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.
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!