Kanarek

Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…

  • Luis Alvarez

    Hi Benjamin,
    just discovered your blog via facebook and spent my afternoon reading many of them. Great job!
    I particularly like this post. The topic you discuss clearly shows how a photo is a product, a product which is subject to the rules of marketing. It has definetly made me think.
    I personally also avoid showing breasts on my pictures, since I know that it can completely change the impact the image has on the viewer. But I had never realized that this was done as a way to attract more attention to the picture that the picture would otherwise get.

    keep up the good job!

  • Maud C.

    Quelle bête ce Bruce testones!!!! Benjamin se met aussi en petite tenue pour shooter ses modèles???? J’étais morte de rire avec cette vidéo, hilarante, effectivement….

  • Franglais

    I think it’s like going topless at the beach – in some places it’s acceptable and in some places it isn’t (even in France).

    The French magazines have never been prudish. You sometimes find pictures of bare-breasted women in the mainstream ones like Elle and Marie-Claire, but it’s always in connection with the subject of the shoot (beachware, how to get a perfect body, breast Xrays etc.)

    Just recently I’ve noticed that bare breasts have been creeping into straight fashion shoots, especially in magazines aimed at younger women. I’ve started buying Grazia magazine – it’s like a teenagers magaine with a lot of People news plus some serious fashion stuff with pretty young models. I find it rather fun.

    If I were you I wouldn’t force myself to do nudes if you don’t want to, especially with a model who’s not expecting it. (I have the opposite problem with my nude models – when I want to do fashion all they want to do is take their clothes off..)